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Re: What a modern collaboration toolkit looks like

From: Eric S. Raymond
Subject: Re: What a modern collaboration toolkit looks like
Date: Tue, 1 Jan 2008 17:49:40 -0500
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.15+20070412 (2007-04-11)

Alan Mackenzie <address@hidden>:
>                    Emacs DOES need new features (refactoring, better
> browsing, etc.), but those are rarely obvious to the new people we need.

I think more direct interaction between the users and the developer community
might help with this. On the Wesnoth project, most of our new devs are 
people who have been lurking on #wesnoth-dev for a while before they
send their first patch.  So they've been listening to the developers
talk among themselves about what needs done.

A public bugtracker will help here, too.  Another common entry path is
for someone who might want to get more involved to pick a feature
request, do it, and send a patch to the dev list.

> It's more of a long term problem, in that the number of Emacs users might
> be gradually declining.  I'm only guessing here though, I don't know.

I have no data on this, just an uneasy gut feeling.
> HEY, THAT'S NOT FAIR!!!!  You've distorted my post by selective deletion.
> When I said CVS was good, I qualified clearly what I meant by reference
> to hammers, nails and screws.

Er....I was not the only person to read your note as fairly unqualified
praise of CVS.  But never mind.

> OK, here's where you need to persuade me (?us).  There have been lots of
> bugs in CC Mode where I've had to dig myself in without distractions for
> hours at a time, sometimes days, to resolve; bits of Emacs are like that
> - some hackers are like this.  I've been able to emerge and engage in the
> mailing list.  I don't think I could do this with a rapid-fire IRC
> instead of email.  Richard has said he couldn't spare the time for this
> style of hacking.  I believe him.

I don't experience any difficulty digging in like this.  When you need to,
you tell your IRC client "/away" and it announces to the channel that you
are away from keyboard.  When you're ready to surface, skim the IRC scroll
buffer and type "/back".

If your experience is like mine, you'll find you start being able to
glance at the chatter occasionally without breaking your flow, the
same way you can sort of half-consciously monitor quiet speech around
you without breaking conversation until you hear something that tells
you you need to pay attention.

> A web browser is for browsing the web, and is pretty cruddy for anything
> else.  For email you'd use mutt, for documentation C-h i, for usenet tin
> or slrn, and so on.  Surely there's a purpose built tty client for IRC.

Oh, yes, sure. Boatloads of them.  ircii is one of the best known.
                <a href="http://www.catb.org/~esr/";>Eric S. Raymond</a>

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