Hey there foptologists
I was just wondering if there has been any discussion about private vs non-private member fields for the FOP classes. I have noticed that there are a lot of non-private (generally package-private "default" visibility) member fields and most of them do not appear to be referenced anywhere else in FOP. Unfortunately when changing a package-private field one must recompile the entire package to make sure something isn't thereby broken. If a field is class-private then one can be sure that it is not used anywhere else and can change it with (relative) impunity.
Now I know that I am just saying stuff that everyone knows, so I was wondering if there was some explicit reason for the use of package-private or protected member fields instead of private members? Or is this just a consequence of the long history of FOP?
I'm quite happy to refactor any code that I work on, this includes privatization and formatting cleanups, but I don't want to annoy anyone else who may have terribly good reasons for The Way Things Are. I am no PC (programming correctness) zealot, I've just found through personal experience that private member fields save a lot of pain. Am happy to go with the 'quo, tho. :-)
Finally - is there an IRC server where FOP developers hang out?