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From David Crossley <>
Subject Re: [RT] Accepting and managing Skin Packages
Date Thu, 02 Jun 2005 05:49:22 GMT
Ross Gardler wrote:
> I would love to see your skin made available (I too like it a great 
> deal). However, we need to discuss exactly how to accept this donation 
> over on the dev list (this mail is copied to the dev list and replies 
> will be sent there).

Could we please keep such discussions on the dev list.
The replies to the user list do not automatically come here.

Why have you called this thread a Random Thought? It sounds
like a proposal. Be aware that people often ignore RT threads
until they have time to investigate, whereas proposals need
the attention of committers.

> In the past Forrest has not wanted to accept new skins because we do not 
> have the resources to maintain them. Consequently, we added a 
> skin-packaging system that allowed people to develop skins and make them 
> available via an automatic download mechanism.

There were two reasons for not accepting new skins:
Need interested committers/developers to maintain them.
Concentrate our energy on developing one very useful skin.

> The hope was that we would be able to encourage people, such as 
> yourself, to make their skins available via a zip download from their 
> sites. The benefit would be more eyes on the skin and thus improvements 
> would be sent back to you.
> Unfortunately, we have not exploited this feature. Now is the time for 
> us to do so, and your skin can be the first example of that feature 
> (would you believe it was added in 0.5 and we still don't use it - shame 
> on us)

Steady on. No-one has bothered to contribute a skin
via the download mechanism. So there is no shame on us.

> I think Forrest should accept your skin package in one form or another, 
> the question is how, I see our options as:
> 1. Forrest accepts the skin and keeps it in SVN
> I am -0 on this. We need to would then be forced to maintain the skin 
> and ensure that it is "correct" in the sense of everything is done the 
> right way. I would prefer we only maintain the one skin in our core and 
> utilise the skin packaging system in order to add more skins.

Actually there is another option that comes before
all of these. We enhance Pelt skin to be able to address
these needs, hopefully with patches from the community.
We have tried to encourage this option, but few people
are interested.

I think it is the best option (apart from the views plugin).
We work as a community to develop one really good skin that
can address most needs and enables people to configure it.

> 2. We make all non-core skins available via a skins sub project within 
> Forrest
> In this instance we would create a new project for contributed skins. 
> Anyone donating a skin will automatically get commit access to this 
> sub-project (but not to Forrest itself).
> I am +1 for this if it is possible within the Apache Infrastructure. It 
> ensures that there will be at least one person with commit access with a 
> vested interest in maintaining the skin and in applying any contributed 
> patches.
> Does the way our SVN is set up allow this?

This option does not absolve us from needing to oversee
all the commits and collaborate to keep the skin maintained.

It is my opinion that the Forrest project is not yet ready
to cope with the extra work of overseeing people who are
not interested in the Forrest project itself.

As far as i know, the ASF is still geared towards having
full committers. This concept of partial committer i have
not heard of before, other than some discussions here at
Forrest when we were establishing our project guidelines
to be sure to enable that possibility in the future.

> 3. The skin author makes it available via a ZIP download using the 
> skin-package system
> I am +0 for this. I would prefer to see a solution that makes the skin 
> available through a version control mechanism to simplify patches. If 
> only a skin-package zip is provided it will make it difficult for people 
> to contribute to the skin.
> 4. The skin author donates the skin to an external Open Source project 
> and uses that projects CVS/SVN etc.
> This is kind of a half way house between option 2 and option 3. In the 
> past we tried to set-up a Sourceforge project for this, but it was 
> rejected as the project would not generate program code. I will offer 
> the Burrokeet project on SF since this uses Forrest at its core so the 
> housing of Forrest skins is appropriate within that project. I do not 
> have any problems adding skin contributors to that project to ensure 
> they have commit access. Of course, there may be other projects that are 
> appropriate.
> ---
> Whatever we do, we should encourage the use of skin packages and we 
> should extend the system to list "official" skins in the same way the 
> plugin system does, see 
> Comments, ideas?

I am very concerned that we told Thorsten that we had no time
to review the "views" plugin proposal, which i gather will
address many "skin" needs, yet we are finding time to revisit
the skins situation.


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