[Rake-devel] Rakefile optional when using a rake directory

Hugh Sasse hgs at dmu.ac.uk
Tue Feb 26 07:54:46 EST 2008

On Tue, 26 Feb 2008, Adam Salter wrote:

> Hugh,
> I suspect you understand the actual tone with which my comment was  
> expressed (albeit a little hurriedly)...

Tone never comes across well in email, alas.

> Of course it's good to make a request. But it's only a request. A  
> request and a patch is better.

Agreed. That is the ideal case.

> Generally in the "open source" world it is necessary to be "the change  
> you want to see". In other words if you really want to see something  
> done do it yourself. Submit a patch, _and_ discuss/request. We are all  

This is what I'd really like to challenge.  Why && how?  There is a
desire that open source spread because of its positive benefits.  If
the only RFEs we will accept are from "customers" who can, are
willing to, and have sufficient time to code, then this desire is
"toast".  Clearly, too much, too far in the other direction wastes
time, So the open source world needs to encourage people to make
*intelligent* suggestions, which doesn't just mean code; evidence of
use cases is an example of something that would be intelligent.

A significant class of talented programmers don't interact well with
other people.  Not universally true of course, and too much a stereotype,
but there is truth in this.  So we need input from people with more
user-centric skills to make open source more usable, if it is to become
truly mainstream.  This won't happen while "We only accept patches as
change suggestions" is a refrain.

> busy people and I'm sure the principle maintainer, Jim, has his own  
> things to think about.

And this is another one.  There seems to be an idea in the open
source world that developers are the only really busy people.  Isn't
the time wasted by users of the program of any importance?  Never
mind the problems of the poor souls who have to install some package
with a huge dependency graph, on N different architectures. I'm
constantly seeing people told this, and if we want open source to
prosper then finding ways to drive interested people away is not
going to help.   Would it kill developers to put sensible
suggestions on a prioritized wish list?  Something may only get
implemented in 2037, but at least the person making the request
feels they have been heard.

> As it happens Transfire was quick to supply a patch of sorts, but I'm  

That's the problem with sending a patch first without allowing discussion.
It gets killed for some implementation detail which could have been
prevented by discussion.

> not sure I like loading all files in a directory as rakefiles or  
> running without an explicit rakefile.

So I asked him for more details of why it was needed in case his
case is really compelling, but I (for one) haven't "got it".

> There is sake if you need it (http://errtheblog.com/posts/60-sake-bomb).
> And Transfire could always patch his own version (or even fork rake)  
> if he really wants his functionality.

Yes, of course.  There are disadvantages here, which we need not discuss.


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