[Lazarus] Project management

Juha Manninen juha.manninen62 at gmail.com
Fri Mar 2 20:32:23 CET 2012

2012/3/2 Marc Santhoff <M.Santhoff at web.de>

> Maybe it's a bit more than only improving documentation itself. The
> project management part of it is to care for keeping docs up to date and
> keep the shape following the needs. An example would be some kind of
> general info pages about how the project is driven. Special index pages
> or future plans come to my mind here.

There is already such page :
but it is difficult to find. I plan to update it and get a link somehow to
main page (if I had rights).
Now only there is something badly wrong with the wiki server. It is very
slow, browser timed out when I tried to update something.

There is already a link for developers page in Development_Process page.
I was thinking to explain the tools used and project organization, too.

There are 6 web-based -tools to help manage the development and to
* Lazarus main web page (www.lazarus.freepascal.org).
* Forum (http://lazarus.freepascal.org/index.php?action=forum).
* Mailing list (lazarus at lists.lazarus.freepascal.org).
* Chat line (#lazarus-ide).
* Wiki pages (http://wiki.lazarus.freepascal.org).
  They document Lazarus usage and internals. Can be edited by anyone after
logging in...
* Issue Tracker for reporting both bugs and feature requests.
  It supports also simple project management features. A bug can be
assigned to a developer and its target release and priority can be set.

For documenting LCL library there is Documentation Manager (?) and FpDoc.
The source document files are XML, many help file formats can be generated
from them. Links...

For creating program code Lazarus itself is used (naturally).


___ Developing program code and applying patches ___:
 The recommended way to contribute code for Lazarus sources is to first
create a patch (link Creating_a_Patch) and then upload it to a new report
in issue tracker.
 The developers with commit rights verify the patch and apply it if valid.
 See Developers_Page for info about developers and their areas of expertise.

___ Web-tool administration, the responsible person ___:
 Server with Lazarus main page and Forum: ???
 Mailing list server: ???
 Chat server: ???
 Wiki server: Vincent Snijders
 Mantis Issue Tracker server: ???

 In the other thread "Missing Documentation" Vincent mentioned he doesn't
want to continue as wiki admin.
 Samps Okholm and Richard Mace immediately offered their help. It would be
stupid not to accept it, IMO.
 I have no idea who are the admins for the other servers. Maybe the info is
buried somewhere in wiki.
 The web tools work well except for the wiki. The search is poor and now it
is slow.

___ Public Relations ___:
 The goal is to advertise Lazarus on different ways. Internet sites related
to programming languages / tool and Linux distributions may be good
 More frequent Lazarus releases will also work as a (semi-)automatic
advertisement. Release announcements are typically notified on many sites.
 The responsible person  : Position is open!

___ Release schedule ___: (the page already has info of releases up to 0.99)
 A new time-based release schedule will be used (! note, this is my
proposal and not approved by other devels but there are signs it could be
approved !).
 Until now the release cycle has been long. It requires a set of bugs to be
fixed and then verifying the quality with a test period. Now Lazarus is
mature enough for a time-based schedule.
 Most other mature projects have it, too.
 This has at least 2 benefits.
  1. Users would not need to use the development version only because the
released version is so old.
  2. A release announcement works as a free advertisement. (See Public

___ Release Management ___:
 Release Manager person: Vincent Snijders
 Build tester for Windows: Position is open!
 Build tester for Mac: Position is open!
 Build tester for Linux Debian: ???
 Build tester for Linux RPM: Position is open!
 Build tester for BSD: Position is open!
 Build tester for xxx: Position is open!  (I don't remember all platforms

 Now the fact is that Vincent has less time and energy than before for this
 It may be that  Release Manager position is open, too. (Correct me Vincent
if I am wrong)
 Build testers are needed because (according to Vincent) the building
itself is easy if you have a remote connection (ssh) to a server but you
can't test a graphical program on that server.

___ Updating Fixes Branches ___:
 Bug fixes are backported from trunk to the fixes branch by these people:
 0.9.30.x: Vincent Snijders / Juha Manninen
 0.99.x: Maybe Juha Manninen (=me)


That was the Development_Process page.
The Developers_Page would list also other prominent contributors, not only
core developers.
They can be called SMEs (subject matter experts) if needed. It would not
really change their position but just make it more visible to new people.

The updated page would improve the first impression for new potential users
/ contributors and make things more visible, as was requested.
It also adds tasks which didn't exist before (Public Relations) and clearly
states some positions to be open.
So yes, it tries to fix the project's organization and management, too, not
only documentation.

The development process itself works very well. This includes the people
(SMEs or whatever) answering questions on mailing list and on Forum.
You guys failed to see that because you have not participated in the
Many other things around it don't work as well. Partly it is because the
project is getting mature.
Things like "First Impression" and "Public Relations" were not important
with the early, buggy versions of Lazarus but now they are.

Other developers would need to :
- approve the ideas (unless they are wrong)
- approve some people for open positions
- figure out who has admin rights to the web-tool servers and pass the keys
forward if needed.

I also hope this doesn't lead to another endless debate ...

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