As to the necessary conditions for committer status, "Shall we take that as read, darling?"* The question remains, "If a another developer happens along who 1) is persuaded that is worthwhile, and 2) sees the existing properties code as a working implementation that is better, and 3) wants to work on more or less exclusively, will he/she be admitted to committer status with the - all other things being equal - now customary alacrity?"

Will those existing committers who are not interested in allow it to flourish in the (unlikely) event that it attracts the interest of other developers, or will the Party line, necessary as that may be considered, dictate the such a development be resisted?


* John Cleese, in "The Meaning of Life"

Victor Mote wrote:
Peter B. West wrote:

plus comments.  I am happy to see new committers come into the project.
 I recall, however, that it took me a year to gain that status, a year
during which I wrote a considerable amount of code which I maintained in
my ISP account.  My crime was that I did not toe the Party line.  I hope
those days are gone, and that, should a developer happen along who
contributes to, and expresses a desire to continue to work on
it, he or she will be granted committer status with the now customary

I'm going to respond to your (prior) emails in turn, but this one deserves
special attention. It is not my intention to institute or encourage a policy
of "customary alacrity", but rather "timely attention". If Bill Joy or James
Duncan Davidson asked to be made committers on this project, I would vote
for it today. I have an 11-year old son who wants to be a Java programmer,
and he'll have to wait a bit before getting my vote. I wasn't around for the
year of which you speak, and I don't know where you fall on that continuum.
My only point is that the timing for Glen seems appropriate.

With regard to a Party Line, please allow me to briefly philosophize. Civil
societies (of which FOP development can be considered one) have both
centrifugal and centripetal forces at work. In general, the centrifugal
forces are that we each like to have things done our way, and the
centripetal forces are an acknowledgement that we are unable to achieve the
goal without help from others. If one person were able to complete a project
the size of FOP, we would all be better off to delegate that task to that
one person and let them do the job. We know that can't happen. We also know
that if Jeremias is headed north and I am headed south, a lot of energy is
expended, but not much progress is made. So, yes, there is a Party Line, a
common consensus about how to get where we want to go. No, I do not want FOP
rewritten in Fortran. No, I do not want FOP to output everything to RTF,
then convert it to PDF. And no, frankly, I don't want the layout process
pulling the parsing (until I can be persuaded of a substantial benefit).
Yes, there is a Party Line, and there must be. I am at odds with certain
pieces of it. In the long run, I will either 1) persuade a change in it, 2)
show a working implementation that is better, 3) be persuaded myself to
change, 4) live with it the way it is because it is better than
alternatives, or 5) go away and do something else. That is the nature of
civil societies. As long as #5 is an option, there is nothing tyrannical
about it.

I will address the merits of your proposals in separate messages on those
threads. In the meantime, AFAIK, everyone on this team values your efforts.
I am sure that no one is intentionally slighting you. I have about 20 hours
a week to spend on FOP, and for my feeble brain that is just not enough
bandwidth to comprehensively evaluate every proposal on the table.

-- Peter B. West

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