[darcs-users] [Haskell-cafe] helping you contribute to darcs
(poll results so far)
jeremy at n-heptane.com
Wed Aug 6 03:20:17 EDT 2008
At Wed, 6 Aug 2008 06:29:32 +0100,
Eric Y. Kow wrote:
> Dear Haskellers,
> patch theory is still not defined clearly or rigorously enough for Haskellers
Are the darcs developers familiar with these papers (available on citeseer):
Undo Actions in Collaborative Work, Prakash & Knister 1992
Undoing Actions in Collaborative Work: Framework and Experience, Prakash & Knister 1994
The papers describe an undo mechanism for multiuser collaborative
editing which sounds like how I imagine darcs patch theory to be (and,
they even run into the dreaded exponential merge bug and propose a
They include some formal reasoning that may be easy to adapt to darcs?
hope this helps,
> Last Friday, I had posted a message asking how the darcs community
> could a better job recruiting developers to hack on darcs. Thanks for
> all the great responses! I am gratified by the suggestions you have
> offered, as well as the recent uptick in community involvement.
> The responses so far fall along three themes: offering new features,
> improving code accessibility and shaking up the community:
> - GUI (david48, Bit Conner)
> - splitting/merging (Luke Palmer, Ben Franksen)
> - binary file handling (Jason Dusek)
> - ... already does what I want (Allan Clark, Andrew Coppin)
> Code accessibility
> - split into libs (Neil Mitchell)
> - unit tests! (Ashley Moran)
> - code documentation (Lele Gaifax)
> - patch theory docs (Apfelmus, Ferenc Wagner)
> - inherent simplicity of model, cf git (Austin Seipp)
> - release announcements (Brandon Allbery, Neil Mitchell, Don Stewart)
> - showing ways to help (Wren Ng Thorton, Ferenc Wagner)
> - announcing our need for help (Wren Ng Thorton)
> - easier entry point to darcs code, à la xmonad (Petr Rockai)
> - more active leadership (Don Stewart, Lele Gaifax)
> One thing which is clear is that the darcs team have failed to
> communicate effectively: the code is not as well-documented as it should
> be, patch theory is still not defined clearly or rigorously enough for
> Haskellers, the recent release announcements gave people the impression
> that darcs was being abandoned, and we haven't made it clear that we
> needed your help.
> We need your help
> Hopefully one thing is clearer after this discussion. We definitely
> need your help!
> What we need most of all are some Haskell optimisation gurus to join
> the project, even in a minor way. Darcs 2 offers some huge improvements
> in safety and core efficiency. Unfortunately, these improvements are
> overshadowed by poor performance. Paradoxically speaking, darcs 2 just
> isn't fast enough for people to notice how much faster it has gotten!
> We need somebody to comb through our code and spot the silly things
> which are making performance suffer. Is there something too strict?
> Too lazy? Are going about IO completely the wrong way?
> There is no patch theory needed for this! Anybody with an eye for
> performance should be able to rip into this code and find something
> to fix.
> If you are not an optimisation guru, there are still loads of ways to
> help. For starters, you could help us to improve our support for
> Windows, or maybe some of the ProbablyEasy bugs:
> We will communicate better
> The darcs 2 release announcement was very frank, but it also painted an
> inaccurate picture of the situation.
> Here is a clearer picture: we are all still very interested in darcs and
> want to keep using it! If you have a large repository and you cannot
> wait for us to fix performance bugs, we wish you the best with git
> (etc). But if darcs can handle your repository, we hope you stick
> It is true that David is taking a lower profile, but this just means
> that he is not following every discussion on the mailing list or
> every new bug and feature request. David is still receiving patches
> and reviewing them on a daily basis, providing the usual technical
> insight. So keep sending those patches!
> That's all for now
> I am going to leave things here for now, despite all the interesting
> points we could still address and see where else the discussion leads.
> In my next reply, I hope to address some of the more of suggestions you
> have offered.
> Thanks again!
> Eric Kow <http://www.nltg.brighton.ac.uk/home/Eric.Kow>
> PGP Key ID: 08AC04F9
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