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follow-up to report 22

From: Graham Percival
Subject: follow-up to report 22
Date: Thu, 4 Nov 2010 17:16:19 +0000
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.20 (2009-06-14)

This email is a follow-up to comments in:

I spent 5 minutes trying to post my latest reply, but the forum
software continually complained that I had used wrong words, tags,
or symbols, and thus it rejected my comment as spam.  I am posting
my reply here instead.

"debunk... [my] last comment" -- you do not believe that actions
have consequences?  Or you do not believe that I hope that you are
happy with them?  I believe both things.  I am not happy with
these consequences, but if you are happy, then at least this is
not a complete mess.

I have always wanted to release 2.14 as soon as possible.
However, there are two ways to interpret that phrase.  One way is
to shove it out the door regardless of the number of serious bugs.
I believe that many commercial software projects follow this
model.  The other way is to work on fixing the serious bugs, so
that the software can be released with no serious bugs.  That is
what I was doing.

I don't know who tells you that your time is not as valuable as my
time.  It is possible that you are misinterpreting my statements
that "I have used up X hours" -- I do not say that to suggest that
my X hours are more important than your X hours.  I am saying it
to remind myself that efficiency matters.  Time is a limited
resource; the best way to get stuff done is to "work smarter, not
harder".  That is especially relevant when programming -- it is
all too easy to spend literally four hours in disorganized
debugging, only to take a break, come back to problem with a clear
and logical approach, and fix it in 10 minutes.  Earlier this
year, I spent literally 6 full days doing nothing but working on
one problem.  When I finally consulted a physics professor and
spent 30 minutes explaining the problem, he said "oh, in that
equation [from a thesis], vc is not a variable; it's a constant.
Hmm... probably around 0.5?".  I went back to my computer, made
one change, and sure enough, the whole thing worked.  By engaging
in unproductive debugging and rewriting code, instead of seriously
attempting to understand the equations I was trying to implement,
I completely wasted almost one full week of my life.  By keeping
track of my time, I am constantly reminding myself to look for the
most efficient way of working.

Before discussing anything specific, I want to settle the abstract
question "should an OSS project have any kind of private mailing
list?".  You have two options:

1) Give an argument why they should not.  In particular, explain
why Kurt Fogel is wrong.  Explain how we should discuss giving
people git access in a public, archived forum.  Explain how we can
safely discuss unpatched security flaws in public.

2) Agree that an OSS project can, in theory, have a private
mailing list.  And apologize.

You have named me as "abnormal, unethical, and deceiving".  You
have stated that such a list is not "compatible with the openness,
transparency, mutual respect that any community-based project
requires."  You added "Any decent one, that is.", which presumably
means that you consider Debian, freebsd, svn, and lilypond to be
*indecent* projects.  You accused me of being ready to give
"-excuses- reasons", and that the "dear readers" would be ready to
judge me.  You continually mock me as a member of the "Cool Kids

You chose the most public venue we have to attack me.  I thought
we were working together on the Report; imagine my surprise when I
began reading this issue and found your "post-scriptum".  I
understand that you do not trust me; that is regrettable, but I do
not believe that this justifies your insults.

As I said before, I am proud of the work I have done for LilyPond.
When I make mistakes, I apologize for them and acknowledge my
error.  With the exception of actions which I apologized for, I
stand by everything I have done.

- Graham Percival

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