[Openmcl-devel] user submissions and open-sourceness

Hamilton Link helink at sandia.gov
Tue Jun 17 17:39:58 UTC 2008

With much elided below, it seems like a big part of the issue (if I may 
use their own analogy) is that p2.edoc is a nervous student driver 
worried about getting hit pulling onto the freeway.  To all new 
contributors, don't panic, just pick a lane and gun it; you'll be fine.  
Most of the people on the freeway are not related to the Unser family 
(famous race drivers), and the only way any of us get on the freeway is 
to accelerate and merge in.

All of the things p2.edoc is suggesting as improvements---the GUI 
things, and documentation that might help make ccl more 
approachable---are both good suggestions and also reasonable tasks for a 
non-guru.  If you (meaning anyone here) are interested in one of these 
features and have time to work on it, I encourage you to do so, and 
submit the changes via the mailing list.  For the time being, the 
mailing list is an active and evident vector for user contributions and 
also the means by which questions get answered; svn access may also be 
attainable for devotees, I couldn't say; and Jeremy posted links to trac 
and the wiki---none of these venues are one-shot deals.

Finally, I feel I must point out that Clozure employs people, not 
juggernauts (and not me), and they have responded more positively than I 
might have to this thread.  I think accusing the workhorses behind ccl 
of being controlling and exclusive is unfair and unfounded, as many 
people have contributed to ccl's development outside of Clozure and been 
welcomed.  For a new poster to complain about the presence of "loud 
know-it-all types" is simply insulting.  If anyone is nervous their 
contributions will be rejected, please try to turn some of that angst 
into actual contributions before complaining about being an outsider and 
casting aspersions on the freeway builders and the other drivers.


Andrew Shalit wrote:
> Hi Peter --
> thanks for sharing your thoughts.  I agree with most of what you say.
> The unfortunate issue is that we don't have the resources to undertake
> this now.  [...]  In the mean time, we are still very happy to receive contributions, using the limited systems we currently have in place.
> Andrew
> On Jun 17, 2008, at 4:02 AM, p2.edoc at googlemail.com wrote:
>> [...] Clozure are presumably so busy that nagging would seem counter 
>> productive.
>> Coming to mind is an analogy - driving a car on a feeder road up to a
>> major route. It can seem a challenge to stand at the edge
>> contemplating joining the juggernauts as they thunder by, so it might
>> help to have appropriate ramps and sign posts where it would be
>> fruitful to filter in.  It can be discouraging to put effort (no
>> matter how ineffectual as far as others are concerned) into some
>> project only to find it missed the bus (sorry for mixing metaphors).
>> Just anticipation of this could be a disincentive to those thinking
>> of contributing. [...] but if we are
>> self motivated we can always pursue such ventures in parallel, and
>> others users might possibly find them useful.
>> I'd like to see some sort of contributions facility. This would
>> provide guidance on how to contribute, how to communicate in that
>> regard, who is doing what, and a list of areas where contributions
>> would be welcome.  Although CCL is free and Open Source (and how can
>> anyone not be hugely grateful and motivated by that), it is the
>> possession and in the control of Clozure, hence presumably any
>> contributions for CCL need to be appropriate and welcomed by Clozure
>> to have much chance of coming to fruition.  But that unilateral
>> control also distances those that do not feel they are a part of the
>> Clozure extended flock (are still on side roads).  Hence some voting
>> system where everyone can make suggestions and indicate priorities
>> might be useful.  Not structured so it could be any sort of style
>> cramper on Clozure, rather enfranchising for potential contributors
>> and users (and of course useful for Clozure).  Jeremy's survey (on
>> info-mcl last year) allowed some folks to make some input, but it was
>> a one shot.  I have in mind a rolling system that shows where work is
>> in progress, where, when and how items are planned to be addressed,
>> and the collective wish-list stretching ahead, where contribs are
>> needed. The whole structured to be the least style cramping or energy
>> sapping for Clozure, yet encouraging for contributors. And be a means
>> by which the loud know-it-all types can be diluted by general common
>> sense and goodwill.
>> [...] >99% of
>> what I have to say about CCL, I don't, as I assume it'd be time out
>> of sych with requirements (the rest is probably anyway).
>> Just this minute I'd like such as a Who Calls facility in the UI,
>> mouse-copy, curb the CCL Console window, m-. path translations that
>> work out of the can, Search Files dialog, copy in the apropos and
>> inspector dialogs, bracket flashing fix, process peek, non-modal
>> multi-term apropos dialog, backtrace dialog inspect item mouse
>> action, init file documentation, ... many more.
>> Do they exist somewhere already, should I wait till they appear, how
>> long will that be, should I roll my own, if so how can I do this so
>> it helps others (and doesn't overlap Clozure work or other
>> simultaneous wheel inventors), what do others want of them, where do
>> they belong within CCL if at all, ...
>> My top priority for CCL is robustness [...]

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