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Re: grep project state

From: Julian Foad
Subject: Re: grep project state
Date: Thu, 06 Jul 2006 22:00:10 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.7.8) Gecko/20050511

Claudio Fontana wrote:
it has been a while since I've made some minor contributions
to grep, and I was wondering what the state of the grep project is.
I am currently helping Karl with some project maintainment
tasks, and I was worried about grep not having a release
in quite some time, even though one would be very much needed.

Hello Claudio. Sorry for the delay in replying. I hope you don't mind me making this public.

In my view, the state of the Grep project is that there are a lot of good fixes in CVS and we should release a version as soon as possible, partly because a lot of people would be glad to have those fixes, but more importantly because making a release would encourage more people to get involved and fix the remaining bugs.

There are some important bugs that have not been fixed in CVS, such as the very slow handling of UTF-8 data, and also several little bugs and several proposed enhancements, but I really think it is best to try to release the fixes that we have before working on more changes of any sort.

I think we (anybody who is listening) need to do whatever we can to help get the current code tested and released. We need the Maintainer's help with some steps, but we can do a lot on our own, like:

 * prepare a Change List (distilled from the ChangeLog and bug tracker)

 * decide whether to call it 2.5.3 or 2.6.0

 * make a Release Candidate package

 * submit the RC package to a translation team such as
     (We should first merge in the work that they have already done.)

 * review the changes (analyse them, check that they are documented, etc.)

 * test the changes

 * find out what else needs to be done to release an official GNU package

 * spread the word to find more people who can help

For example, once we have a Release Candidate, we should announce it on some very public place (such as SlashDot) to get help with testing it and then lots of people will be interested in getting it released officially.

I think we should do these things first, and then ask Stepan to help with the few things that only a Maintainer can do. I think he will be happy to help us if we do most of the work first.

I wish I could make some time to help with this. I mean to do so, and each time somebody like you writes to ask it makes me more interested in helping. (When nobody asks about it, I tend to forget about it.)

Vivat Grep!

- Julian

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