[development] Suggestion for people releasing new modules and themes into CVS

Larry Garfield larry at garfieldtech.com
Thu Sep 14 15:09:59 UTC 2006

Now that I'm less tired... :-)

Actually, it's a little of neither.

1) HEAD is a moving target, for any module.  That comes with the territory.

2) I've noticed that some modules will be updated for a new version, but
not get tagged for it for some reason.  Or maybe they're 90% updated and
then, for whatever reason, the maintainer stops working on it so it's not
really compatible with anything.

3) Given #2, if I see a module that has recent activity in HEAD but no 4.7
tag, I can't tell if that's because it's not fully updated for 4.7 yet or
if it is but the maintainer is just lazy/busy/forgetful.

4) Some module descriptions say things like "right now it doesn't work
yet" or "it now works with 4.6", but the module itself is 3 years old. 
There's no indication when "right now" is.

Given #3 and #4, it's not always easy to tell a module's status unless.


A) If you're going to put comments like "right now it needs some love" or
other temporally-dependent comments into a project description, please
*date them* so that we know when "right now" is.

B) Status information ("Upgrade for version X in progress") is useful, but
only if it's kept up to date and is accurate.  Even "does not yet work
with" is an important piece of information that can save people a lot of
time, yet takes only seconds to add.

C) There was a patch at one point to expose "last updated on" information
about a node to the theme layer in addition to creation time.  I don't
recall if it ever got in, but that would be very helpful information to
have as well.

In all, it boils down to the need for good communication by the module
author on what the status of the project is, beyond simply the existence
of a tag.  There's a lot that a module author can do in a matter of
seconds with their module description to help improve that communication. 
That should be encouraged.

Larry Garfield

On Thu, September 14, 2006 8:58 am, Khalid B said:
> Is your point about the temporal nature of what HEAD is? Or about someone
> tagging the module for a version while it is not yet converted to the
> version?
> HEAD by definition is a moving target. It means different things at
> different
> times. For example, in April, it was 4.7, now it means 5.0.
> So, in any commit, when it says "HEAD" it means "HEAD at the time of
> the commit whatever it may be".
> Another problem is that we often don't know if the next release will be
> an x+1.0 or x.y+1, so we can't say "ported for 5.0" before Dries makes
> that decision. This is another case where code names for future releases
> will help.
> As for people tagging the module before it is ported, this should not be
> happening and I can add a point on it.
> On 9/14/06, Larry Garfield <larry at garfieldtech.com> wrote:
>> On Wednesday 13 September 2006 22:15, Khalid B wrote:
>> > Here is the updated list based on the comments above:
>> I just thought of another one while browsing the module list right
>> now...
>> If you have status information in the module's description ("is being
>> updated
>> for 4.7", "is not yet ready for prime time", "has now been updated
>> for...",
>> etc.) for the love of Dries date it!  A module that says in its
>> description:
>> "It is not yet ready for 4.6, nor for HEAD. Allthough It does work, it
>> still
>> needs a lot of love ad time. So you can help."
>> yet has a 4.6 tag and a last update in CVS of sometime over the summer
>> leaves
>> me scratching my head as to wtf its actual status is.  Yes, this is an
>> actual
>> example I just saw that prompted me to write this email, but I've seen
>> it a
>> great deal.
>> Related to that, make sure you tag a release in a timely fashion.  If a
>> module
>> is tagged for 4.6 but not 4.7, but has lots of recent activity in the
>> branch, does that mean that the 4.7 version doesn't work yet?  That the
>> latest CVS snapshot is 4.7-friendly but the developer is just lazy?
>> That it
>> skipped 4.7 completely and the CVS version is now partially converted to
>> 5.0?
>> Inquiring module-users want to know!
>> OK, this is something of a rant, but I do consider proper maintenance of
>> a
>> project's page and release tags to be basic responsibility.  Someone
>> who's
>> not tired and frazzled at the moment, please translate that into good
>> documentation. :-)
>> --
>> Larry Garfield                  AIM: LOLG42
>> larry at garfieldtech.com          ICQ: 6817012
>> "If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of
>> exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an
>> idea,
>> which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to
>> himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the
>> possession
>> of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it."  --
>> Thomas
>> Jefferson

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