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Re: [Chicken-users] Visual Studio is here

From: Peter Bex
Subject: Re: [Chicken-users] Visual Studio is here
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2014 10:44:51 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/

On Sat, Nov 22, 2014 at 11:42:29PM +0300, Oleg Kolosov wrote:
> Well, merging back into the core will make me happy, but, before that, I plan 
> to actually implement the aforementioned features. Right now I have only 
> barely working prototypes. You, as an upstream, have strong policies and 
> obligations (like maintaining backward compatibility and such) which will 
> slow me down. I prefer to rapidly change everything without discussions. So, 
> it looks like this will be a real fork for the time being.

Please remember that we've actually decided to _break_ backwards
compatibility for CHICKEN 5.  If there's any time to contribute large
changes to core, it's now!

Of course we'll still want to review changes, but this is to ensure
quality and avoid introducing bugs, as well as to ensure that more
people are familiar with the new code.  At least two core developers
will have looked at the code, which means we reduce the "bus factor"
(i.e., what would happen if one core dev would be hit by a bus?).
Everyone benefits from this:  Suppose you lose interest in CHICKEN
or something was to happen to you, who will maintain your changes
if nobody has seen and understood them in detail?

> The development is completely public, on github, and I don’t mind breaking 
> things, maybe this will encourage people who does not want to bother with 
> patches and mailing lists to contribute.

We already have a manpower problem, with not enough people contributing.
Diluting this manpower across two projects is wasteful and hurts *both*

But more importantly, I'd really hate to see all your work go to waste.
I've seen it before, and done it myself even: if you just go off on your
own and hack, merging back the work is going to be Very Hard.  If you
just send a huge patch bomb to the mailinglist, that will make it
impossible for us to merge it back, not only due to the inevitable merge
conflicts but also because too large patches are hard to digest.

Evntually, CHICKEN 5 may evolve beyond the ability to merge back changes
into your branch.  The same will happen vice versa.  This will ensure
people will need to choose between your branch or ours, which is unfair
and unnecessary.

> The test suite still passes and I have complex production system (thread 
> heavy and performance sensitive) which still runs, so I hope the real 
> breakage will not go unnoticed.     

How many platforms are you testing on?  We have an extensive continuous
integration system (Salmonella), which tests on several platforms.
Writing portable code is hard enough as it is, without this safety net
you're almost guaranteed to break a thing or two without knowing it.


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