On Jul 20, 2007, at 14:08, Andrejus Chaliapinas wrote:


Thought I'd chime in on this one as well...

First off: I agree with the general sentiment that this is a very interesting initiative!

That said, as a note of caution, I do wonder whether the motivation (with or without the bounty) is enough by itself to make it happen. I've recently also been looking in the direction of the patch in bugzilla 40271, but I'm under the impression that certain other things need to happen first before a decent auto-layout implementation becomes a feasible project... Not Patrick's fault, -- he was motivated-- but maybe such an enterprise was too complex to take on as a one-man GSoC project. Even if it didn't immediately succeed, it did give us a better impression of other changes that could reduce the complexity drastically.

I'm 99.9% sure that it would not. There were discussions about that in the past and the members' opinion was to keep such things separate from the ASF. The ASF would never pay anyone to make an improvement on one of
the projects since it's a NPO and there are certain rules around that

That's true, we have a guard of great volunteers for such projects, who don't expect to be paid for their job. Though on other side I'd be very interested if such so needed enhancement could be done more quickly (i.e.
not related on someone afterhours unsleeping nights).

Some time ago I've tried to dig a little into those Layouts techniques, but quickly found that it's not the thing I could enhance myself easily (though it was some initial information provided by Jeremias and Simon and maybe
others, but still not easy to understand without UML graphs of pieces
so stayed mostly with work on various XSL/XML parts for my
projects needs and left those FO things for real experts :).

What helped me a lot in understanding certain parts of the overall processing were not necessarily words or graphs, but mainly random debug sessions. Stroll through the code, place a few breakpoints in the parts of the code that interest you, debug the process, have a look at the call stacks, step further to see which other methods are called afterwards to get a hang of how the objects and the logic fit together, and which methods are called at what point in the process...
Not perfect, but very educational. :-)



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