[Openmcl-devel] making contributions to ccl easier (by using git?)

Dmitry Igrishin dfigrish at gmail.com
Mon Nov 30 12:48:58 PST 2015

2015-11-30 22:02 GMT+03:00 R. Matthew Emerson <rme at clozure.com>:

> I would like to say that it has never been anyone's intention or desire to
> limit development of CCL to Clozure Associates people or to the members of
> some affiliated secret cabal.  It is certainly true that Clozure Associates
> has put a lot of time and money into supporting its development (including
> by supporting me, for which I am grateful).  If this has caused Clozure CL
> to be viewed as Clozure's semi-proprietary product, maybe this has (justly
> or not) been a disincentive for others to contribute.  That's regrettable
> if true.
> I would be very pleased to see more people contribute to CCL.  If there
> are things that make contributing difficult, I'd like to try to remove
> those difficulties if I can.  I hear several people saying that Subversion
> is one of those difficulties, and that moving to git would remove that
> difficulty.
> I will take you at your word.  I truly don't mean to sound snide, but
> isn't the key to contributing to CCL one's enthusiasm for and knowledge of
> CCL rather than proficiency with one VCS or another?  It isn't like
> Subversion is obscure and complicated to use;  it's certainly no harder
> than git.  Indeed, clients like magit exist precisely to make git (which by
> all accounts can be rather complicated) easier to use.
> On the other hand, I recognize that it's often easy to start small, and if
> contributing even a tiny change to CCL involves learning the basics of
> Subversion, I suppose I can understand why people wouldn't bother.
> If we were to switch, we'd need to
>  * Do something about trac.clozure.com/ccl.  There are a lot of tickets
> (and ticket history) there.  We often refer in ticket comments to
> particular commits with the convenient r12345 notation, and we have a
> post-commit hook that will annotate or close tickets based on phrases in
> the commit message.  So, we can write a commit message like "Frob the foo.
> Closes ticket:123", and Trac ticket 123 will be annotated and closed
> automatically.  Dumping Trac entirely and moving to something else is not
> really very attractive (at least to me).

Why? Trac provides an interface to Git as well. (As
http://trac.edgewall.org/ says.)


 * Come up with some convenient way to distribute binaries (bootstrapping
> heap images, interface databases).  I just recently added
> scripts/get-binaries, which uses svn export to grab a heap image and
> interface databases.  I wrote this script because I check out ccl with
> svn://svn.clozure.com/openmcl/trunk/source ccl
> because the externals get in my way when committing.  But I say again that
> the externals do provide a way for users to get a complete working ccl with
> one command, which is a good thing.  Perhaps there's some alternative to
> using svn to distribute ccl.  People in the past have suggested making
> .deb/.rpm packages, or .msi files for Windows, for instance.  If creation
> of those packages could be automated (along with something for OS X and the
> other platforms), that might be a possibility.
As I said in the parallel thread, I would prefer the installator for Linux
(sh bundle),
the installator for Windows, the dmg for Mac OS X, the sources + binaries
and the Git repo which contains shell scripts for downloading appropriate
and hooks which runs this scripts automatically.

>  * I would greatly prefer any solution to be self-hosted.
What a reason for this? The PLT, for example, has moved the Racket
repository from git.racket-lang.org to Github. They are even wrote a
"brief" introduction to git (http://git.racket-lang.org/intro.html), which
be instructive and useful for us :)

> In summary, I'm not afraid of git (although maybe Yoda would say "you will
> be"), and I'm not married to Subversion.  But I would rather hack lisp than
> fiddle with a VCS, and a migration to git seems like it would be a
> non-trivial job (for me anyway).  And at the end of a successful migration,
> I will be more-or-less exactly where I am today, only instead of "svn
> log/blame/diff/update/add/remove/commit/merge", I will be typing different
> commands which will take me a while to get used to.  (And I will have new
> git features available too, of course.  But really, I'm a caveman VCS user.)
> I would like it to be clear that I am not dismissing out of hand the idea
> of a migration, especially if some git-proficient people wanted to explore
> how a migration might work, and propose ways that we might address the
> issues I mention above.  But I doubt that switching to git will by itself
> unleash a torrent (or even a trickle) of new contributors.  (The fact that
> there are not many contributors to CCL is probably due to other reasons,
> IMO.)  But maybe a switch would be helpful to our users even so.  I am
> willing to help as I can with such exploratory efforts.
> Thanks for reading this long message.  I like CCL, and I want to see it
> prosper.
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> Openmcl-devel at clozure.com
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