Re: Further Midnight Commander development

Hello Pavel,

First off, please let me to introduce myself. I am a user of mc from the
Russian-speaking community, yet I think my insight might be of use here.
We had a lengthy discussion with the “new” devs (as they were referred
to by Oswald) at mc conference jabber redhat-club org and I think that I
can more or less speak on their behalf. Another reason for this is the
language barrier. Everyone here knows English good enough to understand
comments in the code or maintain a friendly conversation, but sometimes
it's just to difficult to make the point clear... Especially when the
wording matters... So please let me explain you the situation as I see
it and hopefully we will get it all sorted out so we can work together
for a common goal which is to continue making mc even better than it is.

Throughout the past year they have been maintaining a private unofficial
set of patches for mc which they used to provide at . The reason why they were not posting their
changes to the list and were not trying to get it included in the
mainline mc comes down to pretty much the same reasoning which led Linux
distros maintainers to collect their own set of patches for mc (Redhat,
Mandriva etc.): the mailing list looked stale and they had an impression
that the project was abandoned, so maintaining a small set of patches
looked like a good idea. Another problem was the language barrier. We
have a small, but active Russian-speaking mc community and it was very
hard for us to actively participate in the mailing lists were the
primary language is English.

Nevertheless, it turned out that actually this idea was not as good as
it sounds. Maintaining an ever growing collection of patches (while some
of them require major rewrites of the internals for correct functioning)
became a real *pain*. Therefore they had two options:

1) Try to overcome the difficulties and integrate new work into the

2) Fork the project and continue to work on our own.

The latter idea was immediately dismissed, because although forking *is*
legal, we all think that this is the most unethical way of problem
solving. We feel that it should be considered only as the *really* last
resort. Also, we don't think that fragmenting our already small
community will help to progress with mc development.

Therefore, they decided to make a call to all the living souls on the
mailing list to stand up and help us making mc even better :-) Maybe it
was light on the details and they were overexcited by the challenge to
restore the pace of the development, but please assume good faith. They
certainly didn't want to “overthrow maintainership by waiting for the
right moment”, steal others work without proper attribution etc. They
assumed that active maintainers would respond to their call in the
timely manner (in fact they did get a response from Miguel, as you can
read from the archives) by explaining the reasons behind the lack of
updates (private, other projects, lack of interest etc.) and we will
work together to upgrade the development model so mc development can
actually progress.

Now having that said, I would like to sincerely apologize on behalf of
our community that this wasn't probably done in the correct way as you
mentioned. But what was done is done and I hope you can try understand
us just as we are trying to understand you.

If this is OK with you, I can go on explaining what happened behind the
scenes during the past few months as I see it and help you with the
communication if needed.

Hopefully we can discuss them together and come up with some sort of
compromise. We value your experience and large contributions to mc and
we would like to work together. And as a user, I'd like to see mc to
resurrect :-)
Sincerely yours,
Yury V. Zaytsev

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