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Re: Efforts to attract more users?

From: Stephen J. Turnbull
Subject: Re: Efforts to attract more users?
Date: Mon, 12 Jul 2010 16:43:38 +0900

Juanma Barranquero writes:

 > Well, there were a couple times when I was in contact with him (I
 > mean, I was really trying to help him get some code into Emacs),

I don't know what it feels like to mentor Lennart, personally.  I do
know what it feels like to try to get code into Emacs, *and I won't
try it again*.  I'm an extreme case for several reasons, there are
*plenty* of people willing to jump through the hoops (and I'm not
talking about "papers").  But I bet there is also a fair amount of
good code sitting around out there that people are unwilling to
contribute because of the scutwork and bikeshedding entailed in
getting anything into Emacs, and which experienced developers could
whip into shape quite quickly if they just took the code and said "it
will be our pleasure".

 > I cannot argue that what you said has not happened, because I sure am
 > not going to go re-reading all these old threads. But certainly
 > there's been more than a few times when nobody said "can't work", more
 > like "please do the work", only to hear back "oh, that's a lot of time
 > I don't have right now, just do it yourself". Followed by complains
 > later on when nobody took on the invitation (which is what really irks
 > me; I can understand he not wanting to do it, but not his complaining
 > about others not doing it for him).

And if it turns out to be good code, it's cheap at ten times the price
-- it took me ten years to learn to swallow my pride, and the
investment was paid back in less than one in third-party contribs that
got into mainline faster :-).  If it turns out to be bad code upon
review and attempted fix, you tell him so.  If bad code happens twice,
you tell him he'll have to find another mentor/channel to the
mainline.  IME it's well worth it.

 > > I think in this case the proposed change is such an obvious
 > > winner that it's only Emacs-side stubbornness that prevents it
 > > from being implemented.
 > Really? Is just that? How nice that you can so fully understand
 > people's motives (and minds) to know that's the only thing that's
 > happened.

Read what I wrote.  Nothing about intentions.  Only that this change
(having a single program, named either "emacs" or "emacsclient", that
if needed automatically starts an emacs daemon, and then connects to
it) is a big win IMO, one that I've wanted for <buup>Emacs for a long
time.[1]  I can understand Richard or Miles or other non-Windows-user
brushing it off; I don't understand you or Eli being willing to let
this one go without at least trying to beat it into shape yourself,
given that Lennart is probably not going to get it into Emacs himself
(based on past experience, without assigning fault).

All I'm saying is that sometimes it's worth doing the work yourself.

[1]  We of course actually do have a kludgy half-baked functionality,
both on Windows and on *nix, but it doesn't make either traditional
users or Windows/CUA types happy.

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