Older blog entries for blinker (starting at number 1)

I've been struggling to keep up with the traffic on Ant- Dev. I need a better mail reader than Outlook Express. I'd like to be reading my mail on the laptop's Linux setup, but for the most part my Java development happens under Win2K so it probably makes more sense to download Eudora or something.

Anyway, there's a lot of interesting discussion on Ant-Dev. I'm getting a better sense of what's happening with the proposals for Ant 2. Observations so far:

  1. If I submit a patch, I can't expect to see it in the nightly builds right away (or even anytime soon). I may be eager to see it in a release, but that doesn't make it a top priority.
  2. Adhering to coding standards is critical. I shouldn't even think of contributing anything until I've at least read the standards a few times.
  3. Reaching consensus via e-mail is difficult. I've been thinking about how some of the e-mail discussions might have gone differently if the participants had all been in the same room. The voting system used by the Jakarta projects seems to do a pretty good job of moving things along, but voting only helps if you can call for a vote on the right question.
  4. Backwards compatibility is hard.
  5. Mailing list discussion makes much more sense when you're really familiar with the source code. I downloaded the entire Ant tree to my laptop last night so that I can start reading through it in my copious free time. I've already worked with the Task stuff, so I'm not starting from nothing.

One of my New Years Resolutions is to contribute to at least one Open Source project this year. I figured that a diary here would be a good way to keep track of that.

What have I done so far?

  • Set up an account on Savannah and looked over the Project Help Wanted listings a few times but didn't find anything good.
  • Wondered if it would be easier to get involved with software that I already use.
  • Signed up for the Ant Developers' mailing list at Jakarta and started reading it. It's going to take a while to figure out what's going on over there - at the moment, there seems to be a lot of debate over 2 proposals for new versions of Ant. Unfortunately, the proposals section of the CVS repository is hard to navigate (there's code, but no overview of the sort that I associate with "proposal"). I'll probably post to the mailing list tonight and ask for an explanation.

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