On 11.02.2004 22:50:11 Peter B. West wrote:
<snip/>
> > Some background: Fact is that the whole FOP team was exchanged during
> > the last two years.
> 
> Almost.  I've been involved since the beginning of 2001, and a committer 
> for a little over two years now, I think.  Joerg, Jeremias and I became 
> committers at the same time, so we had varying degrees of prior involvement.

You're right, of course.

> > None of the old committers is still active though
> > one or two are still injecting a comment from time to time. We have a
> > heavy decision to carry on taken over two years ago (freezing the old
> > maintenance branch and doing a redesign of FOP). I guess the committers
> > are only now really getting used to all the code in FOP and getting into
> > a position to really bring on the design.
> 
> Amen.
> 
> > Then we've got the problem
> > that there are some "strong personalities" among the comitters which
> > doesn't make things easier. Take the mailing list as suboptimal
> > communication platform into the equation and you got the problems
> > together. I myself was pretty close to quitting recently but decided to
> > calm down and to concentrate on investing my very little time still
> > available to FOP in a productive way because I've already invested so
> > much of my free time into FOP that I simply can't let go.
> 
> I'd like to hear more about your thinking on this and your later comment 
> about the unhealthiness of the team, probably on the fop-dev list, Jeremias.

I mean unhealthiness of the team in terms of:
- active committer count was at four people at times, all working on FOP
outside of the day jobs. I'm grateful this started to change recently,
new committers and all.
- we've had too much negative energy mixed into our threads lately.
- the team switch has cause too much loss of knowledge and awareness of
decisions taken earlier. This takes a lot of time to put right again.

A positive point is that we finally managed to get the message through
that HEAD is the way to go (of course with possible additions from
Peter's branch).

> > I'm not very good in this sort of thing especially since English ist not
> > my primary language and I know that my intentions sometimes don't make
> > it 100% to the other side. I hope I haven't put any more oil into the
> > fire by writing this. If Peter disagrees with my view of the things I'd
> > like him to chime in. For any details I'd like to point to the fop-dev
> > mailing list archive (the whole thing happened around 2003-12-17).
> > 
> > So. Peter and the other PMC members, do you think we should change
> > anything about my report about FOP? I thought, this was important to
> > mention but I don't think this needs any intervention right now as I
> > know that some (or at least one) "high-ranking" Apache people are
> > listening into the conversions over in FOP-land which I'm grateful for.
> > Maybe "infighting" wasn't the best word but I took it as such a few
> > times during the last months. I don't consider the FOP developer
> > community a healthy one, especially compared to others here at the ASF,
> > but I also haven't given up hope. We're all struggling for free time, no
> > big companies backing us up anymore.
> > 
> 
> Perhaps "infighting over technical/design issues" would be more precise. 
>   If you saw it as infighting, it's fair enough to describe it that way.
> 
> I'm interested also in the comment about the lack of backing.  What 
> backing were we receiving previously?

Due to his work at Dresdner Bank Keiron was able to work on the redesign for
months. I've been able to do some work while I was still at Outline
(although this is only a small company but so what) although most of it
was in my free time.

> As to free time, I'm now working outside the industry, on a 
> part-time/casual basis, and I like the situation.  Working full-time in 
> IT makes too heavy demands on my concentration to be able to devote the 
> necessary time to FOP, which, as you point out, is extremely demanding. 
>   The situation I am in now gives me more time the freedom to do my 
> design and coding the way I want to.  That comment has wider application 
> than FOP.
> 
> On the positive side, the recent increase in activity includes a lot of 
> cross-fertilization from alt-design to HEAD, which seems to have been 
> received very well by everyone concerned.  Perhaps this should be 
> mentioned to balance concerns about Victor's departure.

I'm glad this happens (not that Victor left however).

Jeremias Maerki

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