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Re: [rdiff-backup-users] Plans?

From: Edward Ned Harvey (rdiff-backup)
Subject: Re: [rdiff-backup-users] Plans?
Date: Fri, 24 May 2013 12:45:26 +0000

> From: rdiff-backup-users-bounces+rdiff-
> address@hidden [mailto:rdiff-backup-users-
> address@hidden On Behalf Of Kevin
> Greetings.
> Now that there is a maintainer again, perhaps he would be willing to
> share a roadmap/plan?
> Personally, I think it would be great to look at trying to fix easy
> bugs/low lying issues and get a 1.4 release pushed out? 1.3.x has been
> in 'development' for about 4 years, would be nice to get it out there
> as stable. ;)
> Then, perhaps look at longer term items for a 1.6?
> Thoughts?

I'm technically a maintainer, but I don't want to set your hopes too high.  My 
big first motiviation was just the fact that the webpage was covered with 
broken links, and it was difficult to join this mailing list (because the link 
to the mailing list was broken.)  

Even if there isn't a lot of development effort going on, things like that make 
it all look like run down garbage that nobody cares about ... and discourages 
anyone from thinking about contributing.

In my discussions with former developers / maintainers here so far, there has 
been a consistent theme:  They've consistently told me what happened to them 
was there was too much to do, they pushed too hard, they burned out.  And the 
one regret they have is putting their effort into development rather than 
finding more developers.

So here are my plans:  I'm going slow.  I plan to reach out to colleges and see 
if they will offer co-op student contribution for course credit.  I personally 
am not interested in rdiff-backup on windows or mac - but I recognize the 
importance of supporting it - 

Before ANYthing can move forward, we need the ability to perform regression 
testing.  The old tests exist in the repo, but I haven't looked yet at how to 
set it up.  We need test machines to run these tests on.  I can probably 
provide some of this - I have a virtualization infrastructure in my basement 
(who doesn't?)  

Anyway, I anticipate the need for some more overhead tasks before any 
development can begin.  And once that happens, I anticipate the first thing to 
do is look over the bug reports, to see what types and what severities there 
are.  See if any of them can be reproduced or included into regressions.  Some 
of them might get attention, some might not.  

I'm not sure yet, what kind of data validation rdiff-backup does, but I have a 
feeling it should be improved.  And there are some frontend features I'd like 
to see added, such as ability to reference backups by rev number instead of 
date, ability to record log message at the time of backup, obviously ability to 
review log, and ability to compare rev A against rev B (without requiring a 
complete restore of both).  And hopefully, make validation a strong feature, 
and put it front and center.  (Like, mention it on the webpage, for example.)   
Right now, --verify *might* be a great feature.  But it's not on the examples 
page, (which is basically the only thing most users will read) and since "v" is 
late in the alphabet, they have to read the whole man page before they even 
find it.  So ...  It would be cool if literally the only change is to give that 
feature a more prominent position on the Examples page.

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