Some elaborations on this from my side. Please feel free to ignore it

Thanks for speaking up. Just because you are not a committer, doesnt mean your opinion doesnt matter. This is open source way. The project is owned by everyone.


5. Time goes on, A' and B progress further.
6. Someone comes up with a carefully refactored version of A' and B is


This is very true, I also have the same concerns, which is why I have set out some simple objectives that must be met before the redesign is ready for an initial release. See here:


We have in fact completed the first item. Once we have completed the other tasks the redesign wont be far behind 0.20.5. Once we do a release, I believe the project will gain some momentum.

So what happened was: I now have an XSL formatter that is in my estimation further
along than the FOP redesign and that does most things that 0.20.5 does and a lot of
things that 0.20.5 does not. I confess that so far, I did borrow the TrueType font
reader from FOP. What am I going to do with it? Well, it's not really decided yet.
The most likely scenario is to make it a commercial product. BTW: why was I fast?
I'm good (like you), I had experience in many of the areas involved, and - very
important - I didn't need to discuss my architectural decisions because I did it
alone. I had fun.

I'm impressed. You must have a lot of spare time, and be a very talented programmer. I would be grateful if you could help with any of the tasks listed above, so we can get a release of the redesign and overcome FOP's current dilema.

Model A: Let one strong developer with resonable time on his hands drive the
development of the redesign until it has so far progressed that it's usable
for people currently using 0.20.5.

Model B: Refactor the maintenance branch. This keeps more users and therefore
more possible contributors on the bandwagon. Refactoring is tedious and needs
experience, but you get that experience quickly and the motivation stays over
time. Also, the maintenance branch source code is not *that* bad. Yes, it
badly needs refactoring in most places, but it's not beyond repair.

The redesign project is further along than you might think. 2003 was really bad for the redesign, absolutely zilch progress was made on layout. However, there has been some progress since the end of last year. So if we can just finish the tasks listed above, FOP should be back on the road to success. I'm certainly not keen to drop the redesign so close to the finish line. Perhaps 12 months ago I would have been inclined to agree, but not now.


Like two years ago, I still don't feel all that comfortable about speaking
up on this. After all, it's *your* project, and what the f*** do I have to
say about it. Ok, this time I decided to do it. Please don't be offended
- it's really meant as a personal opinion from an interested bystander.
I hope you can accept it as such.

I'm glad you have spoken up. And this goes for any other silent folks out there considering the same options. Please speak up - every opinion counts, the project belongs to the community, not just to the committers.


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