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From "Peter B. West" <pbw...@tpg.com.au>
Subject Re: ANN: FOray
Date Tue, 18 May 2004 03:59:20 GMT
N.B.  CC'd to general@xml.apache.org follow-up to fop-dev

Victor Mote wrote:
> Dear FOP Developers:
> After considering a return to FOP development, and briefly discussing the
> pros and cons with those whom I consider to be the FOP development leaders,
> I have decided to partially fork FOP into a sourceforge project called
> FOray:
> http://foray.sourceforge.net/
> The main reason for this is that, at the moment anyway, my development goals
> are quite different from those of FOP's development team. It is likely that
> my return to FOP development would be a net disruption to the project, which
> is not my intent. Instead, my hope is that this vehicle will allow me to
> continue to get my real work done and still cooperate with the FOP
> development team.
> I hope that no one will think that I am recruiting here. I simply thought it
> would be rude for you to hear about this some other way. I wish you all
> success.

Without speculating at all about the reasons for Victor's decision, I 
can tell you that I have considered moving alt-design to SourceForge. 
The reasons are two-fold.  Firstly, and most importantly, there is the 
remote possibility of garnering some financial support for alt-design's 
development.  For those of you who may not yet know, SourceForge has 
implemented a means for donating to projects or specific developers. 
The attractions of this idea I need not comment on further.

My second reason was to clear the FOP waters by physically separating 
alt-design from HEAD development.  My approach to testing alt-design's 
layout is to use Java facilities as much as possible.  This will cause 
even further divergence from HEAD, at least initially.  Moving to 
SourceForge will clarify the development lines of FOP HEAD for those who 
are considering involvement in the project.

Such a move would, obviously, have little or no impact on the main 
project.  The situation with FOray is more complicated.  I don't know 
whether it is Victor's intention to fork from HEAD and continue the 
development along the lines he has previously discussed, or to attempt 
to integrate HEAD and the maintenance branch in some way.  In any case, 
what Victor is doing will closely parallel the HEAD development, and 
this, combined with the possibility of some financial support, has a 
great potential to de-stabilise FOP.  I'm not saying this as a criticism 
of Victor, but as a bald statement of the reality.

Many Apache projects seem to me to be wide open to this kind of 
de-stabilisation.  Those projects with a large contingent of paid 
developers will not be affected; those with few of no paid developers 
(e.g. FOP) will be.  I think the Board might better serve Apache by 
addressing this issue rather than some others on its current agenda.

Peter B. West <http://www.powerup.com.au/~pbwest/resume.html>

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