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

Martin Frb lazarus at mfriebe.de
Sun Jan 5 15:38:29 CET 2014

On 05/01/2014 14:07, vfclists . wrote:
> When people ask questions like this it is because they are making 
> comparisons with other projects which are more open, or in the case of 
> Lazarus easier to follow.

How, unless you are part of the project, do you know, if a project is 
"more" open. How do you know they do not have a private list? Just 
because we answered truthfully, other projects may (if asked) deny it.

Also even if you knew of the absence of a private list, how do you know 
that developers do not use personal mail instead (also private).

In my experience any reasonable sized project (not just open source) 
need some mean of "in group only" discussion. Not because the content is 
"top secret" but because "too many cooks spoil the broth", and on public 
issues (even read only) you always get additional "cooks".

> I follow a few groups such as pharo-dev and squeak-dev regularly and 
> others such as web2py occasionally. In all instances once I log on to 
> my email I can quickly get a good idea of how things are moving, ie 
> you know how features are progressing and what bugs are being fixed.

Well, now you ssay what you are missing. But that info is not on the dev 
list either.

The lazarus project is organized differently. We simple do not have a 
central place for this info. (that is anything on the topic, that is on 
top of mantis and svn logs)

Unless I can spot something on the svn log, most of the time (greater 
95% [1]), I do not know what others work on.
[1] This figure is after eliminating knowledge I have from looking at 
svn logs. Since I do look at them, I actually have some idea.

This is true for features and bugs.

> I couldn't understand why I coudn't get an idea of developments in 
> Lazarus*just by following the mailing lists* and wondered if there was 
> another mailing list. The mailing list you are referring to is not 
> listed at http://lists.lazarus.freepascal.org/mailman/listinfo and it 
> is clearly not related to development of features as is generally 
> understood.

New features are provided by volunteers. Let me give an example.

I started with work on a new debugger about 3 or 4  month back. My 
original plan (or rather hope) was, that I get to that sometime next 
summer. Then I just decided from one minute to the next. A few days 
later, first commits, and any body looking at svn would have known (And 
some did notice, as some did ask on the forum)

> The wiki only tells you about features after they have been 
> implemented. It doesn't give an idea of how and why they evolved the 
> way they did.
And neither does the developers list. Most features go the way, that the 
original author had in mind. Sometimes there is something (feedback, 
additional idea) on the forum, or normal mailing list. Sometime the idea 
gets picked up sometimes not.
  In a few cases such a mail (even though it could, and probably should 
be public) is on the dev list. But just because a mail goes on the wrong 
list, does not mean the list is wrong. Same as good a private mail good 
have been sent. This is not a reason to open the list, but to pay more 
attention on which list we post.
When I started to contribute, and was not yet on the list, I did 
exchange some private mails with some of the developers. So list or not, 
private communication will and does happen.

> FWIW I have just spent over an hour exploring Mantis and it looks like 
> the place where a lot of Lazarus development related discussions occur.
Actually we try not to discuss on mantis. Mantis is mainly to identify 
what is wrong (and that may take a lot of question and answer).
In a few cases though, it may be that it includes discussions (rather 
than notes) how best to fix it

> Obviously it is a complex multiplatform system which is rather mature 
> in internet years and has gathered quite an amount of cruft and I can 
> understand why its developers prefer to focus on fixing existing 
> issues rather than spending/wasting time debating new features.
Every developper decides for themself when to fix a bug [2] or do a 
feature. And each one has his own reasons.
[2] if you break in, you fix it, is a rule we all follow.

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