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- Subject: Re: Source code repository?
- From: David Favro <lua@...>
- Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2011 14:04:04 -0500
On 01/18/2011 12:10 PM, Jim Whitehead II wrote:
> I apologize if my response somehow suggested that the Lua authors were
> not interested in discussion regarding the language, the development
> of the language, and bugfixes in particular.
Your response did not directly say it; rather it was my inference that
authors who do not provide access to the current state of the code, or at
least a list of bugs of which they are aware, are not interested in outside
contributions. I have wasted too much of my life working on stale code: in
many cases I end up fixing a bug that had already been fixed, etc. Of
course sometimes this is inevitable, but deliberately avoiding providing the
latest version makes it far more likely and is a bit of a slap in the face
to potential contributors. I think that all of us can agree that our time
is limited and valuable, and we only have so many keystrokes to make before
we die. I try to respect others' time by not needlessly wasting it, and I
appreciate it when others show the same respect for mine. Please forgive me
if I seem sensitive on this issue, but it has happened much more than once.
As a coder, I often don't differentiate much between reporting a bug, and
fixing it. I try hard not to report bugs that I am not certain exist and
are well-defined (because I don't like _getting_ bug reports that aren't
well-defined), and very often this is most easily accomplished by examining
the code rather than "reverse engineering" what conditions produce the
errant behavior. This often means that most of the effort is expended in
finding and quantifying the problem while the fix may be just a simple
change to one line of code, so I am more likely to report a bug as its fix
than as a set of test cases... but in either case, whether producing a solid
description or fix of a bug -- one that doesn't waste the authors' time --
is a lot of work, and working with old code makes it likely that sometimes
that work, on the part of the reporter, will be wasted.
Not providing read-only access to the repo, or at least regular snapshots of
the latest code seems to me to show that lack of respect, and with what
advantage? The authors can still retain absolute power over the code -- it
will be released someday anyhow, what is lost by just letting others see it
now? Nothing in the comments to which you linked seems to offer an
explanation for this. It did say that "we can provide a current snapshot,"
but whatever 'provide' means, it's clearly not as available as just posting
it on the web. At the very least, why is there not, on the download page,
or especially the page where the link to the alpha-code is, a comment
saying, "email here to get the latest snapshot"?
At any rate, I will post the patch to the list this time.
> My response was somewhat
> terse given that a simple Google search shows the question is in the
> FAQ on lua.org:
Thanks for the link; while I didn't use Google, I did spend some time
perusing the web-site before posting; I guess I must have missed those
entries because I expected a more prominent notice.
-- David Favro