[xmonad] A community-driven effort to make XMonad better and better

Alfredo Di Napoli alfredo.dinapoli at gmail.com
Thu Nov 8 09:37:10 CET 2012

Hello guys,

let me respond with calm to any of you, and then I'm done, because I'm
starting to get fed up in repeating always the same thing (which are 
contained in previous email). From the overall picture, I'm starting to see
why xmonad is in the state it is, and why I've involuntary a nerve. Don't
get me wrong guys, but you are navel-gazing.

The first thing is about Darcs, and I suspect is strongly related to the
harsh Brandon's comment. In my opinion, you are acting NOT for the sake of
xmonad and for the love of the WM, but in a name of a dogfooding attitude
that I don't share. Even me would like to see Haskell rule the world, and use
it for every possible task, but this is simply not possible in the nowadays
panorama, full of heterogeneous technology. This means that, if for a 
particular task I consider git and github to be more effective instruments
for the task at hand, I go for them without thinking twice. What I believe in
is the code base, NOT the VCS. I haven't see a single comment worring about
the code base or the fact people are complaining for the lack of patches.
No. Most of you complained about Github evangelism or other nonsenses. Sorry
If I told you so, but this is the kind of comments that put people off from
the development of anything. But go with order.

Someone stated (sorry, I can't remember who) that we only need a more active
maintainer and more contributors. Fine. But try to think why we are discussing
all os this, it means that if you hadn't more contributor in the past, you are unlikely
to have them in a near future. Why? Well, because if you don't change
something, things will remain in the same stasis they used to me. From my
humble point of you, this is related to two point: navel-gazing and
doogfooding. Let's face it, and I say it like an Haskell lover and NOT as
a Github evangelist (which I'm not): Darcs is not, and is not going to be
the new de-facto VCS. Face it, but please don't hide behind that fact that
some Haskell project are on Darcs. Haskell ecosystem is not the WHOLE software
ecosystem. There are 100 git repo for every Darcs repo. Please don't get
offended, it's just a matter-of-fact, and as computer guys now and often
we should act with pragmatism. Darcs is a VERY good VCS, but it lacks
infrastructures. Why people contribute on projects on Github or Bitbucket?
For the same reason the iPhone is the most sold phone of the whole time (now
someone will say I'm a Mac evangelist, despite the fact I'm running Linux 
while writing). They key here is SIMPLICITY. It I have to contribute to a
project, with a VCS I don't know (and therefore I have to learn), where the
code base isn't browsable online (just to get the gist), where the bug
tracker is scattered and hosted on google project, why on earth should I
contribute? In the name of the holy flame of Haskell? No, people don't
think like this. They like to have the "pussy-features", like integrated
wiki, bug tracker, online code browsing. They just clone a repo, hack on it,
do a pull request and whoever has the admin rights can merge the patch. I
repeat, whoever has the admin rights.

What I proposed with the Github organization was a means to decouple xmonad
development with a single maintainer. In an organization, whoever is an
owner can fix things, and this a great deal more handy to have a
maintainer bottleneck. I've also followed all the due procedure, I've
contacted Adam, I've contacted you first, I have invited all people I've
talked to to join the organization, I've said 1000 times I'm NOT the leader
of anything, but still Ivan comment's let intend that my initiative was
perceived like a one-man evangelist that wants to bring everything under
Github because is cool. Sorry, but that was not my intention, and some guys
of the ML have understood this, thankfully.

Now the navel-gazing part. While you are discussing whether the google code
advanced search is more sophisticated that Github one, or that the project
should go on Darcs hubs (who cares if is used mainly for Haskell project, it
requires you to register just to browse things, and in the main page I can't
find a project search box to search for things. But hey, it's written in
Haskell for Haskellers, so you should use it!).
While you are discussing this, people are asking for months the Java patch
to be incorporated into the xmonad:


Incidentally, I had to patch the code myself, despite my efforts to contact
Adam to fix things. In your opinion, why this patch hasn't been incorporated
yet? Mine is that is over complicated to do so, and a system LIKE Github 
(can be also Bitbucket or whatever) lowers the contribution bar at the
point whoever can simply code, patch and pull-request.

To conclude this poem, I think I've summarized my point of view. I don't
want to create a fracture in the community, and as already stated in my
prev email, I'm NOBODY: I have submitted ZERO patches to xmonad, so Gwern,
I do believe in do-ocracy too, but I repeat, once again, I've also kickstarted
the whole thing, I'm not the leader of anything. I just started from a
consideration, followed by a proposed solution to fix things up, and I've
seen some other people share my thoughts, and I can't ignore them.

So Ivan, I've not taken the crown off anyone's head, I'm only a Haskell and
xmonad lover that wants to see his beloved WM maintained and patched. I'm
beyond the VCS, because I care about THE CODE, sentiment I've struggle to
find in some replies to my initiative.

It would have been awesome if the whole community agreed upon the initiative,
and once again I encourage you to let me know if you want to be added to the
Github organization. If the name bothers you, we can even change its names and
start a new fork. It would be an awful thing, with so many effort thrown away,
but if It will be the only viable solution, just as well.
After all, open source code is - well - open source. The guys from 
Copenhagen are patching their own version of xmonad, so we could start from
there. You even cared that their fork was actively maintained on Github, so
why bother is we developed a different fork on our own?

I think of having expressed all my points. Sorry if the English wasn't perfect
but as you may imply, I'm not a native English speaker.
I don't think I will answer further to this thread, I said all I had to say.

If you want to support our new, unofficial initiative, feel free to.
You know where to find us.

The Github sinners

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