Re: midnight commander reloaded (?)

Thanks to everybody for the inputs. Please let me put it down in a few

* everyone admits midnight commander is anywhere but not close to
rapid development pace with new features being added rather than being
in a state where old code is maintained in a usable (compilable)
condition. I went through TODO and unfortunately have not found any
feature that would change my pesimistic point of view.

* Full code rewrite/audit would be nice but will certainly not happen
during one night. Moreover, nobody seems to be interested in this
* Patches are coming but often they are so badly coded they cannot be
included into the main source tree.

"Summer of Code"-like sponsorship would not probably work due to the
complexity of the task, limited time and resources. Ok, but they ar
e other ways of paying OSS developers. You have probably heard about
Novell bounties ( Project goals are
clearly stated together with the given conditions on how the code
would be like, the level of documentation and the actual reward. Do
you think this might work for
mc? Of course, nobody would accept Novell to pay it but I believe the
community would be able to gather some bread. As you may on Nove
ll bounties page it somewhat helped to encourage the developers
without none of them taking over the code maintenance.

The individuals would send money to the trusted organization made
around the mc developing community using paypal for instance, the
actual amount of reward for a specific feature would be always
publicly available and every developer would be able to jump on the
train. Please, yet again share your opinions.

Thank you, Joe

On 5/3/06, Pavel Tsekov <ptsekov gmx net> wrote:
> As from what I have read about the history of mc, the current
> development is somewhat cumberome. Namely since version 4.x.x the
> patches are becoming less transparent and it is still harder for a new
> feature to make it into the sources. I do not know if or how much is
> this true,  if the real problem is the active developer number or
> something else, but I somehow feel that in order to make mc going
> somewhere the sources must be rewritten from scratch.

I have been monitoring this list for quite a while and I see basically two
types of improvement requests for which patches are being submitted but not

1) Someone adds new functionality not present in MC.

2) Someone wants to change the exisiting behaviour of MC in a way which is
suitable mostly for himself

In both cases the patches are usually far from complete and not ready for
immediate inclusion into the source tree. The people submitting those
patches are not always willing to change their patches to follow the same
rules as the rest of the code. Such patches usually are forgotten as the
time passes.

As for rewriting MC from scratch - well, the code certainly ages and there
are some obscure things which can be improved. Maybe for some people a full
rewrite is justified - my opinion is that the code should be cleaned and
only a partial rewrite should be carried out.

> Midnight commander is still the only widely accepted filemanager for
> console but I see it becoming too old these days. And I am not the
> only one seeing this. Therefore I was thinking of the following:
> collect a decent sum of money from the linux users who share the same
> ideas as
>  me, make a competition of tenders based on the demo of the new
> manager, set detailed specifications (GPL license mandatory) on
> software after those are met the money will be paid. Simil
> ar to SoC except for that anyone (including companies) will be able to
> take part on it.
> What I would like to know is your opinion on the whole matter as I
> admit I may be all wrong here.

If there was an immediate need for a new Norton Commander like clone project
it would have happend already. As far as I can see there aren't multiple
competing projects in this niche. While arranging a competition and offering
a prize would draw attention I doubt it that in the long term it will
provide a better file manager. After all MC is a file manager and most of
the time it performs pretty well.

As for the Win32 port - I don't think there is an immediate need for a new
Win32 file manager i.e. native MC. After all MC works also on Win32 with the
help of Cygwin.

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