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 alt.design is worthwhile, and 2) sees the existing properties code as a working implementation that is better, and 3) wants to work on alt.design 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 alt.design 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 alt.design, and expresses a desire to continue to work on it, he or she will be granted committer status with the now customary alacrity.
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 http://www.powerup.com.au/~pbwest/resume.html
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