Jeremias Maerki wrote:

> To state my opinion on this matter:
> I would like to see Vincent integrating FOray-Font into FOP. 
> There has been some work on fonts compared to the FOP 
> maintenance branch but Victor has invested more time in 
> FOray-Font. Victor's font subsystem is now technically more 
> advanced than what we have. The most interesting feature is 
> the fact that you don't have to create that bloody font 
> metrics file anymore. When that is eventually coupled with 
> automatic font registration then it'll be a killer feature. I 

Based on current constraints, I don't think automatic font registration is
possible. In order to embed a font, you have to have access to the
underlying file or at least its contents. Until Java gives us this in its
own AWT system, you're going to have to get this information somewhere else.
Peter West and I have discussed an interesting idea that I want to explore
further, which is taking the external registration information and using it
to create System (AWT) fonts -- but that still requires an external
registration step.

> consider this one of the more important tasks to improve 
> user-friendliness. Of course, the same functionality could 
> also be done within FOP but why duplicate the effort? I'm 
> sure there are still a few things that would need to be 
> polished inside FOray-Font but if it helps us taking a step 
> forward then I'm all for it. But that's obviously my 
> technical side speaking.

There are a lot of improvements that need to be made to FOrayFont, but it is
in every respect IMO a "step forward" on every axis.

> Ideally, a font engine that is shared between two projects 
> should be in a more or less neutral place write-accessible by 
> both parties but as we've seen now there are personal 
> dissonances. The problem comes up if Glen starts to veto 

I have no problem with giving qualified FOP developers write access to
FOray. I have close to 3000 hours invested in FOray now, and I have no
intention of having that undone, so they'll need to provide some assurances
that they understand the "FOray way".

> against using Victor's work, of if Victor can't or won't 
> support our wishes anymore. The latter could be a real 
> problem if we switch to FOray-Font as it is a crucial part in 
> the puzzle. But Victor already provided a potential way to 
> improve that situation: aXSL.
> If we converted our current font engine to implement the aXSL 
> interface, we can easily switch. The downsides are the need 
> to maintain compatibility with aXSL as it advances and aXSL 
> has first to show that it is capable of handling multiple 
> implementations.

Also, see my previous email about grants. If you want, you can pull the
FOray code into your repository and hack away. I hope this will always be
considered a last resort, but I understand (all too well) the desire not to
invest in something that will come back and bite you badly.

> Looking at this from a distance:
> 1. From a technical perspective, we should work together, if 
> only to avoid being silly by duplicating work.
> 2. From a psychological perspective, I don't think the two 
> projects will ever get along.
> That said, I think Victor and I get along together pretty 
> well. He doesn't even mind discussing stuff with me which is 
> a good sign. Too bad I got so little time discussing some 
> really interesting stuff with him, but I have to concentrate 
> on the layout engine ATM. But there are so many broken 
> glasses on both sides that I doubt we find a way of working together.

IMO, the reason you and I get along pretty well is that we are both trying
to get work done. If we start out disagreeing about something, we usually
eventually come to an agreement, because are guided by reason and common
goals. Most importantly, when we disagree, we say why, we try to either
teach or learn. I am quite capable of getting along with reasonable people,
changing my opinions, and learning from mistakes.

You say "I don't think the two projects will ever get along". I don't think
the two projects will ever by reunified, but I see no reason for them not to
get along. There is only one FOP developer that is likely to cause a
significant problem, and he has already promised to avoid the matter. And if
they can't, everyone's investment is protected.

> > If the FOP developers change their minds and decide to work 
> with you, good.
> > If not, please consider posting a message to the FOray mailing list 
> > telling me more about what you are trying to accomplish, 
> and I'll be 
> > glad to offer some suggestions if I can. FOray's design not 
> only makes 
> > it easier to use FOray code in FOP, but it makes it easier 
> to use FOP code in FOray.
> That sounds like a suggestion for collaboration to me. Give 
> and take. I hope I'm right, Victor. You know I would really 
> like to work together with you again. It's simply that I'm 
> afraid of the old feelings come back (from whatever side) and 
> the two project teams break off with each other again leaving 
> a mess behind.

I too am all for collaboration. I doubt that anyone feels the pain of lack
of collaboration more than I. Nearly every day I duplicate something that I
wish didn't have to be duplicated. But I have to weigh that against probably
1500 hours of work that was flushed at FOP for no good reason (at least none
that has ever been explained to me). It is true that duplication of work is
a form of waste. So which is better: 1) pay too much for something and still
have that something, or 2) pay too much for something and have nothing?

I am happy for FOray to collaborate with FOP as two independent entities. I
am also happy to collaborate by inviting qualified FOP developers into
FOray. But if by collaboration you mean that I will again place myself in a
position where Glen or anyone else can simply destroy my efforts, I will not
do that.

In short FOray is quite willing to get along with FOP, as long as that does
not mean being swallowed up by it. So, IMO, if FOray and FOP are unable to
get along, I suggest looking within FOP.

There is always the possibility that I have wronged FOP or some FOP
developers that would cause bad feelings. If so, I hope someone will be man
enough (or woman enough) to point such a thing out to me. AFAIK, unless I
have already apologized for it, any comments I have made were both just and

> The two reasons that make me hesitant to really put energy 
> into reestablishing a mode of collaboration is the high risk 
> of failure, especially given the immediate bad energies that 
> bubbled up following Vincent's proposal, and the fact that I 

*All* of those bad feelings came from FOP. Vincent and I were having a
reasonable technical discussion which was interrupted by mere rants. What
you have just established is a principle that says that one person's
personal animosity will be allowed to dictate to FOP what its policy shall
be. That is clearly not reasonable.

Victor Mote

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