On 29.05.2005 08:13:13 Glen Mazza wrote:

> Excellent!  This is exactly what I'm looking for--with this 
> architecture, the LM's gNKE() are to handle getting the Knuth elements 
> for their FO's, while the Breaker gNKE() are to handle routing between 
> various LM's gNKE() methods.  I hope to comment the code soon to make 
> that clarification so others are aware.

Thanks for that!

> >>-- I'll happily do so if I'm correct here.
> >>    
> >>
> >
> >I bet. I can only say it again. My priorities are getting FOP into a
> >releasable state. You won't get a medal from my by gilding our code
> >right now. What FOP really needs right now is finally getting to an
> >initial developer release. I doesn't have to be perfect but it has to
> >show our users that the long waiting period was worth waiting for. I
> >strongly believe that once we have an initial release, people will start
> >coming back, trying it out and we will see more people contributing. I
> >really, really, really wish you would channel your energy towards this
> >goal, too.
> >
> >  
> >
> My energies right now are only in understanding layout, and in finding 
> and making changes that will make it easier for others to understand it 
> as well.

But maybe less so if the stuff changes the whole time and sometimes
changes back. What helped me a lot to understand how layout works was to
implement new features and fixing problems, real problems, by writing
test cases and observing the results.

> Users/Release dates, etc. are not my concern.

That's what I was afraid of.

> I'll be doing 
> the same work before FOP's release that I will be doing after its release.
> BTW, are we losing potential committers due to FOP 1.0 supporting JDK 
> 1.3?

Committers? Probably not. Users? Possibly. There are still a significant
number of platforms, especially server platforms, that still don't have
a JDK 1.4.

>  We haven't heard much from Renaud since you asked him to maintain 
> some special 1.3-only graphics package that we otherwise wouldn't need 
> to have.  I want to make sure we didn't lose him to a 1.4/1.5 project 
> because he couldn't afford to hurt his skill sets by working on 1.3.  If 
> we did, IMO it would be better for the 1.3 users to stay on 0.20.5 so 
> the 1.4 users can have the benefits of new contributors' work in 1.0.

We don't lose Renaud because of the necessity to support JDK 1.3. He's
currently in the process of starting a new job and didn't have much time
to finish the patch he started working on. At least that was what I
interpreted when I last talked to him on the phone recently. But we're
assuming too much and know little. So far, he's done a fine job and
there are simply a few details still to be handled. This has absolutely
no relation to our discussion whether we should support JDK 1.3 or not.
If Renaud finds himself unable to complete the Java2DRenderer & Co. or
if I need the stuff a little sooner (for testing purposes) I'm going to
ask him to post what he has and I'm going to finish his work. Renaud can
spend as much time on FOP as he likes and is able to spend.

> Your comment on channelling energy is what reminded me of this.  
> AntennaHouse is requiring 1.4.2+.  So the time that we're spending on 
> that 1.3 graphics package they are presumably spending on speeding up 
> their SW for their (Windows, Linux, HP, Solaris) user base.  Are they 
> doing a better job of channelling energy than we are?  Are they doing a 
> better job of determining which users to concentrate on?

That's a weak argument since this particular item is rather a no-brainer
to handle. I haven't checked lately, but I think FOP hasn't compiled under
JDK 1.3 for a rather long time now. But this is still on my long-term
task list for FOP and until there was a user poll and a vote, I regard
FOP as being JDK 1.3 compatible even if it means that you don't get full
functionality (all bitmaps types or renderers supported and things like
that). And I know now that you don't care about FOP's users, but I do.

AntennaHouse took a decision for themselves by requiring 1.4.2+. That's
ok but it doesn't mean that FOP necessarily has to do the same. Cocoon
for example is still JDK 1.3+ but that also has no consequence for FOP.
JDK 1.3 and 1.4 are not as far apart from each as 1.4 is from 1.5/5.0. I
don't think there's a lot of pain involved in keeping 1.3 compatibility.
Given that the EOL phase for 1.3.1 ends March 2006 [1][2] and given
FOP's estimated time for the next serious release JDK 1.3 compatibility
may really be no big concern. But I know that many people (mostly
running server applications) are still stuck with JDK 1.3 we would do
them a disservice by requiring 1.4 too soon. But leave the JDK 1.3
compatibility to me.

[1] http://java.sun.com/j2se/1.3/download.html
[2] Interesting enough is the fact that the last maintenance release
(1.3.1_15) for JDK 1.3.1 dates back to December 2004. Quite recent,
don't you think?

Jeremias Maerki

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