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Re: [Nmh-workers] Volunteer Capacity.

From: Bob Carragher
Subject: Re: [Nmh-workers] Volunteer Capacity.
Date: Fri, 21 Jul 2017 11:09:25 -0700

On Fri, 21 Jul 2017 11:51:51 -0400 Ken Hornstein <address@hidden> sez:

> >It's bad because nmh's source needs a lot of clean up, at
> >small and large scale, due to decades of changing
> >expectations, conventions, and bit rot.  And tests to help
> >spot regressions in doing that.
> Ralph has hit the nail on the head.  It seems a large part of
> nmh development is cleaning up old crap from 30 years ago.  At
> least, larger than I would like.  Also, bringing nmh forward
> really means retooling a bunch of internal stuff.  I've done
> that for some things, but it's a big job and we still have more
> to do.
> Now, perhaps people would argue that nmh doesn't need to be
> brought forward that much; I would respectfully disagree, but
> there are some small things people ask for all of the time that
> really need larger changes to happen.  I wish I had more time
> to work on those things.

Out of curiosity, would it help to have "micro-volunteers" to
update the testing?

I'm thinking specifically of something that's been brought up
several times before, namely having (sufficient) test coverage,
both for better testing but also to give developers more
confidence about changes, especially big ones.  While it might be
daunting for most of us lurkers to take on something even on the
order of Larry Hynes' man page updates earlier this year, we
might be happy to contribute a test here and there.  (If nothing
else, it would help assuage some of the guilt some of us might be
feeling for using such a great tool for so many decades without
having contributed any code.  B-)  If enough of us do that, maybe
we could significantly improve coverage?

Of course, one of the main developers still needs to "approve"
any commits, so that doesn't completely eliminate work on
testing.  And, we probably need guidance in terms of what kinds
of tests and what areas of NMH to prioritize, which at the very
least would be a "startup cost."

But perhaps that might make "retooling" and similar big projects
more potentially doable?


P.S.  yes, I'm willing to be a "micro-volunteer."  B-)

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