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Re: [Gnu-arch-users] is there demand for itla?

From: Ian Duggan
Subject: Re: [Gnu-arch-users] is there demand for itla?
Date: Sun, 16 Nov 2003 18:12:12 -0800
User-agent: KMail/1.5.3

On Sunday 16 November 2003 05:17 pm, Tom Lord wrote:
> I'm thinking that, in the context of itla, it would be more like a
> library of Scheme code to make it easier to rapidly write new
> high-level itla commands.

Ok. It's starting to shake out a bit, then. itla is an overarch runtime, and 
overarch is a library of best practices. Those are excellent targets to aim 

My only concern is whether the choice of guile will attract a large enough set 
of developers to make overarch grow quickly/be useable to a large population. 
I like scheme/lisp and all, but just not sure how many people out there can 
hack on it. You don't think it would be a limiting factor?

>       ~ my personal itches:  I would appreciate certain GUI
>       ~ my resource limitations: It _might_ be hella interesting to
>           It's not even close to an option, though.   I don't have the
>           disk space.   I don't have the bandwidth to the internet.
>           I don't have even a vague approximation of the smallest
>           modicum of financial security that would make it sane to go
>           down those paths.  Looking at my cash-on-hand (which is
>           really all that I have at this point) even the 1-3 months
>           estimate for itla looks like a pipe dream.
> It feels a bit to me like arch is at a phase transition point: either
> it gets recognized by some check-writers and gets some more
> substantial backing behind it, 

Hmm. This seems like a dim view, but maybe I misunderstand reality. I'm 
relatively new to the mailing list, but I've watched the project for 
sometime. Checked it out when it was just larch, but couldn't get my mind 
around it and was frightened by a shell script implementation. I have to say 
it looks magnitudes more attractive now, and I"m trying it out on some 

I looked into BitKeeper, Arch, Monotone, Darcs, Aegis, Subversion and a host 
of others. The first five seem the most promising. I dismissed the others for 
various reasons. Arch seems to have the most momentum, as judged by volume of 
mailing list posts, completeness of features, etc. Monotone and Darcs look 
similar on the surface. I haven't dug deeper.

If Arch truly is at a crossroads and attention/money is what will move it 
forward, then we should focus on these things. 

On the funding route, perhaps we should consider looking to for 
funding. I'm not sure what's involved in this but arch seems like a great 
candidate to me.

Attention means thinking of ways to increase the userbase of arch, and that 
usually means making the barrier to entry lower, a reduction of the number of 
reasons people dismiss arch when considering "what should I use for source 
control?' Things that would help that are:

1) itla -- this will get you command line ease. A good first step.

2) Windows port. This is a big one. I, for one, would like to use arch for 
website development. I can't do this if my designer friends who use windows/
mac can't interact. Maybe a web interface could help out, but a windows port 
would increase your potential userbase by ratio of linux only users to 
windows only users. I think this is big.

3) GUI -- This goes along with my designer pals, but also for those developers 
who end up being on a team, but aren't the command line types. This is 
another large segment.

I think that going after the largest chunks of the pie first is a good idea.

> or it just kind of trails off into
> history until, 3-5 years from now, whoever is working on svn reinvents
> it.

Well, I don't think there's any danger of SVN reinventing it. They'd have to 
start over with a different approach methinks. I don't see how you could 
transistion from a centralized repository approach to a distributed model. 
You just end up with something like Clearcase which with replicated 
repositories instead. But I get your point.

> As for apache-style voting: nah.  We aren't quite there yet.  The arch
> community is too small and there are some loud voices who don't quite
> have the arch vision.  It would, I strongly suspect, go widly awry.

What exactly is the "arch vision" and how are people missing it? This could be 
an excellent way to take advantage of this distributed model, with you laying 
out the vision, and contributors filling in the blanks.

-- Ian

Ian Duggan    address@hidden                    

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