At 06:34 PM 8/9/01 -0400, Sam Ruby wrote:
>Arved Sandstrom wrote:
>>
>> Sam, I figure you meant the "perennially in alpha" comment sort of
>> tongue-in-cheek. I hope you did, anyway.
>>
>[snip]
>>
>> Let's get one thing straight - we're not in alpha. We're not even close
>to
>> alpha.
>>
>> You're on the XML PMC...it would be nice to hear constructive suggestions
>> rather than snide comments.
>
>My apologies.  Let me give the context of my statement.  I was responding
>to the following:
>
>> I don't think a backwards compatible interface is needed.  Not for
>something
>> with a version number of 0.19.0, and been characterized as pre-beta,
>> not-production-ready and incomplete.  (If that doesn't buy the project
>the
>> rights to change the public interface at will, we might as well call it
>> version 1.0).
>
>My own personal crusade is to get projects to talk to one another.  And to
>treat their public interfaces as contracts.  The above text hit a hot
>button with me - it is essentially the same words that were used by
>projects such as Avalon and Turbine for the longest time.  Now they both
>have made promises to reform, and I am trying to keep them honest -
>something that they both have a somewhat imperfect record to date.
>
>My response was purely in response to the above text.  In all the time that
>I have been following these various projects, this is the first time I
>recall a breaking change by xml-fop.  That's a pretty darn good track
>record.  And I have been very pleased by the recent statements concerning
>respecting backwards compatibility.
>
>I honestly didn't mean anything more.  Once again, I'm sorry if I caused
>any problems.

I'm cool. I mean, I was a bit irritated when I wrote my last, but you 
explained yourself and I believe you. Somebody hit one of your hot buttons - 
you hit one of mine. :-) I tend to be maybe too sensitive regarding FOP.

I meant what I said with respect to constructive suggestions from the XML 
PMC, however. I don't think any of my comments were completely out to lunch. 
In fact, suggestions that FOP is limping along wouldn't have the capacity to 
wound unless there was a large element of truth to them, and there is. I 
suspect that most of the developers/committers on FOP waste half their time 
refamiliarizing with code because they can only work with it infrequently. 
At the current rate of progress we will not have a production release this 
year, and I don't think it will be a squeaker, either. I look at OS projects 
like Subversion and I'm green with envy. Again, I'm not criticizing any 
of the current developers or committers.

I think that OS practise is proving out that largish projects (and FOP is a 
largish project) need a core team of at least 2 or 3 FT developers to 
provide momentum, continuity, and a rallying point. FOP doesn't have that, 
although long-time developers and committers try their best. So we are 
hurting because of it. I could be wrong but I don't think I am. So any 
suggestions from outside the FOP circle are welcome. FOP and the technology 
it represents, and the number of other Apache projects that it could augment 
or cooperate with, is a big deal, IMO. It is worth some higher-level 
attention and thought, I think.

Regards, and sorry for going off on your comments.

Arved

Fairly Senior Software Type
e-plicity (http://www.e-plicity.com)
Wireless * B2B * J2EE * XML --- Halifax, Nova Scotia


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