2007-11-02 05:10:27 UTC
I'm sending this message to the mailing list, with the intent that
what I say and your reply to be public so that it can be archived for
I joined the mailing list because I'm one of the "insatiably curious"
people you mentioned on your website. I'm also itching to contribute
to the COLA system, in whatever ways I can. For me, that means
advocacy, writing documentation, supporting other users and
developers, submitting patches and coding new features that interest
me and are in line with the project vision.
I understand from what I've seen of your writing and other projects
that you a highly skilled programmer, designer, and researcher. I
also understand that you are working for VPRI on what must be very
focused tasks without much leeway to meander endlessly as other free
software projects are wont to do.
I, on the other hand, have more enthusiasm than skill, but have a lot
of spare time on my hands in which to tinker and learn. I have been
looking for something exactly like COLA for the last 15 years or so,
and this is the first project that is both completely ambitious yet
not flawed by design (as far as I can tell by my experience). It
truly is an architecture that looks eminently teachable and flexible.
So, this brings me to the point... I know that for a free software
project to thrive, there must be a rapid stream of communication,
accessible over the Internet. The buzz of people collaborating needs
to be there to provide the transparency so that other people will want
to get involved.
I'm quite sure that COLA, despite whatever shortcomings are in the
currently public implementation phase (Jolt/Pepsi), is at a point
where it would benefit from and be capable of sustaining contributions
from outsiders. I would like to jump right in and help get that
I presume that the reason you've been silent in response to my earlier
requests (various bug fixes, the unanswered questions on LtU, no SVN
commits since 2007-09-20) has been just because you're deep into the
implementation of Coke and don't have the attention to spare to jobs
that can be done by other people.
So, I'm stepping up to the plate. I've immersed myself in SVN r332,
and made what I consider to be some changes that are both useful and
increase COLA's flexibility. I like these changes, but I'm not
certain you would adopt them.
I think the best way to accomodate these different needs from the code
base (your highly focused minimalism, and my flighty expansions) is to
take advantage of a distributed version control tool, to manage the
patches more effectively and make them easier for us to move back and
forth. In so doing, I will also have full ownership of my own branch,
can encourage other people to use it, and answer questions about it
For that reason, I've adopted Mercurial as my source control tool
(http://www.selenic.com/mercurial/wiki/ - it's friendly, safer and
simpler than C/C++-implemented SCM's, and cross-platform). I am
planning to continually import the COLA SVN tree, with my additions
separated cleanly into different branches.
If you or anybody else is interested in my repository, you can find
instructions on how to get started with it at:
["Ocean" is my codename for this COLA branch.]
In doing so, I hope to lower the barrier for people to contribute to
COLA by being as responsive as possible to people who have patches for
my branch, then helping refine and advocate them to be included in the
mainline. I will be sure to mention each of these potential
contributions on ***@vpri.org, so that you can decide if you want to
integrate them with the mainline.
Please let me know if you would like to see patches in general, or
just upon request. Also, would you prefer future discussion of my
branch to be held on ***@vpri.org, or my own mailing list?
Thanks, and I look forward to hearing your reaction,
Michael FIG <***@fig.org> //\
Michael FIG <***@fig.org> //\