cocoon-dev mailing list archives

Site index · List index
Message view « Date » · « Thread »
Top « Date » · « Thread »
From Ovidiu Predescu <>
Subject Re: Is there a problem?
Date Sat, 08 Mar 2003 05:06:58 GMT

On Friday, Mar 7, 2003, at 05:23 US/Pacific, Stefano Mazzocchi wrote:

> Ovidiu Predescu wrote:
>> Hi Chris,
>> I was really busy these past two weeks at office for a new launch, 
>> and didn't follow the discussions on the mailing list at all.
>> I quickly glanced at the messages: my gosh Pier, with all due 
>> respect, you are really nervous!! You do not seem to understand 
>> people are doing this for fun! If you want to critique something, 
>> please do so by being a bit more calm and behave more professionally.
> I'm sorry but I didn't see any lack of professionalism in his emails.

But Chris felt sufficiently aggressed to send out an email with his 
concerns. I find this is a good indication of the level of discussion 
on the public mailing list and what he felt about it.

>> Chris has done a lot of work on the Rhino engine for us, even before 
>> being involved in Cocoon. There's no reason to denigrate his work or 
>> to take his contribution lightly.
> With all due respect, Ovidiu, I don't see how polishing things out and 
> expressing one's opinion in the open can mean to 'denigrate' the work 
> of others.

Not when is done too aggressively. We managed to avoid flames on 
cocoon-dev so far and keep the discussions at the ideas level. Pier's 
messages crossed the certain threshold after which they become personal.

> Let's face it: the work on the flow engine has been, so far, a one man 
> show. Since we were in 'experimental mode', this was all great and 
> perfect but now that we are facing the burden of providing long-term 
> back-compatibility of the interfaces of the FOM, we *MUST* behave as a 
> community and treat the FOM just like we treat the sitemap semantics 
> or the cocoon component interfaces.

As with any other software, in the beginning was a one man show because 
nobody understood what was going on and how they can contribute. A 
while back people started to get it and able to contribute not only 
ideas, but code as well.

I don't argue about the topic changing the FOM, I argue about *how* the 
discussion around it was conducted by Pier. I don't believe the "F" 
word and the sanguine tone of his emails belong in such a discussion.

The current FOM model exists because of various needs myself and other 
users of the flow had over time. If people have other needs today, I 
don't see a problem changing them. Let's do it in courteous manner.

> When we designed the sitemap semantics, we spent 9 months discussing 
> publicly. The only public discussion about the flow was about the 
> sendPage* names. Nothing else was discussed.

Is that right? I remember a lot of discussion describing the 
architecture of the whole system and how the flow fits in it. I 
sincerely hope the sendPage* discussion is not the only thing you 
remember from the past 14 months of the flow discussions.

> Pier is calling a discussion because he believes that overall design 
> is not as clean as the rest of the cocoon system. I don't know if he's 
> right or not, but I agree that without visibility (read: docs) on the 
> FOM interfaces, it's really hard to know and people will *hack* their 
> way thru to do what they need.

Could you please point out how the design can be made more clean? If 
the design is indeed bad, let's redesign it. I don't think however the 
lack of documentation or Java objects exposed in JavaScripts as part of 
the FOM constitute bad design. I may be wrong, in which case I stand 
corrected: please produce a better design and implementation to replace 
the current one.

The documentation is clearly lacking, so let's write it.

>> He's throwing out ideas because he wants to spark people's interest 
>> and see what they can do with the flow. We're trying to work things 
>> out, not to fight with each other.
> Adding stuff to the FOM without a solid foundation is like building on 
> sand. I've already said that cocoon has been building on sand for a 
> while now but this was not understood because we are not releasing 
> thus we are not faced with the burden of back compatibility.

OK, no problem. Please explain why the current foundation is not solid.

Software evolves and designs also do. I don't have any problem somebody 
else producing a better design.

>> Lastly but not the least, for the flow work most of the developers 
>> involved used to work very well so far by having private discussions 
>> instead of spilling testosterone on the public mailing list.
> This comment *really* pisses me off. I was not aware of the fact that 
> most development discussions about the flow happened in private 
> discussions.
> this is against everything that Apache should be. This is not the way 
> cocoon has been built so far, and let me tell you, it shows. The flow 
> is plagued with one-man-show-ness and Pier is not spilling 
> testosterone but trying to build a development community around it.

Gosh, I don't see your point! What is a one-man-show, could you please 
explain? Chris implemented continuations in Rhino, I implemented 
support for his modified engine in Cocoon, Christian Haul added actions 
support in the flow, Sylvain provided excellent guidance and support in 
the sitemap support, Michael Melhem added continuation expiration 
support, Reinhard Pötz submitted patches to fix various things. 
Everybody built on somebody else's work and ideas. Everything that 
matters was discussed on the public mailing lists and the rest are 
details we solved between us.

Is there a problem? Please explain. I'm writing software for a long 
time and this is the first time I hear something like this.

>> I hope this will continue to happen, so we can maintain nice personal 
>> relationships.
> I hope this private mail attitude will *NOT* continue.

Sure, I cc-ed this to the public mailing list as well.

>> Many thanks,
>> Ovidiu
>> On Wednesday, Mar 5, 2003, at 11:31 US/Pacific, Christopher Oliver 
>> wrote:
>>> Hi Pier, Stefano
>>> Just checking. Do you have a problem with any of my actions w/r to 
>>> Cocoon. If so, please let me know. That was not my intention. My 
>>> intention was to help get the ball rolling again on Ovidiu's vision 
>>> for the flow. Maybe I've done enough and others can take it from 
>>> here. I expected that others would have contributed more a long time 
>>> ago - I sent Ovidiu the basic code to integrate with Velocity at 
>>> least six months ago, and I tried to encourage Ugo and others to 
>>> integrate with XMLForm. When I saw this wasn't happening and I had 
>>> the opportunity I took the initiative to start making these changes 
>>> myself. Since all of these were "first cuts" at solving these 
>>> problems, the changes aren't perfect (either in design or 
>>> implementation) and are going to need to evolve.
> I do not have any problems with your attitude, Chris, nor I have with 
> the way you write software or reply to email or behave as a person. 
> None whatsoever. Rather the opposite, I'm very glad that you came to 
> be involved with cocoon.
> on the other hand, I believe the flow needs a serious community 
> polishing, more than anything else.
> The flow needs *both* users and a development community around it. One 
> without the other will end up killing the idea and harm cocoon 
> entirely.
> How can we do this? provide Documentation, API docs and samples. Then 
> start a discussion on how the FOM should be or should be cleaned up. 
> it will take a while and won't be easy, but I'm willing to moderate 
> the discussions and build consensus around it.

And how do we achieve this? First stir up the developers a bit and then 
moderate the tensions created between them, right? Is this the proper 
way to do it?

>>> I'd also be happy to have an off-list discussion about flow design 
>>> so that we can understand each other better.
> I don't want off-list discussions. I want public discussions, i want 
> people to talk and let others know they are talking.
> Please, let's all start doing this and without FUD.
> We all want this technology to succeed, but we have different aims and 
> different needs: we need to find a public consensus and converge or 
> the flow will always look at the eyes of the cocoon developers like 
> "an external things that was added later but never really integrated 
> with the system".

I don't find this to be the case. Many people have done exactly this: 
integrate the flow with the rest of cocoon. Why do you want to give the 
impression it was otherwise?

> Hopefully this clears up the problem on the table.

Unfortunately, it doesn't. And I'm really sad to find out about your 
and Pier's thinking.

And what exactly is the discussion about? I'm confused now.


Ovidiu Predescu <> (I'm feeling lucky)

View raw message