|| ||"Eric S. Raymond" <esr-AT-snark.thyrsus.com>|
|| ||Open lwetter to Ivan Illarionov|
|| ||Sun, 4 Jan 2009 17:49:46 -0500 (EST)|
|| ||Article, Thread
Ivan, I think your idea for gradually lifting Wesnoth C++ code to
Python is technically sound and would help address some serious
sources of defects in the Wesnoth codebase.
However, you bave done such an inept and -- at times --
arrogant-seeming job of presenting yourself that you have already
alienated some senior developers on this project in just the few days
since you've shown up here. By saying things like "If your ideas are
any good, you?l have to ram them down people? throats" in response
to legitimate questions about what you are doing, you have even very
nearly alienated me, the person who was championing your project.
I do not know whether this is a problem with your character or your
language skills. I hope it's the language skills, but you have a
way to go to demonstrate that. You need to show much better
ability to work with this group than you have so far.
I am publicly rebuking you, rather than simply abandoning your
proposal, because I still think it's likely that this situation can be
salvaged to the longer-term benefit of the project. You have, after
all, actually cracked into a problem I had been eyeing with
frustration for nearly half a year.
But, if we are to recover this situation, you are going to have to
do a minimum of two things:
(1) Present a convincing work plan, and a justification for it that is
not merely an ungrounded claim that Python is better. Even I, Python
fan that I am, don't consider that a sufficient argument.
(2) Stop pissing off my colleagues off with IRC and email behavior
that makes it seem like you want to ram ideas down peoples' throats
without even arguing for them in any detail. Nobody gets to behave
that way here, least of all a project newbie.
I am willing to cooperate with you in developing a work plan and
reviewing your code -- much as, say, a mentor for a Summer of Code
project would do.
It has been suggested to me that I should simply work with you in
a separate repo. I don't think this is practical; merging trees after any
significant period of parallel development could be unreasonably hard,
and I think it would be unfair to put that burden on you even if you
have been behaving very annoyingly.
Therefore, *if* you present a persuasive work plan, I will be willing
in the future to sponsor dev access for you and having your code put
on a branch in the project repo -- but with no promise about if or
when it will be merged to mainline, and the understanding that I would
be watching you like a hawk and the entire enterprise *would* be
scrapped if you messed up trunk even once.
But you must present that work plan first. Not merely because you
need to answer technical questions, but because you need to show (a)
that you have a path forward that is incremental and reasonably safe,
as opposed to a doomed attempt at a "big-bang" all-at-once conversion,
and (b) you need to demonstrate the ability, and the willingness, to
work as part of the project team.
<a href="http://www.catb.org/~esr/">Eric S. Raymond</a>
There's a tendency today to absolve individuals of
moral responsibility and treat them as victims of
social circumstance. You buy that, you pay with your
-Tom Robbins, Still Life with Woodpecker
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