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Re: [Orgmode] Re: Org-mode development

From: Bastien
Subject: Re: [Orgmode] Re: Org-mode development
Date: Sat, 29 Dec 2007 13:11:22 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.110007 (No Gnus v0.7) Emacs/23.0.0 (gnu/linux)

Hi David,

David Smith <address@hidden> writes:

> I couldn't wait any longer so I went ahead and set up a mercurial repository 
> starting with the current 5.17a. I would have liked to have imported older 
> history but it was a lot of work so hopefully Carsten can just send them to 
> me and put them in later.
> The repository is available at http://hg.bosabosa.org/orgmode/

Thanks for setting this up.

I think this is a good idea, but my idea of why this is a good idea
might slightly differ from yours.

This is a good idea insofar that it provides a place where people can
experiment with Org code freely.  But I'm a bit skeptical over whether
this will really fit Org's development constraints -- of course, only
Carsten can decide on this.

The Linus/Carsten parallel is limited.  The Linux kernel is really
self-contained, while Org is part of Emacs.  This makes a difference.
Letting code sneaking in Org is not only a matter of having FSF papers
signed, but also of making sure that the code fits with general Emacs
conventions.  This require special attention, and such attention might
be easier to provide in a somewhat centralized development framework.

> Carsten brought up the very good issue that any patches that get into
> the official branch need to have copyright assigned to the FSF. 
> This is easy to handle: there will be a separate repository managed by
> either Carsten or, if he doesn't want to, by me for merging patches
> once they have FSF copyright assignment.

This is a trade-off.  With a repository you need to spend time checking
about legal issues and - as I pointed out above - about "Emacs-ability"
of the patches.  My feeling is that there will be too much energy spent
on coordination here -- and I guess Carsten prefers coding.

 Note: Linus said that git spares you the cost of coordination, but he's
 really speaking about something very specific: coordinating people thru
 git vs. coordinating them thru cvs (i.e. handling branches with git
 vs. handling branches with cvs.)

Again: having an external repo is a great way to experiment with code.
And no matter whether Org is developed thru it or not, you can always
manage the repo and submit interesting patches to the mailing list.

> Carsten's role of shaping and filtering features sounds exactly like
> Linus's role in Linux and so this development model should work well
> and scale better then what we've done in the past.

I think the current development model works okay -- until Carsten feels
to much pressure and doesn't want to cope with it anymore :)

The area where we need to "scale better" is that of providing tutorials,
screencasts, FAQs, etc.  That fact that Org attracts lots of agile geeks
shouldn't let us forget about this aspect... and I believe this is where
a decentralized development model would *really* help.

> Hopefully, ease-of-use won't be a problem with mercurial.

(I've never worked with mercurial yet, but I know git a bit and I think
the switch is not a sweat.)

> I'll be putting my personal patches there for things like trac bugs
> integration, ical import, taskjuggler export, html export
> improvements, and css and javascript for the exported html pages.

Great!  I'll be checking your repo and see whether I can contribute.
But the example you give confirms that the repo is more a place where to
put Org-related code rather than a place where to develop Org itself.
For example, I guess add-ons about javascript for the exported HTML
pages can't live in Emacs...  but will be helpful for some people.

> Hopefully others will fork mercurial repos as well, and send patches
> around.

Thanks for bringing this up again!  
Hopefully my points are not too dim :)


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