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Re: [tdf-discuss] Scripting for LibreOffice


Hi;

On Mon, Mar 11, 2013 at 3:43 AM, Michael Meeks <michael.meeks@suse.com> wrote:
Hi Keith,

On Sat, 2013-03-09 at 16:16 -0800, Keith Curtis wrote:
I see how LO is heading in this direction, but you could be
explicit about it, create more workitems,

        There always plenty of work-items and opinions; the only shortage is of
people to work on them. Working code speaks far louder than vague wishes
for change and E-mails :-)

I know there are plenty of workitems. Fortunately your team is
growing, with new people showing up looking for discrete, easy to get
into, interesting and important tasks. Right now, it seems there is
less than one Python person. Perhaps it is because there are just one
or two Python Easy Hacks, and not much of a group focus yet like was
done with uncalled functions. With effort to improve this aspect of
your community, you could noticeably polish / improve the product a
lot over time, with each volunteer generally more productive per hour.


You may have to support Java for years, but that doesn't mean you
should invest in the language.

        Java is here to stay of course; it's a great way of writing
cross-platform extensions. Having said that - what makes you think we're
investing significantly in it ? and what does 'invest' mean in the
context of a volunteer project ?

Java is a fine language for some of your enterprise, etc. customers,
but it is not nearly as popular or respected in the Linux desktop
hacker community, who LibreOffice are recruiting many from. As one
piece of evidence, there doesn't seem to be anyone improving the Java
code today.


        Ultimately if someone wants to come and improve the Java support they
are more than welcome, and we'll help them out / review their patches.
Likewise if people want to get stuck into python porting - which has a
pragmatic, end-user benefit - and/or helping python be a better quality
citizen in our ecosystem - I'm all for that too: bring on the patches !

That is great to hear you want Python patches, but requests on this
alias will not be as effective a recruitment tool.


but you could make a point to recruit new people with Python experience
like you do for German speakers. It is also a lot easier of a way to get
into the LibreOffice codebase. STL makes my head hurt,

        Gratuitously irritating some significant segment of our contributors by
importing some completely un-necessary and pointlessly dogmatic
language-war seems like a particularly self-defeating strategy for
success :-)

I think some of your contributors might be too sensitive ;-) The point
I was trying to get at is that C++ is a complicated language, and
Python is a growing and fun language, and yet there is not too much of
a Python dev team. I don't mean to irritate, so it is best to focus on
anything I write that might be useful and be happy for it ;-)

by the time we've carefully driven away everyone except
those who use our preferred language: say Haskell - we may notice that
we're down to a team of one ;-)

If someone wants to support Haskell for some of your users, that is
great and you've got a bunch of UNO code that could be easily changed.
However, I wouldn't recommend volunteers writing a bunch of wizards in
it that LibreOffice would have to maintain, etc.

It isn't about personal preferences, but about community. Python is
not popular to many regular computer users, but their community is
massive and has an incredible amount of free code with libraries like:
http://nltk.org/, http://www.sagemath.org/,
http://scipy.org/Topical_Software.

Other languages have good free libraries as well, and I don't want to
devolve into a language war here but given you already ship with a
Python interpreter, etc., efforts to get people could be valuable for
your next 2.5 years.


I can also imagine a number of new Python extensions that could be
bundled by default.

        Please do write them; then we'll review/merge and bundle them. Real is
better than imaginary when it comes to code ;-) so get stuck in ! prove
the power of python by writing some fantastic functionality with it.


The point isn't about my patches, but about your community. That is
why I wrote to the discuss alias. It shouldn't be necessary to prove
the power of Python anymore, in LibreOffice alone, the Lightproof
grammar checker has already done that. In any case, you are supportive
already, so it would be great if more were with you.

Warm regards,

-Keith

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