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From Arved Sandstrom <Arved...@chebucto.ns.ca>
Subject Re: [spinnaker] Announce
Date Sat, 08 Jul 2000 22:31:25 GMT
At 02:46 PM 7/8/00 -0700, James Duncan Davidson wrote:
>on 7/8/00 12:22 AM, Andy Clark at andyc@apache.org wrote:
>
>> Is it possible that, in the future, we hear about submissions
>> to the tree *before* everyone goes home on Friday? I want us
>> all to work together on the future of the Xerces parser instead
>> of being surprised by a new source tree over a weekend.
>
><talking as an asf member>
>Pppht. This is open source, Apache style. People work whenever they work and
>that's the way this all works. Most Apache developers don't work on the main
>sources during the typcial M-F 8-4(local time) window. They work when they
>get time, or the muse is with them, or whatever. There are no limits, it's a
>24/7 shop and to be blunt, conformance with a corporate schedule isn't part
>of the mandate.

I agree. I'm pleased that this was expressed so bluntly. I have my real 
work, and that's usually M-F 8-5. My real work has a component of "using" 
XML, but it doesn't involve anything like Apache XML, in the sense of 
defining how the XML is processed at the fundamental level. I suspect most 
of us in open-source land fall into this group. What's this idea that 
*anything* I do has to appear before close of business on Friday? Hell, I 
_start_ working on FOP on the weekend. Let's keep in mind that most 
contributors to open-source actually have other real jobs.

>Secondly, you may ask why didn't we talk about this before we did it. We'll,
>I've never beleived in starting out too small. If you start out too small,
>you kind of get lost. If you start out strong, well, you can get momentum
>built. Just talking without setting up the code tree would have been, well,
>pointless. As developers we know code, we speak code.
>
I disagree. It's not quite "spot-on" to blindside people with stuff like 
this. Over on FOP we have no problems in letting people know about upcoming 
CVS branches and other developments.

On a very related issue, as "developers" we don't spend most of our time on 
code. When we communicate, we communicate with design documents. UML, 
IEEE-compliant design descriptions, yada yada. I personally don't want to 
receive a new source tree as the first deliverable. It doesn't express the 
requirements or design decisions; it only implements them. Leaving other 
collaborators out of that loop is tantamount to saying "you only need to 
validate what we decided to do".

As good developers, we know process, we speak process. Then we know 
requirements capture. Then we know design. Somewhere about 50% of the way in 
we know code. If everything else was OK we already know exactly what we have 
to write so we don't even dick around with the code too much, and move right 
on to testing.

I'm not trying to take the piss out of anyone here, as the British say. It's 
just that I've had a heightened level of sensitivity to all of this ever 
since I saw that Sun produced an XSL processor. Why did they have to bother, 
I ask? Were we actually lacking for decent XSLT implementations? I think 
not. It's not like Sun is well-known for producing the best implementations 
on the block - JSWDK is fair, and J2EE is lousy. Mind you, jaxp is pretty 
good, but again, why jaxp when you've already got other better stuff? So 
when I see this I see a big corporate entity starting to operate by fiat. 
And it raises my hackles.

Speaking for myself, since I'm the release coordinator for FOP, if I saw 
that some group came in out of the blue and launched an entire new source 
tree I'd be pretty fired up. On any open-source project there is at least 
the principle of coordination. You can commit new source without 
consultation if it doesn't impact existing API's; new branches are a cut 
above that and require some feedback.

Just my thoughts.

Arved Sandstrom

Senior Developer
e-plicity.com (www.e-plicity.com)
Halifax, Nova Scotia
"B2B Wireless in Canada's Ocean Playground"


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