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Re: Emacs vista build failures

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Emacs vista build failures
Date: Fri, 25 Jul 2008 18:08:05 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.0.60 (gnu/linux)

"Lennart Borgman (gmail)" <address@hidden> writes:

> David Kastrup wrote:
>>>>> Are you saying that my hacking on the Windows Emacs doesn't benefit
>>>>> others, including Emacs on other platforms?
>>>> You don't have time left for getting Emacs-Bidi to run on any platform,
>>>> right?  Now it is, of course, your choice what to spend your developer
>>>> time on, like it is everybody other's choice, too.
>>> Maybe the easiest way to give Eli more time for that is give good
>>> support for needed tools on w32?
>> That sounds suspiciously like "throwing good time after bad time", to
>> borrow a management term.  It really sounds like a bottomless pit: you
>> can throw more and more time that way, and the results will be more and
>> more tasks.
> I am surprised, David. Where are your arguments?

Huh?  Your proposal is that "maybe the easiest way" to give developers
diverted by w32 more time is by diverting more developers to w32 on more
general tasks.  And then probably those will get more time by diverting
even more developers on even broader w32 tasks.

That's not an argument.  It is an observation.  You suggest the easiest
way to invest less time on w32 is to invest more time.

And I don't buy it.  That's all.  Whether you think this is an argument
or not is not important to me.

>>> 2) The other reason I guess is important is attitude. If a lot of
>>> people with good reputation says that working on w32 is not that
>>> important then those with a more admiring mind might agree without
>>> really diving into the subject. That shows up in code quality later.
>> I don't see a problem.  If people spend the time on other things than
>> w32 support, then it is likely better invested.
> Why are you just guessing?

You wrote "I guess", not me.

>> Keeping this compatibility in mind means aiming for abstractions and
>> modularization and APIs which generate whole new subsystems and lots
>> of independent fragilities.  At each particular point of coding, the
>> compatibility costs may be tolerable.  But they add up.
> The Mozilla folks have done it.

And there has been no cost doing it?

>> So in addition to the time sink for the proprietary system developers
>> themselves, our compatibility layers add cruft complicating things
>> for everyone.  I am not convinced that this offsets the advantages.
> It is exactly this attitude I think is a problem. There is not only
> costs there are also benefits.

What about "offsets the advantages" did you not understand, except that
I got it backwards, namely that it should read "I am not convinced that
the advantages offset the complications"?

> As long as you do not consider the benefits your arguments are valid -
> and you will win the debate.  But that victory has a cost.

Huh?  This is not a competition.  It is also not an election or decision
forming process.  If arguments of mine are valid, there is neither a
necessity to shoot them down, nor is there one to shoot others down.

We are not in a process of choosing which direction we want to put
blinders on.

> What would it take to convince you?

There is nothing to be gained by convincing me.  In particular since:

>> Again: I am mostly talk and little work, and so I am hardly in a
>> position to admonish anybody.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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