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Re: speeding up Octave development (was: Re: m-code)

From: John W. Eaton
Subject: Re: speeding up Octave development (was: Re: m-code)
Date: Sat, 6 Mar 1999 00:11:36 -0600 (CST)

On  5-Mar-1999, address@hidden <address@hidden> wrote:

| I am not sure that I agree that the problem is
| structural.  I don't think John has been ignoring
| any code that has been contributed to him.  I don't
| think it can get much easier than:
|       1. Develop wonderful, well documented functions 
|          for Octave.
|       2. Create a diff file.
|       3. Send it to John, and let him integrate it.
| Having a CVS repository, or something similar only changes
| step 2 a little bit.  Maybe I'm mistaken.

I think people have the idea that anonymous CVS access will provide
them with up-to-the-minute sources, and that it's a good thing for
everyone to be able to have that kind of access.  I'm not convinced,
though I might be willing to try it.

The reason that I'm not convinced is that a year or so ago, after Eric
Raymond made his paper available, people starting thinking that it was
important to have very frequent releases.  I decided to try that, so I
added the bleeding-edge directory on the ftp site.  Since then,
releases of the development sources haven't always been as often as I
had originally planned, mostly because the sources were not changing
all that fast and I thought it wasn't important to be putting up new
snapshots if they didn't have much new code in them.

Also, after creating the bleeding-edge releases, I didn't notice a
tremendous increase in the number of useful patches being submitted.
Instead, I started seeing a somewhat larger number of messages saying
`I tried your snapshot and it didn't work.  Tell me how to fix it.'
when what I was really hoping for were more messages that said `I
tried your snapshot and it didn't work.  Here is a fix for the
problem.  Can you please include it in the next snapshot?'

So, will anonymous CVS access mean more clueful developers or more
people who complain that they can't compile it because the sources are
temporarily in an inconsistent state?


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