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Re: Future blog

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Hi,

On Tue, 2010-12-07 at 23:53 +0000, Dr Andrew John Hughes wrote:
> I'll apologise in advance if some of what I've written below sounds harsh,
> but I'm not that happy with the state of Free Java generally right now.

And I apologize for not stating the obvious. You are the only active
maintainer of GNU Classpath at the moment. It is unfair we aren't
helping you out more. Especially because there are new hackers wanting
to see their contributions integrated. Just like Mario I do feel
somewhat guilty for not making the time necessary. GNU Classpath is the
project that shaped me and that created a community of friends.

Please don't feel discouraged by some of the details Pekka is wrong
about. It is the fact that he is so positive and forward looking that
made me agree so much with what he said. We need a wakeup call. People
like what GNU Classpath stands for. It is an important project to move
forward. It is needed to bootstrap the free java world. People want to
contribute.

Lets see what we can/should do to help you more. I understand some of
your hesitation because we let you down. You are currently the
maintainer that carries the whole load.

> There is no 1.7 API to implement yet, so that's a pointless statement.

1.7 will be what OpenJDK implements. We can run japi against it to get
comparisons.

> I also tend to still believe in the general Classpath spirit that we
> implement primarily to match the requirements of applications, not
> specific applications.

Yes, I do agree with that. But one of the applications is making sure
IcedTea can be bootstrapped. That will require more 1.6 and eventually
1.7 work.

>   We have no hope of ever TCKing the thing
> anyway, and to my knowledge it's never been used with a JDK that's not
> Oracle-based so I have no trust in its reliability.

Cacao got access to the TCK.
http://openjdk.java.net/groups/conformance/JckAccess/jck-access.html
I agree the terms of the TCK are erroneous though. I wouldn't be happy
to have to accept them. It makes open collaboration impossible. But if
someone is really motivated to they could do like cacao did, mix and
match GNU Classpath with Hotspot and make that work.

> > As soon as I am back I would like us to at least start moving to
> > mercurial on savannah if people don't mind. 
> 
> Yes, I do mind.
> 
> We already discussed this some time back:
> 
> http://developer.classpath.org/pipermail/classpath/2008-June/002629.html
> 
> and nothing happened.  I don't particularly see any huge benefit to
> moving the repository to a different version control system.

That surprises me. CVS really, really is a pain. I will be offline for
two weeks, having a modern dvcs would be so nice.

> As is, if you're going to put some time in, I'd rather it was spent
> reviewing patches than messing about with the VCS.

Point taken. In my defense, I like tinkering with "services" around the
code base. Having autobuilders, a good dvcs integrated with a bug
database, etc. help me get motivated that the code base is useful and in
a good shape.

> Moving it all to Mercurial just so it's easier for someone else to
> create a forked lower-quality copy that accepts unreviewed patches is
> not a good motivation IMHO.

That would not be the motivation. Getting rid of the pain that is CVS
would be.

Thanks,

Mark




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