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From Leo Simons <>
Subject [RT] href considered harmful
Date Tue, 23 Mar 2004 19:04:44 GMT
Fellow gump project members,

the whole build breaking last night because some lameass sourceforge 
developer doesn't know how to write gump descriptors (even if it was me) 
annoys the hell out of me. It should not be possible. The basic cause 
for that happening was the use of the 'href' attribute to link to remote 
descriptors accessed via webcvs.

Having descriptors live in avalon and cocoon cvses has proven to be a 
bad idea as well -- its just annoying for people working on gump to not 
be able to go in and change things, especially when the people with 
access to the repositories of those projects are doing a bad time 
maintaining the descriptors (even if it was me).

Having descriptors live elsewhere also makes oversight more difficult. 
What if some developer changes a descriptor overnight to have him mail 
himself (for example) the contents of /etc/groups? It's not like we'll 
be able to ever consider a machine which runs gump as secure, but having 
all descriptors in one place (under version control) does help a lot, 
and also makes it easier to see who screwed something up.

The support for the 'href' attribute complicates an already complex 
codebase and slows gump runs down because viewcvs (which is usually used 
for this) is often quite slow. This becomes more of an issue when 
turning gump into an always on webapp, where we probably want to keep 
the GOM in memory or at least in compiled form for good user response.

Descriptors living elsewhere has proven to be confusing for users, and 
it has led to duplicate project descriptors on more than one occassion.

With several anoncvs servers (notoriously sourceforge, but its not the 
only one) lagging behind the work of the developer, having the 
descriptors accessed over anoncvs slows the work of developers down by 
heaps when writing or debugging descriptors. Especially because one has 
to wait for the server before being able to 'ant verify'. This leads to 
a model of commit-then-verify, which is plain wrong.

Gump is a social experiment, and this part of the experiment has shown 
to be a negative and annoying factor. I feel that my own recent 
experiences with jicarilla are an excellent example: even with an active 
and experienced member of the core gump group trying to actively 
maintain gump descriptors in sourceforge cvs, things break and the 
workflow is nothing short of a nightmare.

I suggest we move to strike and loudly proclaim descriptors not living 
in gump CVS as harmful. Their use needs to be *strongly* discouraged 
from now on. Who's with me?


- Leo Simons

(PS: I love writing like this every now and's a writing 
exercise; don't take it /too/ seriously :D)

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