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Mail Archives: djgpp/1995/06/06/23:42:17

Date: Tue, 6 Jun 1995 22:16:30 -0400
From: dj (DJ Delorie)
To: turnbull AT turnbull DOT sk DOT tsukuba DOT ac DOT jp
Cc: djgpp AT sun DOT soe DOT clarkson DOT edu
Subject: Re: VOTE: CODE STANDARDS

My turn to talk about this.  Hopefully, that will give it an air of
authority (maybe).  First, my opinions:

* Everyone is encouraged to participate in the djgpp project, either
  by contributing code (or changes) or by helping make the discussions
  productive.  Anyone who does not participate is welcome to use djgpp
  for their own purposes.

* I work on what I think is important for myself and for the majority
  of the users.  Sometimes, I work on what is fun.  If someone is
  paying me, I work on that.

* The code is usually well written (by the time everyone's done patching
  it) but poorly documented.  Mostly, this is because coding is more fun
  than documentation.  I know it makes it harder for people to help,
  but that's life.  Mine, at least.  Everyone (including my co-workers)
  complains that I don't comment the code.  Sigh.

* Documentation (the manual, at least) is the minimum required.  I could
  use a lot of help from people, to add better examples (in the docs
  and in the zips) and *guides* (rather than references).  Since I already
  know how everything works, I'm not usually the right person to do it,
  since I don't always know what things are important to people who *don't*
  know it.

* DJGPP has a coding style requirement.  The requirement is that you use the
  same style as the existing code.  Usually, this means it's my style.

* Voting won't help, because this isn't a public project.  Rational
  discussions about how to accomplish goals will help, providing
  people are willing to participate.

> If you need something and can't do it yourself, ask.  Maybe someone will 
> do something about it.

This is usually a very good way to get things done.  Not guaranteed,
but easy to do and usually productive.

> If you can help fix it yourself, do.

Yes, please!

> But don't tell other people what they need to do, especially not in terms
> of "even demo coders have standards."  You want to *tell* someone what you
> want done first, go talk to Bill Gates.  I'm sure there's a price at which
> he'll contract to give you anything you want.  By 1995^H6^H7^H, oh, who
> knows....  Maybe it would be better to pay DJ. 

People do pay me to do what they want, and they usually get what they
want when they do.  People who do not pay earn favors and influence by
helping out.  This applies to lots of situations, not just djgpp.

> Right.  Apologetic.  Excuse me while I scuff your shoes and kick your 
> kneecaps.  :-)
> 
> Nope.  Somehow the smiley doesn't make that funny, either.

*This* should have gone in a private mail.

> > 	Well still doesnt change the facts - the code is basically
> > undocumented, and has been that way since day one. Maybe its time
> > we started documenting things (emx is a good example). Sure if we
>   ~~
> Oh, goody, we have a volunteer!!  Right?

Unless someone says, "I volunteer to ...", no.  I learned long ago not
to read a promise into anything unless it was clear.

> > disintegrate rapidly. Who cares about dj anyway, he develops djgpp
> > for his own personal interest, not for yours and not form mine.
> 
> And he owns the copyright.  If DJ doesn't do it, it's not DJGPP.

For some parts, yes.  For other parts, no.

> > can guide the djgpp comunity enough that it can stand on its own 
> > feet.
> 
> Or maybe the community would prefer an early release of V2.

Soon!

> > 	Also as i previous indicated, documentation tends, in the
> > long run, to reduce design/test/debug/developer time. Since dj is
> > obviously with djgpp for the long run, he might consider this.
> 
> Um, a few lines back, DJ was going away?

DJ's not going away.  Hey, I just got my internet site running!  There
are times, though, when I take a break to persue other interests, and
hope that the djgpp fan club (you folks) can keep things going until I
get time again.

> Did you grep the archives to find out whether it had been discussed 
> before?  There certainly have been complaints....

I wish more people would take advantage of the search engine.  Five
years of mail in a split second.  Most of the requests *have* been
answered already.  That's why the FAQ is so big.

> What do you mean, vote?  Obviously you think you know the answer.  Are 
> you just asking for public censure of the DJGPP development team?

Ha!  This isn't a democracy.  It isn't a business.  It's a benevolent
monarchy, if anything.  I call it a "hobby", which seems to fit better
than anything else.  Personally, I don't let people vote on how I
should run my hobby, but you're perfectly free to do what you want on
your own, either separately or as part of the djgpp project.

> > coding standards?". Any self respecting programmer would have to
> 
> DJGPP has coding standards.  You may not like them.  (Others don't: I've 
> sure seen enough "why do the
> go32_dpmi_simulate_interrupts_and_do_many_other_things_so_that_the_name_will_be_real_long()
> functions have such long names?  They're hard to type" posts.)  Surely,

libc is big.  Short names encourage conflicts.  V2 has a few of the
most popular ones shortened (via macros).

> You think DJ remembers off hand the reason for every little tweak in the 
> code?  Especially those that were contributed by others?  For a piece of 

Actually, I usually do.

> software that's going to go away in the near future, the documentation of 
> GO32 would be a horrible amount of effort.  Right?  Now, if you've looked 
> at V2 and see similar problems, that might be a lot more important.  
> But...  Who's gonna do the writing?

Someone with a good knowledge of English, I hope.  Volunteers sorely
needed.


Well, enough from me.  Remember, "you are free to do what you want, as
long as you don't stop others from being free to do what they want."
The more people help with djgpp, the better it gets.  If you rely on
me and the few people actively working on it, you get what we want, at
the pace we are working.  If everyone getting this message (about 700
people, I'm guessing) wrote a page of documentation, or documented one
source file, we'd be done in a day.

Today seems like a good day to start.

DJ

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