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Re: ToDo, or not ToDo.

daemon@ATHENA.MIT.EDU (Sun Nov 6 23:34:35 1994 )

From: brandon@avon.declab.usu.edu
To: coldstuff@MIT.EDU
Date: Sun, 06 Nov 94 21:31:45 -0700

(sigh, I need to get a new mailreader, this one doesn't always close file
descriptors and segfaults often--loosing any messages in-progress, so I
apologize if this is a duplicate copy).

< Brandon, this is entirely bullshit.  Colin is expressing a valid concern 
< that everyone here has, mainly that the server will get loaded down with 
< useless and idiotic changes.

Yes, and that is a valid point, however he was also taking the POV that any
change he doesn't agree with is considered useless and idiotic--a view I
personally find intollerable considering the group effort which must occur
for coldmud to do anything but flounder and die.

< It seems to me that you're just trying to create a flamewar or something.

No, I am just weary of this additude, it is conductive of an environment
which destroys itself.

< 0.10 is really a fucked up version.  It has all the substring stuff which 
< was really somewhat yicky.

_filetree_, what I did was slap the 0.12 src/ directory into the 0.10
setup and go from there.

< (what great version names we're getting now)

(tangent discussion): I would like to see coldmud move into 1.0, just so we
don't have such (odd?) version numbers :)  Anybody want to pick a target
state for the driver to be in to call it 1.0?  I.e. it will have x
capabilities and x bugs should be fixed, etc...

< then please tell me what they are so that I can fix them.


This is my whole point here.  There _HAS_ to be some ground rules for
development to proceed without mishap.  Like it or not ColdMUD development
became a group project when Greg stepped out.  To explain myself in
relation to the above: why should I send the problems to you specifically, 
or Riche, or even fix them myself?  Who is working on what?

(read further for a suggestion on what to do)

< I haven't yet decided whether or not I want this change, but I know that 
< I will certainly listen to all the arguments for/against it before making 
< my decision.

Which is all I was asking in my post.  Colin seems to have already made his
decision based on some divine intervention (at least that is all I can
assume because he doesn't explain it.  yes, I'm getting 'upset' about it).

< homer.ncm.com is where the latest version of 0.12 is available.  Its 
< called 0.12 because the previous version was just a beta of it and really 
< was not intended for general release.

Has this been changed in the past ~1-2 weeks?  I based my fixes and Riche's
patch he sent me for 0.12-1  off it...

< Heh. Mature.

Annoyed is more like it (yes, I know I'm probably on both ends).


Ok, the situation as I see it:

  Lots of talented and energetic hackers, each eager to to _SOMETHING_ with
  the driver, each with their own vision of how it should be done, nobody
  doing anything because they either think xxx is working on it and they
  will wait until xxx has had his turn, or they would work on it but they
  don't know how yyyy will handle their changes, or they don't know what
  has been fixed or should be fixed etc, etc, etc.

My suggestion follows.  This is what I have found works best in this type
of situation (that being where you have a central group of people willing
to work, but where nobody wishes to give up 'admin' rights to anybody else
for the final say).  It may seem like a lot of 'rules', and those who are
inherently rebellious by nature (myself included) may feel adverse to this
type of structure, but it works.

  A: Create a global fix list.  The fix list would encompass three fields:

    Work in Progress:

       Work in progress would cover accepted changes to the driver
       which a person has spoken for and is working on.

    Todo list:

       This would be a list of items which have to be fixed/finished
       but which nobody has actually claimed development rights for.

    Discussion list:

       Items which are still up for discussion, and will be up for discussion
       until there is an overall decision to remove them from this list or
       add them to the Todo list.  No work should be under progress with
       any item on this list.

  B: Anybody wishing to contribute to driver development may claim an
     item from the Todo list.  Out of courtesy, if you claim an item and
     are unable to finish it, or simply decide not to, let others know.

     If you wish to claim an item simply post to this list requesting
     to take over the job.  If anybody is working on it already (and had
     just not mentioned it), they can speak up, otherwise have at it.

  C: When finished release a patch (and a tarred source tree, if you wish).
     Patches are simple to create (use diff -rc oldsrc newsrc > patchfile--
     don't use the -w flag).  Make sure your patch updates documentation
     (just diff the docs directory).  Create a list of what is included
     in the patch and post it to this list. ) You can stuff anything
     relating to coldmud in ftp://sticky.usu.edu/pub/brandon/incoming,
     just tell me it is there.)

All decisions are made as a group, you can generally guage a group concensus
on an item after ~3 day's reply to it.  If you feel something should be on
any of the lists, start it at the discussion, and try to convince the others
why it should be a change WITHOUT any divine intervention reasons (i.e. this
change should/shouldn't happen because I know it should/shouldn't and you are
all infidels if you disagree with me).

The fix list can be maintained by whomever wishes, it is not much work.  Being
a group effort the person maintaining the list should make no judgemental
decisions, if somebody wishes something to be on the discussion list, they
add it.  If somebody wishes something to be moved onto the todo list, they
post here, depending upon the group concensus it may move or not.  If somebody
claims a fix they adjust the list accordingly.

This system requires a bit of cooperation and mature attitudes.  If you do
not agree with somebody/something please DONT post snide comments about it,
come up with an intelligent argument on why you feel the way you do (yes,
I am guilty as anybody else in respect to this), and you will find people
will carry the discussion on from that point--as to where snide comments
just piss off everybody.

-Brandon Gillespie (Lynx)-