[Alexandria-list] Future Development of Alexandria

Cathal Mc Ginley cathal.alexandria at gnostai.org
Fri Jun 25 16:55:52 EDT 2010

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Hi Everyone,

After I finally managed to get Alexandria 0.6.6 out the door
(ridiculously long beta period notwithstanding), I thought it might be a
good time to discuss future development of Alexandria.

I had a query from Robert A. Schmied a few weeks ago about whether
Palatina (my experimental Alexandria re-write) has stalled, if is ever
going to be merged into Alexandria, or failing that, what the plan is
for adding new features to Alexandria.

Well, Alexandria has lots of built-in limitations (like only one copy
of a Book per Library) which are low-level and would require lots of
changes everywhere to fix. And from recent experience, bug fixes and
new features are sometimes patched on any-old-how (mea culpa) resulting
in hard-to-read and frangible code. So adding new features directly to
Alexandria wouldn't be my first choice.

Work on Palatina has actually been very slow (no GUI yet, for instance),
and it turns out to be very different from Alexandria in structure. I'm
not sure if I'd actually like to merge the two projects or just produce
a GUI for Palatina that looks very like Alexandria but with tonnes more
features. The question now becomes, should I consider such a new program
to be "Alexandria"? Should I even continue discussion of Palatina on
this mailing-list (I could easily set up one for Palatina development).
I'd welcome all your opinions on this point.

In the mean time, Robert suggested, and I agree, that a public schedule
for work on Palatina might be helpful. (Outside attention on my work
helps to motivate me.) There's a development roadmap on the Palatina
Wiki http://palatin.as/wiki/DevelopmentRoadMap
which I could add dates to if anyone's interested in trying out the
code at some stage. In terms of making "a better Alexandria", I think
that by the "0.4 Kafkaesque" milestone it would be possible to produce a
Alexandria-like program which used Palatina. (Ideally, in 3 or 4
months, so it won't drag on indefinitely).

   -   Cathal.
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