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From Ross Gardler <>
Subject Re: [RT] Accepting and managing Skin Packages
Date Thu, 02 Jun 2005 09:08:46 GMT
David Crossley wrote:
> 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.

Hmmm, I was setting the reply-to header thinking that this would 
override the users mailing list reply-to. However, you are right, this 
is not the case. I'll change my method for moving to the dev list.

> 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.

Because there are a number of options available and I am sure I missed 
some. Furthermore, with the move to views in 0.8 this "proposal" may be 
seen as a waste of time.


>>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 believe some will donate their skins if we ask them to, we haven't 
been asking, so shame on us (or me if you prefer, since I think this is 
important, I've been here since 0.5 and *I* haven't been asking ;-)

>>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.

Yes, in the case of this particular skin we can probably work the 
changes back into Pelt. However, could does not mean should. I would not 
propose doing that since it will take developer effort and, as you point 
out later in your reply, our developer effort should be on the 
forthcoming views. This particular skin is already working and looks 
great, so why not use it as-is (well with the removal or the committing 
back of changes to common).

Perhaps this point indicates we should just ask the author to make it 
available as a skin package for download. It's the simplest solution 
with the least developer effort.

>>2. We make all non-core skins available via a skins sub project within 
>>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 
>>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.

My intention was to have a lower barrier to entry for committers working 
on skins. These are the kinds of developers who will take an active 
interest in views.

It is possible to work on skins without knowing the internals of 
Forrest, this will also be true of views once we get time to assist 
Thorsten in finishing them off. As these developers become more familiar 
with Forrest as a whole they may eventually become full committers.

> 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.

OK, I thought that would be the case, so this is not an option.


>>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.

See above comment about 0.8 development. My hope is that we can get more 
people with a personal interest in the skinning/views aspect of Forrest 
to have a more direct involvement with Forrest. That is those who can 
achieve what they want in terms of functionality, but desire their own 
look and feel.

In other words I am hoping to attract people who can assist Thorsten. In 
the meantime there is nothing stopping us from extending the range of 
skins available through the skin packaging system. We have many users of 
0.6 and they will take some time to upgrade to 0.7 (yet to be released) 
and then 0.8 (which is when views are introduced).

I should have made the subject "attracting skins/views developers 
through skin-packages"

Thorsten, does this make any sense or am I going down a dead end here?


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