Re: New Maintainer for MC Project

From - Thu Jun  2 20:53:04 2005
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Subject: Re: A new day for MC?
From: Pavel Roskin < proski gnu org>
To: Fudoki <fudoki bellsouth net>
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Date: Thu, 02 Jun 2005 19:07:31 -0400
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Hi, Terry!

On Thu, 2005-06-02 at 10:42 -0400, Fudoki wrote:
> Greetings Pavel!
> Thanks for the kind and prompt reply.
> Many of the technical issues you raise have been things we have
> discussed. As one would expect, you have some great ideas. I'm glad
> you have come to realize that great developers often have little
> patience for the trivia of Project Management. I have done both jobs,
> but *never* at the same time! ;>)
> When I manage a project, I don't write code, beyond fixing an occasional
> typo, or commenting code.
> Rafi and Shie (our leaders, and Lead Developers at Zend, The PHP Company
> in their "day jobs") were insistent that we wait until you gave your
> blessing before posting an open message on the MC Forums. As
> Maintainers themselves, they wanted everything we did to be 100% true to
> the "Open Source way". Thanks for giving me the "go ahead" on this.

You definitely have my "go ahead".

> I have two concerns about how to proceed, and perhaps you can give me
> the benefit of your years of experience with the MC Project. They are:
> 1) The professional and family responsibilities you have being fully
> understood and appreciated, I want you to know that whatever happens
> your input and ideas are considered valuable. I understand the concerns
> you raise, and respect them, but want to be clear that just because you
> have had trouble dealing with the nuisance and time drain a Maintainer
> has thrown at him, that does not take away from your talent as a
> developer, in fact it just proves it. Programmers just don't deal with
> trivial nonsense very well - it's just a fact.

Exactly. Thank you for your support.

In fact, I stopped contributing much to the project after I was accused
in January 2003 that I ignore the discussion (which ended up as a
flamewar), while I was actually doing my best to keep track of it while
on vacation in Russia.

As soon as people expect me to participate in every flamewar nad have an
opinion on everything, it just stops to be fun.

> I want you to know that
> I value your advice and ideas as a programmer, and time permitting,
> welcome these. My guess is that once freed of the misery of having to
> be a Maintainer, you might just have some really good ideas for new
> functionality, and if you do, I would like to know. OK?

It's hard for me to promise, but I'll be glad to participate if I can.

> 2) You mentioned "the developers from the old project who don't want to
> repeat old design flaws". Could you give me some insight, privately, on
> which developers in the current MC Project are forward thinking,
> innovative, and adaptable? (On the next item, I understand if you
> prefer to pass.) If there are developer(s) who are an overall impediment
> to the Project, it would be great to know this too. Sometimes
> programmers will become attached to old ways, or don't want to change
> because they don't want to give up being "the expert". This is what I
> see "between the lines" here. If you could give me some guidance on who
> might be suffering from this problem it will help us greatly....

Those who are really annoying have a short attention span and leave once
they see that they are ignored. Those are usually "single-issue"
developers with one patch they desperately want applied. I haven't seen
them much in the last months, but they can resurface.

As for helpers, they all are constrained by the fragility of the
existing code. They could act differently when working on the new code.
Some are learning good manners now, but please judge them by their code
and their ability to understand, not by their manners.

I have a feeling that the best programmers will join the project from
the beginning, while the detractors will only argue until the new code
works, when they start posting trivial patches ( e.g. Pascal comments
should be green, not brown).

> We all have a great deal of respect for you as a Programmer. Your work
> speaks for itself. Please know that we want to assure that MC
> prospers. MC comes up on my computer automatically on startup. It's
> just a necessary part of my work environment! Whether as MC, or as a
> new project, remains to be seen. The initial plan was to rebuild the
> development team, and strip them of all jobs but developing a new
> version of MC - the right way. Start with a "clean sheet of paper". A
> version that is visually and functionally almost identical (it's a
> proven good design, and people like it, I like it!), but that is newly
> redesigned "under the hood", modular, extensible, and written using
> modern techniques and tools that allow multi-tasking, plug-ins, and
> other features that were just not around when MC was written. This will
> also speed and ease the development, and maintenance, process.

I agree.

> Any suggestions, "inside information", or advice you could offer will be
> appreciated and will be kept confidential. Open Source does not mean we
> cannot have a personal conversation about something we are both
> interested in seeing succeed!
> Again, thanks! I'll be sure to keep you up to date on developments, and
> hope you do the same.

OK, I look forward to hearing from you and your team.

Pavel Roskin

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