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Re: [Gnu-arch-users] State of the Project

From: Tom Lord
Subject: Re: [Gnu-arch-users] State of the Project
Date: Sun, 19 Sep 2004 18:32:01 -0700 (PDT)

    > From: address@hidden (James Blackwell)

    > During this time, I flew out to speak with Tom and to try and
    > get him involved in arch again.  We discussed a variety of
    > issues but the two that stick with me best are that Tom told me
    > that he was burned out on arch and it was too much for him. So
    > we discussed someone else taking over arch.  Though Tom hoped
    > that somebody else would take over, he didn't think any of the
    > potential candidates was quite suitable.

How curious.  I recall inviting James (and several other developers
who, being overseas, were unable to accept) to a housewarming (well,
"apartmentwarming") party.  That happy event occured after a private
grant gave me enough cash to be able to afford to relocate to less
expensive (and much nicer!) digs.  (It's funny and annoying how
sometimes you need to be able to spend a bunch of money short-term in
order to save a lot of money longer-term.)  I was happy to extend my
hospitality to people who were, like James, being especially generous
and helpful to me and to the project.

At the time I was (and still am) quite enthusiastic about the
trajectory of the arch project over the next year or two.  I recall
encouraging James to start thinking about ways to fundraise to cover
his bandwidth and hardware costs.  I might even still have the notes I
jotted down about that as we spoke -- perhaps not.  I talked about
organizations that might be tapped for funding and legal structures
for organizations that might collect and administer such funding.   I
think we talked about the actual size of the costs involved.

I recall thinking around that time (and since) that arch, indeed, had
hit a kind of logical plateau.  That most of the short-term work
needed was fairly "low hanging fruit" that many people are qualified
for and interested in working on.  I certainly do not recall any
discussion of "someone else taking over" though perhaps he could
misconstrue something I said that way.  It was at least roughly around
this time that I first proposed "the Game" which evolved into the
voting system that's in the works.  Regardless of the system, it was
good and essential to distribute some of the tedious but important
work among more people than just me.  Lifeless/abentley made the first
stab with an integration branch.  James is making a second with --
whatever one would want to call his effort.  The voting system is I
think a good steady state to aim for.

I recall thinking (and still think) that the next round of major
development on arch really requires some more serious resources --
it's not something to be done haphazardly.  That is a problem I was
then and continue to work on, with increasingly good prospects of
success, afaict.

Meanwhile, without wishing to assign any motive to his message, I will
say that this one from James is pretty far detached from reality as I
know it.  People can conclude from that what they will.  Meanwhile, in
the short term, my intention is simply to review the release
candidate(s) and, if they are ok, turn them into releases of GNU arch.

(The current merge rate, over the past couple of days, judging only by
the email headers, suggests an absense of serious thought and review
and raises alarms for me in the sense that it makes me far more likely
to question the quality of the work being performed.)

These things happen.  They blow over one way or another over months,
not days.


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