Jeremias Maerki wrote:

> On 17.12.2003 15:25:37 Victor Mote wrote:
> > I would rather go away than to be the guy that everyone wishes would
> > go away.
> Ok, Victor, until that happens I'd like you to stay. I don't see *any*
> indication that *anyone* wishes that *anybody* should go away. Well, our
> moderators would surely like to get rid of all spammers. But seriously,
> please reconsider your decision, maybe take a break from the mailing
> list to clear your head. Consensus is sometimes hard to find especially
> over such an problematic medium such as this mailing list. Intentions
> are always difficult to transmit. Mails take a long time to write, time
> we usually don't have and would rather spend programming. I think we all
> share that frustration. Maybe we should all buy a webcam so we can
> occasionally chat together face to face as we're all a long way from
> each other.

It is true enough that "consensus is sometimes hard to find", but that is
not the point. The point is that, as practiced by FOP, it is impossible to
find. And not because of technical difficulty.

WRT the slowness of the medium of email, I actually perceive that to be a
benefit. The time it takes to draft an email is a useful cooling-off period,
at least for me.

> Now the following is not only directed to you, Victor, but to everyone
> else as well. Just personal opinions:
> I followed the wars on the Avalon mailing list which at one time even
> produced a victim in form of a partial expulsion from the ASF. I would
> be very sad to have to see similar things here, especially in the
> project's present state.
> I told Glen this summer that it's better to fire away with changes than
> letting himself block by myself who, at that time, only injected his
> ideas and opinions but without code to back them. What this project
> needs is people who simply do it (tm). A good design is useful but
> obviously it's not so simple to find in our case. We can't live without
> some sort of design that gives use some direction but things like
> Victor's pluggable LayoutStrategy may really help, if we need to
> investigate different approaches. I'd rather have two or three
> half-completed layout approaches with lots of things learned than not a
> single working one with a community at total stand-still. We failed to
> integrate Peter's branch into HEAD but maybe that's also because it was
> too big a bundle at one time.
> Everyone should accept that another person has a different opinion. That
> shouldn't block us in our work. We all look forward to the same goal.
> That much I know or else we wouldn't be here.
> So, I mostly agree with Joerg's and Andreas' recent comments. Please
> let's focus on coding even if we may have to throw away little parts
> again in the process. (This doesn't mean I don't want to see anymore
> threads on design.) I think one of the most important points we learned
> since the redesign decision is to better split up the whole thing so
> it's easier (and less painful) to change if we run into a dead-end
> somewhere.

The inherent problem with this suggestion is that it is not reasonable to
invest in a project where the big design issues are not addressed. The best
thing would be to come to an agreement in theory, then as coding progresses,
change the theory if necessary. The second best thing would be to fork the
project into two -- one based on the trunk, one based on alt-design. If that
split were made official, I think developers would be much easier to recruit
(and retain) for both.

If Peter's principles prevail, it will be a permanent triumph of performance
over quality, and FOP will never be useful for my purposes. I don't have a
problem with that, but it is not unreasonable to try to resolve it before
investing more in the project.

Victor Mote

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