[Lazarus] Is there a separate mailing list for Lazarus developers?

Bart bartjunk64 at gmail.com
Sun Jan 5 02:44:45 CET 2014

On 1/5/14, vfclists . <vfclists at gmail.com> wrote:

> I have always had this nagging feeling that something wasn't quite right
> about Lazarus and this explains it.

That sounds a little paranoid to me.

> I think the developers fear that if they open up the list even for viewing
> alone there will be lots of acrimonious debates and disagreements with non
> developers over how Lazarus should evolve, such as the everlasting Unicode
> debates, and also criticism about its internal operation.

Such debates are seen already on the forum and this mailinglist.
We don't need more of them.

> As for being able to participate by submitting patches or fixing bugs first
> many users may consider such things outside their field of competence, or
> may only be  interested in areas that affect them directly or are deeply
> knowledgeable about, [snip] For me it was always a non-starter because compiles
> were breaking due to missing units and I was always afraid of breaking my
> installations to try new things even for my own use. It is only now that I
> am becoming more confident and even then I am still wary.

And that is exactly how I started out.
At first I was just a user of Lazarus, and I only used the release versions.
And of course I hit bugs, and I reported them in bugtracker.
When some of those bugs were not picked up soon enough (I'm a little
impatient), I tried to see if I could fix them.
At that time I never even wrote a single component of myself, so I
really had to study the LCL and Lazarus code very hard.
I then discussed these issues in the bugtracker with several of the
devels and got very usefull feedback.
This encouraged me to submit patches and some of them got accepted.

> I think for testing stock VM images should be used so that contributors can
> just load, test and report their findings without the fear of messing up
> their working installations

I was afraid of that too when I started fixing bugs (in my area of
interest, just because I wanted the to be fixed). At that time I was
using WinMe, which as you might know is an OS that tends to get
screwed up very easily when installing software.
The beauty of Lazarus is that you can very easily have a "stable"
release version and trunk up and running.
(See wiki, or use the fpcup tool from Reinier)

If you have SVN (or GIT) than it is virtually impossible to screw up.
If you mess up the code so much you cannot get back, just do svn
revert (or the GIT equivalent) and you're back.
No need for VM images (which one could not provide for Windows at all).

> I think that opening the list may allow people who are highly skilled in
> specialized areas to see where they can contribute and offer their help.

They already can, and they do not need access to the devel list for that.
Just submit patches in bugtracker.
If it doesn't get picked up, it is perfectly OK to ask on the
mailinglist if one of the devels will look at it.

> I also suspect that some of those bugs wouldn't creep
> into the code in the first place if the development process was open enough
> for more eyes to spot them in the first place.

That makes no sense at all.
First of all you can see all commits in the svn repository.
Second, most commits are not discussed on the devel list either.

And yes, on the devel list their are discussions on the technical
aspects of the development of Lazarus as well, but we mostly use it to
discuss release schedules, ask other devels feedback or advice on
problems we are working on, or use it as a quick method to notify that
some revision caused a problem that needs quick fixing.

It is not secret, but there is also no need for non developers to listen in.

> I think being able to see what is coming and follow their development will
> encourage more participants and more bug fixing as well.

Well, before I got invited to the devel list I never even knew it existed.
And I never missed it.

I have always felt that I could discuss anything about Lazarus on the
mailinglist or the forum.
I have had plenty of discussion with many of the devels, long before I
ever wrote a patch, and they have always been willing to answer any
question I had.
And exactly that willingness to answer my questions and give me
feedback about proposed patches has encouraged me to keep sending in
more patches over the years.

Bottom line is: if you want to have influence in the way Lazarus
evolves, you have to submit code.


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