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From "Conor MacNeill" <>
Subject RE: Whoa Bessie... Was -- Re: [Proposal] AntFarm
Date Tue, 19 Dec 2000 05:59:49 GMT
> From: James Duncan Davidson []
> Sent: Tuesday, 19 December 2000 15:52
> To:
> Subject: Re: Whoa Bessie... Was -- Re: [Proposal] AntFarm
> But the community has had to deal with that instead of the pain being
> brunted by a few people who occupy the role of "architect".

I must admit I found that a little surprising. There was not that much
feedback on ant-dev about this "pain". Certianly not from the other Jakarta
or Apache projects that I recognized. Craig was pretty much the only one I
recall who made a reference to the way properties handling had changed.

Anyway, let me quote Jon from a recent Tomcat thread

> It is called innovation. Constantly improving the code to be better.
> new things to see which one works best. I see absolutely nothing wrong
> that.
> No idea is perfect the first time and re-doing things until you get it
> is perfectly acceptable.

If people do have problems with changes in Ant, I would hope they
communicate them here on ant-dev. Sam's nightly build was his attempt to
find those inter-project problems up front. If people checked it out, they
could see problems coming.

> > How would you say the current Ant is radically different from
> what you want it
> > to be?
> Its more complicated in syntax.. Its less flexible in picking up
> tasks.. And
> it doesn't lend itself to integration well. And it's a pain in the arse to
> deal with all those scripts which were intended to go away.

Fair enough. I would like to know, then, how you envisage simplifying and
changing the syntax. You will presumably be dropping some features that have
crept in. Which ones do you think?

> > Is that the model you really want?. I don't know JDOM at all,
> but I wonder
> > what sort of community will build up around it. To me
> OpenSource is not just
> > about having access to the source. It is about the community
> that builds up
> > around that source. In Apache projects, you can achieve
> recognition for your
> > contributions by being voted a committer. It is an incentive to
> contribute.
> JDOM has a pretty active community around it. There are people besides Jas
> and Brett that are committers.

I went here and
here and found no mention of anyone
else. Not a big deal, of course. That may be how JDOM works - I don't know.
But you did mention currency of a kind.

> > Isn't that what the concept of a committer is all about. It is
> the recognition
> > of your contributions by peers. How do you want to go further?
> Some  sort of
> > perpetual ownership for the original contribution?
> Well, at least not being marginalized out... If you create something you
> obviously have a vested interested -- and a vision that may not be easily
> communicated via any other means.

I certainly would not want to see you marginalized out. That would be bad. I
guess it is just not how I understood the process as articulated on the
Jakarta web site.

> > So who gets to define what is Ant? Is that you?
> Bluntly, yes.

Well then let us formalize that role and make it known to people up front.
We could have


Would we do away with voting, +1s, -1s too?

> With the help of a lot of people. But where there's
> disagreement... Who defined Cocoon. Stefano. Who defines Apache 2.0? Ryan.
> Who defines Perl? Larry Wall. There's a pattern there. Collaborative
> development still needs a lead.

Sometimes the lead changes though. You went away and ant changed. No you are
back and it seems it will change again.

> > Wierd indeed. I wonder if O'Reilly would want a book about
> AntEater? :-) I'm
> > curious, will your book describe tasks and concepts contributed
> to ant by
> > other people. That will put you in an interesting position :-)
> Why would it do so? I didn't say that I wanted to write every line of code
> in Ant. I think you have taken what I said in a way that I didn't
> intend it.

OK, Sorry if that is the case. You talked about "I want to protect these
benefits of coming
up with Ant that I've got." I thought that implied that you would be dealing
mainly with the ant core / core tasks.

> Quite frankly if the core of Ant is good, I'd rather not write
> *any* of the
> tasks if I could get away with it. I'd just want them to follow some
> conventions. :)
> And would O'Reilly want a book about AntEater that wasn't Ant.
> Who knows. It
> would be a hell of a sell job.

indeed :-)

> BTW. There is a chapter in the outline for external tasks. I don't see how
> that would put me in an interesting position. From an authorship
> perspective, I think that it's important that Ant act they way it
> should --
> and it doesn't matter how it's coded as long as it works.

So, is AntEater a foregone conclusion? You have a vision and it seems to
have primacy because you came up with the original concept of Ant. I don't
know why we are futzing around then. Lets just have AntEater and make the
best of it. If I don't like it, I can always get forked :-)

See ya.

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