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Tim Kelly wrote:

You yourself suggested that perhaps Lua is completed.  Perhaps then Lua's core should examine the question of long-term existence.  In business, this is known as "succession plans," where there is clear documentation of what happens when key individuals leave.  The web page says they have to show usage of Lua as part of their justification.  What happens if their funding dries up or is slashed?  I assume Roberto has tenure, but what if his supply of grad students shrinks?  How far is Roberto from retirement, seeing how he's been doing this for fourteen years?Where is the structure that ensures up-to-date, patched source code is available?  Should an independent ( group offer a CVS with snapshots?

one of the oldest open source projects, tex (mentioned before), has a rather long tradition of user groups with journals, meetings, projects funded by them, repositories with associated standards for organizing files (we're talking 50.000-100.000 files per distribution), etc. etc.

it's quite interesting to observe that those worrying about continuity are not always the most eager to become a member of user groups and most user groups have lost and are are loosing institutional members; i've heard publisheres complain about how hard it is to get 'experienced tex programmers' but those same publishers went cheap on labor which had exactly the effect they feared ... no-one is going to sit in a building next door and wait forever to support the nasty cases, while the complainant goes cheap on the easy cases or expects all for free; of course there are also counter examples, where organizations realize pretty well that when then want expertise around, that they have to make sure one can make a living of it

the bottom line is: a repository or even organized support is no guarantee for the future; however, it increases visibility and that itself may be an argument in favor


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