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From "Adam Jack" <>
Subject Re: [RT] href considered harmful
Date Tue, 23 Mar 2004 20:45:01 GMT

> Gump is a social experiment, and this part of the experiment has shown
> to be a negative and annoying factor. I feel that my own recent
> experiences with jicarilla are an excellent example: even with an active
> and experienced member of the core gump group trying to actively
> maintain gump descriptors in sourceforge cvs, things break and the
> workflow is nothing short of a nightmare.

It is a tough decision to remove a feature (like href) that has such
potential  for 'community outreach'. It seems such a good idea (to avoid CVS
bound, and distribute responsibility) and that it can't be bad, can it? I
think it can...

I think we have to review exactly where we stand w.r.t to the Gump workflow,
and recognize that we tried to distribute metadata management too soon for
the communities. Sure, for an expert Gump metadata is simple, but it does
have a lot of complex choices (to support reality). The combinatorials of
Gump metadata (when merged) are quite daunting. With no
generator/wizards/overviewer/compiler/tester we are expecting the community
to throw metadata up to us and hope it runs. That is counter productive to
our goal of happy communities.

Gump metadata is like having a complex development in a runtime interpreted
language with nightly runs based upon untested code in a repository. This is
analogous to punch cards & batch runs and requests more
patience/discipline/investment than communities will give. [Heck, this *is*
the early days of my writing Gumpy in Python checking in to test remotely,
prior to getting some unit tests.  ;-) Hard, hard, work --a frustrating bad
development environment.]

> I suggest we move to strike and loudly proclaim descriptors not living
> in gump CVS as harmful. Their use needs to be *strongly* discouraged
> from now on. Who's with me?

I think we are in a state where this is a good thing, for those that can.
Gumpmeisters need to help communities (until we code tools, wizards/whatever
to help generate that.) I don't think 'hrefs' are themselves the core
problem, but deprecating them help bring things into the hands of the
experts, so I am for it.

> (PS: I love writing like this every now and's a writing
> exercise; don't take it /too/ seriously :D)



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