At 11:31 AM 6/8/01 +0200, Bertrand Delacretaz wrote:
>On Friday 08 June 2001 11:02, Alex McLintock wrote:
>> I think the best way to pay for open source development of FOP is if
>> development takes place in response to real life business requirements.
>Quoting Arved, "...trying not to waste time doing work on code that is going 
>in the garbage after the redesign..". - this makes it hard to get someone to 
>fund projects based on the current FOP code, even though the business 
>requirements are here.
>So in my view the most urgent requirement is FOP's redesign/rewrite, which 
>could maybe be done faster if funding was available. 

One of the most important reasons to do the redesign and refactoring is to 
lower the entry barrier to understanding the FOP code and being able to make 
improvements and add features. And I mean the core code, not peripheral 
stuff. Maybe we can accelerate this process by being more visible...I'll 
have to touch base with Karen but perhaps we can start getting design docs 
up into CVS for community review & feedback. Once we have general sign-off 
on these (basically, a general level of acceptance: a critical mass of 
people who like what they see and think they'd be able to help implement 
it), then we can move ahead. I hope that again, this "moving ahead" gets 
more folks into the process so it's not just 1 or 2 committers who are 
bottlenecking everything else.

I know Karen is as enthusiastic about the redesign of the architecture as I 
am. What's killing us is lack of time, and I'm as anxious to seek a way 
around that as anyone. I'd be turning cartwheels if I had _one_ week 
available to devote to nothing but FOP.

It's not just funding as far as core developers go. We also have vacation 
day quotas, and in a number of cases (myself included) XSL is not remotely 
related to what our employers do, so they are not likely to be enthused 
about offering support. Also in my case, I happen to be the main J2EE server 
installation/deployment expert with my company, during what is currently a 
very important period in the business' growth - I'll be lucky to take 
_vacation_ before the fall, let alone take a sabbatical. :-)

What this means is other developers stepping in, new names, so to speak. If 
funds can be made available to support one or two developers that would be 
great - it's something that FOP has always lacked by comparison to many 
other Apache projects. Certainly existing people - I can only speak for 
myself directly - would doubtless extend maximum cooperation to ensure that 
PT or FT paid developers get up to speed quickly and get questions answered.

I'm hazarding a guess here, but I'd estimate that 1-2 solid person-months 
would make serious inroads into immediate outstanding work requirements 
(core architecture). This means solid blocks of time: all the software 
developers here know what I mean - 2 hours here and 2 hours there just 
doesn't cut it. Sustained effort or lack of it is one reason you see some 
open-source projects moving ahead rapidly (Batik, Subversion) and others are 
stalled out or creeping along (us). Subversion, for example, gets more 
development hours applied to it in a single day than FOP gets in a month, as 
a guess.

Obviously all suggestions and external efforts are welcome. It's not like 
the committers have any special answers. :-)

Arved Sandstrom

Fairly Senior Software Type
e-plicity (
Wireless * B2B * J2EE * XML --- Halifax, Nova Scotia

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