Re: [Evolution] a challenge to the developers

On Mon, 2009-11-16 at 11:56 -0500, Matthew Barnes wrote: 

I would say that we are struggling in terms of manpower.

Yes, that's sad, but a reality of our current economic (and probably
other) situation(s).

Certainly in answer to such a problem I am not advocating that the
people left work more or any such thing.  Just that when manpower is
being diminished that it not be at the cost of stability.

When upper management sees a need to reduce manpower, they must also be
enlightened to the fact that that will cost in terms of feature advances
and that it's not a viable long, or even medium term solution to simply
shift all development to enhancements and leave behind the maintenance.

Thanks to
layoffs and personnel turnover within Novell, the development team is
now smaller than it's ever been.

You do have my sympathies.

As for bugs, we've been doing a better job this cycle at identifying
important bugs and focusing resources on them.

That is very good news.  Indeed, I have gotten more attention from Milan
lately and that is greatly appreciated.  He has just given me a new
patch for me to roll into my 2.28.1 so that hopefully I can provide more
detailed information about a particular bug which should hopefully help
him smash it.

Akhil Laddha, our
resident bug master, has begun collecting critical issues for us to
review in our weekly IRC meetings.


Bonobo was one of them.  
It also happened to fix over 60 bugs, but that was
mostly a side-effect.

But an incredibly good side-effect none-the-less.  This is incredibly
good news!

The next deeply rooted issue to address, in my view, is our overuse of

Hrm.  Given that a lot of the bugs I file tend to look like deadlocks
between threads, perhaps this is a good thing.

Threads are a poor mechanism for concurrent I/O.  They're
wildly non-deterministic and are constantly working against you to cause
data corruption and deadlocks.

Yeah.  What he said.

Evolution -loves- threads.  We use them everywhere.  And honestly, I
think a lot of the networking, deadlock and overall stability issues
both now and over the years can be traced back to this.

I cannot disagree with this.

For those familiar with GNOME's development platform, GNOME finally has
a decent library for disk and networking I/O in GIO [2].


Evolution needs to embrace this approach from top to bottom, but that
will mean redesigning a lot of our core libraries.  And that, like the
Bonobo removal, is going to be another major project.


But I'm convinced
it will put us in a much stronger position going forward, and will
probably solve a lot of the deadlock and data corruption issues being

It is great to hear that such grand plans are being considered for the
over stability.

This is a long-term vision.  We'll continue fixing the symptoms that
users report, but we also need to treat the disease that's at the heart
of these bugs if Evolution is ever going to turn its reputation around.

Agreed completely.

I want to say, Matthew's post was an incredibly good read.  I am glad to
read that the big picture is being looked at but that the details are
not being forgotten.  I can only look forward to when all of this
finally means more stability.


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