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Re: [libreplanet-discuss] RFC: GNU Developer Network on libreplanet.org


From: Brandon Invergo
Subject: Re: [libreplanet-discuss] RFC: GNU Developer Network on libreplanet.org
Date: Sat, 13 Jul 2013 12:43:02 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.3 (gnu/linux)

I'm sorry, I've been a bit preoccupied the past few days so I haven't
been as responsive.  You guys are coming up with some great ideas here.
There is still a discussion going on within the advisory board as well.
Hopefully we'll reach a consensus soon!

> *** Thank you for the detailed explanation. +1 for GNU DevelopMENT
> Network. [0]

GNU Development Network might be a good solution.  I'll propose it.

> Especially the part: "How to write languages other than C to GNU
> standards/styles" rings true.

I'm not the best person to talk about this, since I haven't been
involved in the standards at all, but in general we maintain the
standards in C because consistency between official GNU packages is
important.  It makes maintenance of the packages much simpler in the
long run.  I won't name names, but when we have packages that were
written in other languages (Smalltalk, Eiffel, etc.) that subsequently
become abandoned, it becomes much more difficult to find a new
maintainer for them later on.  In other cases, like C++, where the
language standards seem to be a moving target, code falls into bitrot
extremely quickly.  Well-written C from 20 years ago will still build
and work today, though.

Now, that's just for official GNU packages.  We recommend that most
packages be written in C for the same consistency, however of course
people will write in whatever language they want (I'm a big Python guy
myself).  Thus, perhaps a good thing for a GNU Development Network would
be to develop some community standards and recommendations for other
languages that GNU could endorse (I'd have to bring this up with Richard
and the advisory board, of course).

> The younger generation would certainly appreciate
> autotools-for-PUT_YOUR_FAVORITE_LANGUAGE_HERE.

Getting into details here, but there is autoconf-archive, which has some
Autoconf macros for other languages, and pyconfigure which is a set of
macros and templates for Autoconf and Make for Python.  I would encourage
the further development of packages like this for other languages.

> Moreover, some alternate programs appeared. Some better, some better
> maintained. Some using different approaches. For example, tmux as an
> alternate to screen. Or Zshell, or Git... Some of them might integrate
> the GNU project. I think the GDN could also address this part.

As long as all the software is free software, there aren't any problems
in principle.  I would prefer, however, that all alternatives be given
equal treatment, rather than seeming like we're pushing for one package
over the other.  Even more important, though, is that this should
motivate us to contribute to and improve the GNU packages where
applicable.

I'm sure there were some interesting comments that I've failed to reply
to.  Please let me know if there's anything that needs a response.

Cheers,
Brandon

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