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Re: News about the macro archive

Subject: Re: News about the macro archive
From: Peter Simons
Date: 27 Jan 2005 14:35:45 +0100
Tom Howard writes:

 > Well, I hope you enjoy the flaming as it can serve no
 > other purpose. My question to you is how did a discussion
 > become and flaming?

It became flaming at the point where I had the impression
that you (and others) were attacking me personally. That
impression I have is very closely related to reading
statements that are FACTUALLY UNTRUE. So if you don't want
this to be flaming, try to talk about things that match the
facts, then nothing will happen.

 > I've made the licence changes that you requested (and as
 > your requested).

I am sorry, but it is a little late for that.

 > In most cases and forking of an open source project
 > indicates a failure at some level. For a project as small
 > as this it indicates a significant failure, and it seams
 > like something that you have no interest in rectifying.

For me, a project's success or failure is determined by the
quality of the result. The GNU Autoconf Macro Archive
provides a useful service. If it didn't, we would hardly put
all this passion into the discussions, would we? Who cares
about a project that isn't useful?

You are right that a fork may be regarded as a failure
insofar as that I didn't manage to integrate Guido
successfully in the project I was running already when he
showed up. I am willing to accept _half_ the responsibility
for that. However, that's the past, and it can't be changed.
My focus is on improving the archive I _have_; not the one I
could have had or should have had.

 > Whatever. The gnu archive is high ranked.

I appreciate it when people admit that they were wrong.
Thank you for that.

 > You don't think having two archive is a mess?

I used to, but I don't think that anymore. The ideas I have
for the Autoconf Macro Archive seem to vary wildly from the
ones other people have. Since this is a project I do in my
spare time, I am not interested in going through the immense
effort of finding consensus, I am interested in running the
archive I want to run.

So if you (or anyone else) has great ideas that I won't
accept for whatever reason, I encourage you to set them up
nonetheless. You can use branches in CVS and subdirectories
on the web site, or you can run it on sf.net, or you can run
it anywhere else. As long as it doesn't interfere with my
work, I don't mind at all.

Seeing that people go through the effort of actually _doing_
what they talk about is a much more persuasive argument to
reconsider my opinions than lots of postings on a mailing
list are.

In a bizarre way, I have to give Guido a lot of credit for
what he did back then. He didn't just talk, we went ahead
and did it. He ran his own archive. I still don't like the
way it was run, nor am I happy about the way he pulled it
off back then, but I respect it a lot when people deliver on
the ideas they have.

 >> Yeah, I'm sure Guido is going to shut down
 >> ac-archive.sf.net any moment now. That's really the
 >> drift I have been catching from his postings.

 > I am certain that if the features he (and I and others as
 > well probably) needs are implemented with the gnu archive
 > then the SF archive would stop having a purpose and
 > quietly retire. Why not work towards that and see what
 > happens?

Because I don't believe it will happen. Guido will never
shut down ac-archive.sf.net; neither would I shut down my
site. I've come to realize that both archives will have to
coexist. And it's good that it is that way, because the
competition between us drives both of us to make our archive

 >> If _you_ want to do something, then _you_ want it. Not
 >> "the users". The users are several thousand people all
 >> over the Internet, you've never been designated their
 >> spokes-person.

 > Someone needs to be the voice of the masses.

I disagree. You have no right to speak as if you knew what
"the masses" want. You quite simply don't know it! With the
same right you speak for the masses, I could say _I_ speak
for them. As a matter of fact, I have been having a LOT more
contact with users of the archive than you did, and everyone
except those rare exceptions here on the list seems to be
pretty enthusiastic, actually.

This leaves us at am impasse, so I suggest we both speak for

 > The only person yet to disagree with what I'm saying is
 > yourself. So, yes as a user and contributor, I will do my
 > best to represent fellow users and contributors until I
 > see some differing opinions.

That is some  ed up logic, Tom. Let me apply the same
logic. The reason why none of the vast number of users of
the archive says anything is because they realize that your
ideas are totally stupid and because they trust that I won't
do it anyway. So the silent masses are really all on _my_
side, not on yours.

DISCLAIMER: The paragraph above is meant to be thought
about. If you take it literally, you will miss the point.

 > The SF archive was created (from my understanding)
 > because Guido needed some features that you would not
 > allow (or removed, I don't pretend to know the intricate
 > details) in the gnu archive.

That's not very accurate, to put it carefully.

 > Even though you dare no admit it, there are issues with
 > the gnu archive that have resulted in the creation of
 > another archive.

Yes, and these issues are personal, not technical. So they
have no place in this discussion.

 > If you let me help, I think you will be pleasantly
 > surprised when the SF archive become redundant and
 > disappears, though sadly after this exchange, I doubt you
 > would trust me. :(

The reason why I don't trust you, Tom, is not this exchange;
it is the fact that you were ignoring the agreement we had
on how to update the content for the license disclaimer
addition. I have no use for people who change plans without
saying anything, especially if their spontaneous decisions
spoil _my_ plans.

If you had actually committed these changes, I would have
been mad as hell. So now I am not mad as hell, but I am
still pretty disappointed because I _did_ trust you, did I

 >> Yeah, I really needed to be inspired by your staggering
 >> technical expertise. Without the ac-archive-build stuff
 >> that never worked

 > IT did actually work, and I gave you instructions on how
 > it worked.

I'll give you a pointer. These instructions you posted
listed, among other things, the command:

 $ ./bootstrap

Now look real hard in the CVS repository.

Once you've done that and realized your mistake, look real
hard at the mailing list archive. Search for a followup of
mine to your instructions. If you actually read it, you'll
find the other problems I reported.


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