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From "Peter B. West" <pbw...@powerup.com.au>
Subject Re: toward reunification
Date Thu, 24 Apr 2003 02:50:01 GMT
Jeremias Maerki wrote:
> On 23.04.2003 10:53:46 Victor Mote wrote:
> 
>>FOP compatriots:
>>
>>I shared more than a little of Joerg's frustration in his recent posting
>>about trying to get going in trunk development again.
> 
> 
> That makes three of us when it comes to layout. It's a very complicated
> matter I have not been able to dive into, yet.
> 
> 
>>I have been able to
>>spend some quality time walking through code with my debugger, and my work
>>on the doc has helped some of the design concepts sink in better as well, so
>>I am getting more confident about being able to jump in and help for real.
>>Here are some issues for discussion.
>>

I am in the process of commissioning an XP 2200+ system with 1Gb of 
memory, on which I will finally be able to run an environment like 
Eclipse in real time.  I hope to be able to do some of the above 
code-stepping myself, in association with the integration of the 
alt.design FO front end.

>>Issue 1 -- Project Focus
>>I think I jumped into this project just as serious efforts were being made
>>to discourage new development on the maintenance branch. This was rightly
>>perceived as a dilution of resources. It has taken me nearly six months to
>>see another dilution of resources -- new development on the trunk! The only
>>thing that the redesign is really supposed to touch is the layout.
> 
> 
> ...plus:
> - better API
> - refactoring of all ugly static constructs
> 
> 
>>So my
>>thoughts about working on fonts are misplaced. Fonts and Avalonization might
>>need to be done before 1.0, but AFAIK, they don't need to be done before
>>reunification.
> 
> 
> I dread that term. There has been a lot of effort to clean up code in
> the trunk. The SVG and PDF and other subsystems have been improved.
> Peter is working on the improved FO handling. IMO there's not much in
> the maintenance branch that is worth keeping after the layout has been
> brought to a good level in the trunk.
> 

I have shamefully neglected this in the past few months, for reasons too 
numerous to mention here, but including a certain amount of burnout.  I 
have also received a couple of emails from developers who have expressed 
an interest in alt.design, and a guy who is working on an FO based 
WYSIWYG editor.  These approaches I have also shamefully neglected.

I intend to approach these guys again to find out how they feel about 
surfacing in fop-dev.

One of the things that has been on my mind is the impact of the 
integration on the layout.  There is some commentary about this in the 
wiki.  I will post again with some specific questions about the 
representation of unresolvable percentages in the FO tree, with a view 
to firming up the requirements in the wiki.  I have some troublesome 
questions about the model of layout as well.

...

> 
> So what is this "unification" that you don't mention in this last
> paragraph but in the subject?
> 
> 
>>Issue 2 -- Unstable Code
>>We know that we are working with unstable code, which presents some risks.
>>First, with stable code, if a hacker like me messes it up, it will be
>>obvious almost immediately, and can easily be rolled back. That won't be
>>true in our situation. Second, unstable implies that some of the code might
>>be working well or finished. Most of us don't understand what is going on
>>the layout code as well as Keiron. I've spent a little time in there, and I
>>frankly don't have a clear idea of what works and what doesn't, what is
>>stable & what is not. So I really have two choices: 1) wade in and start
>>hacking away, perhaps at cross-purposes of the big picture, or 2) have a
>>"manager" pass a task off to me that is reasonably well-defined, and that
>>fits well into the big picture, then, when that is done, give another, etc.
>>I can do either one, but the second one makes more sense to me. I would
>>naturally look to Keiron for this, if he is willing. I am not looking for
>>something like "get line justification working", but more like "take class
>>Xyz.java and make method abc() return the correct word-spacing to justify
>>the input line -- here is a test file."
>>
>>The good news is that it is probable that after a couple of cycles of this,
>>I would be able to find the next task on my own.
>>
>>I guess what I am saying is that I am willing to follow if someone is
>>willing to lead.
> 
> 
> It all comes down to our resource problem. :-(

This is an excellent idea, and, if it were working, a guaranteed way of 
getting FOP up to compliance and efficiency very quickly.  I think the 
basic problem is that no-one has a developed idea of where the layout is 
going.  That is something we need to address as a matter of urgency.

Peter

-- 
Peter B. West  pbwest@powerup.com.au  http://www.powerup.com.au/~pbwest/
"Lord, to whom shall we go?"


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