Glen Mazza wrote:

> I've bought it due to my work with the apps package and 
> removing AddLMVisitor, and how reducing the complexity 
> allowed many other changes in other areas that weren't 
> previously apparent to occur.  I also think that many of your 
> later enhancements in properties wouldn't have become obvious 
> if you didn't first get us out of the XSLT-generated 
> properties classes.  Even I was able to implement some 
> (minor) property-related API changes as a result of your work 
> in getting rid of the autogenerated code.

I know better than to take this bait, but ...

1. The XSLT-generated stuff is a separate issue. Not relevant here at all.
2. It has already been pointed out that, if the Visitor stuff was so
terribly complex, there were other solutions that could be applied that
didn't sacrifice modularity. Also, it was never intended as a long-term
solution, but rather reflected the current state of the layout design,
which, after modularization, would have (or could have) changed.
3. Things should be made as simple as they can be, and no simpler. More
importantly, there are tradeoffs even within simplicity. Modularization is
one aspect of simplicity. It is true that modularization requires the use of
interfaces, which add some incremental complexity. But the benefits of
having good interfaces and clean separation of concerns reduce complexity
much more on a different axis. I have said before that I am glad that Xalan
is a separate module from FOP -- that was good thinking. I'm glad that FOP
doesn't have to compute disk sectors or lay out pixels on a page -- somebody
was smart enough to abstract out operating systems and printer drivers

Now, some on this list persist in the "let's finish coding the project and
then we'll stop and design it" line of argument. I have taken it as a
settled issue that this is FOP's policy, hence FOray. I won't work on a
project that takes that attitude. I unwittingly tried that for about 18
months, lost a year of my life and an incalculable amount of money in both
real and opportunity costs. FOP lost a good (IMO) developer and managed to
create for itself unnecessary and wasteful competition where none was really
needed. What a waste.

So here is a promising developer that shows up with an idea. It helps him
get his work done, and seems to make for a cleaner design (I haven't looked
at it closely, but I haven't heard anybody argue with this). You can tell
him (like you did me) "we don't need no steeenking clean design." Or you can
learn a lesson and try to start developing relationships with the kind of
developers that you are going to need to finish this project. Makes no
difference to me. But, please, if you choose the former, send that promising
developer toward FOray -- I'm almost at the stage where I can drop in the
new layout system there. We'll find a place for good design ideas there.

Victor Mote

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