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Re: the next version of Lout

From: Ludovic Courtès
Subject: Re: the next version of Lout
Date: Mon, 16 Jan 2012 13:59:15 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.110018 (No Gnus v0.18) Emacs/24.0.90 (gnu/linux)

Hi Jeff,

Jeff Kingston <address@hidden> skribis:

> It's time to start thinking about updating Lout from 3.39 to 3.40.
> Several Lout users have made major contributions over the years,
> but they have always had to send them to me, and I have always
> reviewed them carefully and, as it were, made them my own before
> incorporating them.  I would like to make this the first truly
> collaborative update of Lout, starting from the 3.39 version
> held on the Savannah web site and doing the updates through that
> site.  This would change Lout into a thing that was maintained
> directly by interested people generally, rather than by me.
> What do people think about this?

I like the idea!  However, it seems to me that you are still needed, at
least for advice and review, because Lout development has been driven by
you during all this time, and it’s a complex piece of software that few
people other than you understand, I suppose.

Technically, I think the first step should be to use a version control
system (VCS).  There’s a Subversion repo in the Lout project on
Savannah, which we could use.  We could also ask for a commit
notification mailing list.

Given the amount of traffic on the list, I think it’s OK to keep doing
bug tracking as has always been done, informally.  Otherwise, we could
ask for a Debbugs slot at bugs.gnu.org.

> Up until now, I have decided everything, and that has had its
> advantages and disadvantages.  Some decisions are not easy to
> make.  Presumably, interested expert people would make them
> collaboratively using tools provided by Savannah.  I am not sure
> whether anyone is interested in contributing to Lout in this way
> at this advanced stage of its life.

Well, there are even people contributing to TeX and LaTeX, which are
(both?) older than Lout.  ;-)

Eventually someone could be interested in implementing, say, Unicode
support, and OpenType support, who knows?  IOW, while I understand that
as its designer, you may be very sensitive to Lout’s shortcomings, that
doesn’t mean the software itself is dead, because it does the job, and
because there are areas that could be improved incrementally.

> Below is the current list of things to do.  Dates refer to emails
> I received, mostly Lout mailing list emails, in MM/DD/YYYY format.
> I expect to do most of the jobs myself, as usual, but this time I
> expect to structure the changes as separate updates to the Savannah
> version.  Some could be done by others, and a few are patches that
> could be applied directly on Savannah by their authors.

Thanks for compiling them!


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