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Re: Spinning off the bindings

From: Stefan Sperling <stsp_at_elego.de>
Date: Thu, 5 Feb 2009 18:05:55 +0000

On Wed, Feb 04, 2009 at 03:30:05PM -0500, Mark Phippard wrote:
> On Wed, Feb 4, 2009 at 3:13 PM, Hyrum K. Wright
> <hyrum_wright_at_mail.utexas.edu> wrote:
> > Mark Phippard wrote:
>
> >>> As Hyrum pointed out, there are several bindings in existence
> >>> that are being maintained out-of-tree already.
> >>> So this is a solved problem!
> >>
> >> Sorry, but bullshit. Just because people like Bert have put in effort
> >> to create bindings does not mean the problem is solved.
> >> Someone would
> >> have to recreate all this work for each of the bindings as they
> >> spinoff in their own projects.

I just meant that there is no technical reason why this can't be done,
that's all. It's clear that there is work involved.

> > But the bindings are rarely delivered to the end user along with the core
> > libraries. Most *nix distributions put the bindings into separate packages
> > to reduce footprint and dependencies. We even distribute such packages for
> > windows on s.t.o. I posit that the same experience which exists today could
> > be had even if the bindings are in a different package.
>
> I agree that is a possibility. But it is also possible that with
> these bindings spun off as separate projects the distros decide to
> drop them just as we did. It is also possible that the bindings will
> not be available until weeks/months after a release and not make it
> into a distro. It is also possible that the bindings will wither and
> die because no one wants to maintain them on a daily basis and then we
> ship a release the delta is too daunting to bring them up to date.
>
> It is also possible the bindings would flourish as separate projects
> which allowed them to be enhanced on their own schedule and attract
> more maintainers than they have today.
>
> Anything is possible.

Yes.

This morning it occured to me that this discussion might be more useful
if we focused on what would be in it for the bindings and their
developers.

So far, we've mostly argued that the bindings cause problems for the
core developers. But what benefit could spinning off the bindings
bring to bindings developers?

I can't really think of anything, unfortunately, other than the slight
possibility that the bindings would grow into the existing
eco system of out-of-tree bindings (PySVN, PECL SVN, SVNCPP, etc.)
and attract more developers from projects relying on the bindings,
due to the signal that the core devs set by not maintaining them anymore.

But it's equally (more?) likely that people would just lose interest
because of the initial overhead required to repackage things separately,
and because not contributing to the main project anymore could be a demotivating
factor. It decreases visibility of one's work, with visibility of
achievements being one of the primary motivators in FOSS development.

Stefan
Received on 2009-02-05 19:06:26 CET

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