About ProgressReport and msn-pecan

Kevin Stange kstange at pidgin.im
Fri Jun 13 07:07:41 EDT 2008

Felipe Contreras wrote:
> On Fri, Jun 13, 2008 at 3:15 AM, Mark Doliner <mark at kingant.net> wrote:
>> On Fri, 13 Jun 2008 02:46:34 +0300, Felipe Contreras wrote
>>> On Fri, Jun 13, 2008 at 2:38 AM, Mark Doliner <mark at kingant.net> wrote:
>>>> On Fri, 13 Jun 2008 01:23:24 +0300, Felipe Contreras wrote
>>>>> Anyway, I just added support for GLib 2.0.0 in msn-pecan, and now
>>>>> it's uglier, but I guess when you mess with libpurple that's what
>>>>> you are looking for anyway.
>>>> FYI comments like this reduce the likelihood of a "hypothetical merge or the
>>>> possibility of contributing directly on the project" (as was suggested in the
>>>> blog post you referenced at the beginning of this email thread).
>>> Because I think libpurple is far from perfect?
>> Saying "libpuple is far from perfect" is very different from saying "it's
>> uglier, but I guess when you mess with libpurple that's what you are looking
>> for anyway."
>> The former statement is more polite (although still a little rude).  I find
>> the latter statement to be pretty offensive.  Impoliteness and disrespect for
>> our code are not things that build a healthy open source community.
> Well, I'm sorry, but it's true, every single attempt I have made to
> improve things has failed. The choice of pretty unpopular DSCM, a
> centralized development model, a website that constantly has kittens
> (or used to), a mess with header includes, a lack of object-oriented
> code, disregard of freedesktop standards, and now an unreasonably old
> dependency support.

You list these items like each one was specifically chosen to make 
things harder for you.  Everything that exists in Pidgin or libpurple 
does for some set of reasons.  Whether or not the reasons are any good 
or even apply anymore is certainly debatable.  I think you would be hard 
pressed to find any developer that believes libpurple is perfect.  If we 
thought so, we wouldn't have any plans for the future of the library.

Monotone is a relatively new VCS, but it seems to work pretty well as 
far as I've used it.  In our search, we (Ethan primarily) looked at many 
and guided us toward the one he found most promise with.   Many people 
have already gotten involved in spite of having to use monotone, so I 
don't buy your argument that it's prohibitive to development.  You 
already knew we were using MTN when you chose git from what I recall, so 
it's your own fault if that makes things harder for you.  Monotone 
provides static binaries, so if you can't find a package for your 
distro, you still have an option.

The web site problems come with the territory of trying to move out onto 
our own development system, a requirement of operating things like 
monotone from a central location.  The issues have been largely ironed 
out and things work pretty well now.

I don't know what "mess with header includes" you're referring to.  As 
far as I know most of the headers are reasonably laid out and functional.

Object oriented code is certainly a design goal of gobjectification, or 
have you not been paying attention to that whole discussion?

And I'm sure we'd like to work toward supporting reasonable 
freedesktop.org standards.  Which ones are we so blatantly and 
offensively disregarding in your eyes?

As for old dependency support, this has been thoroughly explained in 
this thread.  You are maintaining a separate plugin, so you can do 
whatever you like, but if you want to know why your code isn't clear for 
merging with Pidgin, that's certainly one reason that holds us back 
until we're comfortable breaking compatibility for older *maintained* 
distributions, like RHEL 3.

> I've tried to improve things, and I've got impoliteness, offensive
> comments and disrespect for my work, and my ideas (when I don't get
> ignored). Of course, not from everyone, but still, I don't think this
> is a very healthy community anyway.
> I'm just saying what is happening; supporting libpurple is making
> msn-pecan uglier. I can't wait to put all the libpurple support in a
> module, so at least I can contain the ugliness.

I can't follow MSN pecan development because so many of your commits 
change random things in addition to the stated change in your commit 
message.  I assume that you know what you're doing when you delete lots 
and lots of code you don't think is important in a cleanup, but you 
don't explain it anywhere... The way you write the changesets I've seen 
they become obsolete so fast it's impossible for us to merge them unless 
we review them within a matter of days.

I wasn't involved with Pidgin too deeply when you were a major 
contributor, but if your patches were anything like what I've seen in 
your commits, I can understand why they may have had to rot for a while 
while we tried to figure out whether they did anything undocumented that 
might break something else... and when we have to rewrite or disassemble 
a patch to make it work with Pidgin, that takes a lot more time and 
attention from an otherwise busy person.

Now if you really find libpurple to be SO ugly, poorly maintained and 
unusable, why are you working with it?  If there are improvements you 
see as necessary, write clean patches doing only what is needed to fix 
the problem and explain cleary why you feel the change is necessary and 
what exactly it fixes.  Remember that patches that break the existing 
API are likely to be held off until we are ready for that major version 
bump down the road, and that not every issue can be addressed with the 
haste you seem to believe makes for better code.

> And BTW, other people along with being offended would ask for ways to
> improve, but that's not the Pidgin way.

Of course we want suggestions on how to improve, but we demand reasons 
for changing things, explanations of how the improvements will benefit 
the project and justifications for abandoning an old methodology.  You 
can't simply tell us what you don't like and what you think we should 
do; you also have the burden of having a meaningful argument that will 
sway our opinion.  If you're not prepared to do that, we're probably not 
going to put too much stock in your suggestions.

I keep thinking you could be such a valuable contributor to Pidgin on 
MSN, and I've told several people it would be great if we could try to 
make you feel welcome, but the more I see your actions, the more it 
seems you don't /want/ to feel welcome, you want free reign.  You refuse 
to accept the parameters of our coding standards, or to justify the need 
to break them, and then every time we get into one of these threads, you 
fall apart at the first sign of any criticism and lash out at the 
project in general.  If you can't handle criticism and defend your 
ideas, it seems like you're hanging around the wrong project.

I have to give up trying to believe there's a reason to defend your 


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