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RE: [WML 1.6.7] boot.wml patch


As far as the cathedral vs. bazaar development is concerned, I feel that the
bazaar development would not work for WML 2.0. As Ralf as pointed out, the
main problem with WML is that it is slow, which is caused by all of the text
parsing happening in the multiple passes. (This is further exacerbated by
the inefficient methods used to read the files in and out.)

I have a vision for a WML 2.0 where it does all the text parsing, then goes
munging on an internal tree to do all of the substitution, perl execution,
slicing, data redirection, etc. I do think that a development of a new
version (WML 2.0 alpha) should be centralized in one or a few people. Once
the alpha is out others could get the code, submit patches, etc. But there
has to be a "core" new development group.

I'd love to be involved in the core development of WML 2.0. It sounds like
fun hacking, but I have no free time. No one else has stepped up to the
plate to work on development of new WML and maintaining the current WML
(which is basically blessing patches and integrating them.) Perhaps we are
all happy with the current version enough to not spend the time needed. Ralf
is right, WML is stable and usable.

I am much relieved that Ralf is still there and is planning to spend some
time on WML eventually. I was just quite concerned when I had not heard
_anything_ from him. I am also thankful for the work Ralf is done on the
Apache projects, as an Apache user who will end up using his mod_ssl soon.

 - David Harris
   Principal Engineer, DRH Internet Services

-----Original Message-----
From:	owner-sw-wml@engelschall.com [mailto:owner-sw-wml@engelschall.com] On
Behalf Of Jim Hebert
Sent:	Thursday, October 29, 1998 9:25 AM
To:	sw-wml@engelschall.com
Cc:	Marc Baudoin
Subject:	Re: [WML 1.6.7] boot.wml patch

On Thu, 29 Oct 1998, Ralf S. Engelschall wrote:

> > Can you please consider including a modified boot.wml file to
> > the next WML distribution?
> Sure. There are already a few patches available. These days I'm busy with
> releasing mod_ssl 2.1b but then I'll try to find a little time to assemble
> WML 1.6.8 for us. And I'll include your patch, too. Thanks for your

or better yet, someone else can collect up the availible patches and start
a "WML 1.6.8xxpre1" where xx might be the person's initials. This is
inspired by linux, where alan cox has pre-patches that he works on, but
they aren't necessarily going to be blessed and placed into the next
kernel. This would be the same way: Ralf could provide some minimal
guidance to things but other people could do the maintaining via
patchkits. Patches and alread-patched source tarballs can be made
availible on the person's web page, etc. When Ralf gets some time free,
and see's that we're at 1.n.nxxpre6 or something and decides the stuff
that was added in pre1 and pre2 has now been tweaked out and is ready for
prime time, he can wave the wand and release a 1.n.n+1, which might be a
carbon copy of pre6 or it might be just SOME of the patches involved...
Maintaining a good set of patches so that Ralf can pick and choose which
mods should make it into the next stable release is important, especialy
because Ralf may make changes in his own wml-current tree and will need a
good patch to be able to apply cleanly over potentially altered sources.

Some of the posts in the last few days have been very "cathedral" centric,
and I'm hoping to talk y'all out of that into a more bazaar-like model
where the development effort doesn't have to flow through Ralf all the
time. (www.opensource.org might have pointers to the paper regarding this
distinction) So if you've got a suggestion, post it, but addressed to
everyone who might be able to code it, not just Ralf. And if you've got
code, don't be shy, post a pointer to it, or if it's short, just post it!
Learn to use patch if you haven't already, to post patches of existing wml
sources, and so forth. Or post to the list if you're hvaing trouble making
a patch: some one will hel you.

And if you've got a suggestion but no code, give serious thought to diving
in and writing some. You might think "hey, who the hell am I? I can't
possibly be the right person to code this idea" but people like you garner
up the courage to do some hacking and come up with something. Even if you
don't get it to work right, sometimes half-baked code that is in the
direction of what you want will do MUCH more to spark other hackers to
work on coding that feature with you than a simple suggestion posted to
the list, and you'll usually end up smarter at the end of the day because
people will so often spend gobs of time helping you learn.

Go forth and hack on it! =)

who hasn't even used wml for many months, and is embroiled in a bazaar
free software project of his own.

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Website META Language (WML)                www.engelschall.com/sw/wml/
Official Support Mailing List                   sw-wml@engelschall.com
Automated List Manager                       majordomo@engelschall.com