Re: Maintenance question

Leonard den Ottolander wrote:
> Before handing over (some of) the responsibilities for the project maybe
> you could present us with an overview of the current state of affairs.

I support this request. I haven't been watching mc development closely
in the last year, mostly because I had a feeling that it was
stagnating. On the other hand, the rate of patches and even fork
attempts clearly indicates that there's still a lot of interest in the
program. So I think we should now attempt to aggressively revitalize
the project. At the first stage, this means making the project more
open and transparent. The current policies for patches, reviews,
commits, and granting developer access should be clearly stated,
discussed, amended if necessary, and written down somewhere on the web

Personally, I hope that these policies can be relaxed somewhat. People
who want to help must have an easy way to do so. For example, patches
should be reviewed, but it's really frustrating to wait for this
review forever. Besides, I think it's only core or security-related
patches that really need pre-commit review; for UI tweaks, much better
feedback can be received from users of the CVS version than from a
single reviewer, and it's also much faster for other developers to do
cvs update and test than to apply a patch. I also think that the
project must be more liberal in granting developer access, because
working via patches and not having up-to-the-minute CVS access is very

My own area of interest is the UI, and there's a lot of room for
improvement here. My 2-years-old patch in the tracker ("hotkeys in
hotlist") was never committed and has probably bitrotten by now. I
also had a number of other UI improvements in my tree, but I never
even submitted them as patches because that first patch was ignored. I
really hope the situation will change and I will be able to contribute

By the way, I am a developer for Inkscape (, and I
can't help noticing the similarities. Inkscape was forked half a year
ago from Sodipodi, because the developers were frustrated by not
having CVS access, long periods of stagnation, ignored patches, and
other unpleasant signs of a "too centralized" project. I don't want to
sound like boasting, but Inkscape has been a success. It now has a
MUCH more usable UI, lots of new features, important architectural
changes, and surprisingly, it's also more stable (rarely crashes,
unlike Sodipodi) despite having several times more developers with CVS
access. The openness of Inkscape has played out really well. Of course
mc is a different kind of project, but it would still benefit by
borrowing something from Inkscape's approach IMHO.

At the very least, we found that additional channels of communication
and collaboration, such as Wiki and Jabber/IRC channel, are very
useful in attracting new developers and helping them get familiar with
the codebase. Adding a news list to the front page of the site would
also be nice; developers usually first announce the important changes,
new features etc on the list, and from there a person posts them on
the web site periodically (see front page of Looks
like a small thing, but it's very important to for the project to look
alive and well. And of course, it's important to make releases more
often, so that a wider audience can test the new stuff. We could have
a stable release and a series of testing releases, so that those who
want stability would be able to stick with something that is well

I would appreciate everyone's thoughts on this.

[Date Prev][Date Next]   [Thread Prev][Thread Next]   [Thread Index] [Date Index] [Author Index]