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From Dave Fisher <>
Subject Re: "I'd Really Like This Done By Friday"
Date Sat, 14 Feb 2015 19:50:21 GMT

On Feb 13, 2015, at 11:24 AM, Peter Kelly wrote:

>> On 14 Feb 2015, at 1:42 am, Dennis E. Hamilton <> wrote:
>>  One important lesson in my career is to not assume what is easy and
>>  hard for others, especially when it mainly exists as a mental
>>  edifice in the mind of the supposer.
> This is very true. In fact those who are intimately familiar with a given codebase are
generally the people least able to make such a judgement.
> It’s always difficult for someone who knows an entire codebase to figure out how to
document and arrange tasks to be done, due to being “too close”, so to speak, to the code.
I’ve gone through the exact same problem in my current day job - in which I’ve come onto
a project written by a single person, with very little documentation. Over a period of several
months, working closely with the original developer, I’ve come to gain a solid understanding
of most (but not all) of the codebase.
> Questions, exploration, trying things out, getting stuck, and more questions is what
I found to be the only effective way. As Jan mentioned, documentation can only go far, and
there’s a learning process involved.
> Tell me what information you need, and I’ll give it to you. I’m here to help.

Very true. Some time ago you answered my questions about the architecture. Although I am very
busy, sooner or later I will engage the build and then I can see where to apply my programming
or architecture skills.

Let's test my memory - the underlying architecture conceptually simple enough in no particular

HTML editing - HTML editing with JS
HTML presentation / common layer - HTML rendering with CSS
DocFormats structure core library
	input document in a particular mime-type
	output document in a particular mime-type
	update document in a particular mime-type
	filters to support mime-type selection.

If this is correct then I think there is enough to help potential contributors find out how
to scratch their particular itch. We don't even need to elaborate the skills needed a reasonable
rough description should be enough.


> —
> Dr Peter M. Kelly
> PGP key: <>
> (fingerprint 5435 6718 59F0 DD1F BFA0 5E46 2523 BAA1 44AE 2966)

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