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Re: [Ghm-discuss] [gnu-prog-discuss] Planning the next GNU Hackers Meeti

From: Jose E. Marchesi
Subject: Re: [Ghm-discuss] [gnu-prog-discuss] Planning the next GNU Hackers Meeting
Date: Sat, 17 Dec 2011 13:33:15 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.0.91 (gnu/linux)

    I don't think it is reasonable to continue discussing by email.  We
    need a concrete occasion to wrap everything up that has been
    proposed so far.
I am busy extracting and collecting the concrete suggestions/actions
that are popping up in the several threads of the list into an org
document.  At some point I will put the file in ~gnuorg/ in order
to avoid forgetting about them.

    Hence, I am proposing to start organizing the next GNU Hackers Meeting

Good idea.  It is time! :)

    1) Who?  Whoever wants to participate, of course.  However, it would
    be great to find experts on the various subjects that will be touched
    even outside the "core" people that are most active in
    gnu-prog-discuss and in GHM.

ghm-discuss@ is usually used to organize GNU get-together events and the
GHMs.  The people willing to help organizing the event are probably
already subscribed in that list.
    2) What?  The main topic would be the GNU Coding Standards and how we
    can improve them for the next generation of GNU maintainers.

I really love the idea of dedicating a GHM to the GCS, technical best
practices, modernisation, etc.

When partitioning the topics (and thus the work groups) we could use the
existing chapters/sections structure of the GCS and the maintainers
guide.  So, for example, we could have groups for "Graphical
Interfaces", "Command-Line Interfaces", "Writing robust programs", etc.
In that way it will be easier to produce specific patches to specific
parts of the standards.  Much like the old gnits.

    3) How?  Lots of discussion.  As few slides as possible, except as
    introductory material.  Lots of A1-size paper sheets and felt-tip

That sounds nice.  But since the GHM is only two or three days long, we
would need to have something concrete beforehand to discuss about.  That
is why I would suggest to issue a "Call for patches" several months
before the meeting, so people can send patches that will be discussed in
the proper session.  Each patch submission should include a rationale, a
priority set by the author, etc.  A little committee would acknowledge
the patches/memos, organize them and scheduling slots in the GHM agenda.
Something suitable to be processed sequentially in an agile way and
discussed by everyone.

I also suggest to define an algorithm to help discussing the patches in
order to avoid big delays.  So, if no consensum is reached in the patch
number n in 10 minutes then it is marked as "controversial" and put
aside, the discussion continuing to patch n+1.  Next day we would run
again through the controversial patches.  After several iterations, at
the end of the meeting, patches still considered "controversial" would
not be included in the final document.

    The outcome would be, of course, patches. :) The patches might be
    worked out during the meeting or after.  The changes will be
    presented by the workgroups and voted.

Lovely :)

    5) Where?  Europe.  If I am to participate in the logistics, that
    would have to be either Milan, Italy or Brno, Czech Republic.  Both
    cities have very good connections with cheap flights to all over
    Europe (Brno is close-ish to Vienna, Bratislava and Prague). However,
    I am not very good at that job.  Other people have already done it
    very well and are recipients of this message. :)

AFAIK Werner wanted to organize something in Germany for this year.

Jose E. Marchesi
GNU Project    

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