[typo] Typo is getting poor!

Scott Laird scott at sigkill.org
Fri Jun 16 13:01:25 EDT 2006

On 6/16/06, Scott Bronson <bronson at rinspin.com> wrote:
> Some people are volunteering to update the documentation, others are
> rescuing obsolete themes from TypoGarden.  This is wonderful to see!
> Typo may have more life in it yet.
> But what about Typo's biggest problem?
>     http://www.typosphere.org/trac/browser/trunk
> No commits since May 20th, and not a peep from anybody with commit
> access.  Well, one single peep.  :)
> http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.comp.web.typo.user/2677/focus=2686
> r1055 is just not suitable for running a production blog and nobody
> appears to be merging the patches in Trac.  How can this be fixed?

I supposed it's time to jump in here.  I've been insanely busy with
with work for the past couple months.  Even worse, I'm oncall for work
this week, and just haven't had the energy to deal with this thread.

As I see it, we have a few problems (in random order):

1.  Typosphere needs more detail.  Adding a blog would be nice, as
would more documentation.  We've discussed this before, but no one has
stepped forward to get it working.  Technically, this is pretty easy.

2.  No one is actively committing things to SVN.  There are 3
semi-active developers on Typo right now (my, Piers, and Kevin), but
none of us have much time right now.

3.  Bugs are getting fixed/patches aren't being applied.  This is sort
of complex.  First, it's been *really hard* to find patches, thanks to
all of the spam in Trac.  Kevin's beat the spam back quite a bit, but
it's still hard.  Perhaps we'd be best off if people would discuss
patches here.

4.  We're missing documentation, and Typo's hard to install.  This is
mostly my fault.  I've been trying to fix the install process for
months and just haven't found the time.

5.  Typo isn't very stable.  This is a bit different from "bugs aren't
getting fixed."  It's proven to be difficult to install Typo in
different environments reliabily.  Over the past year, I've seen a
huge number of *weird* bug reports just really don't make sense.  It's
like the combination of Apache+FCGI+Ruby+rails+ruby FCGI+Typo+DB is
tough to get reliable.

6.  Typo has a huge resource footprint.  For some reason, Typo seems
to leak memory.  I don't know how to debug this.  In some
environments, Typo can jump up to 50+ MB, while others seem relatively
stable.  Unfortunately, *there's no way to tell where the memory's

7.  Typo has gone down the "more features" route rather then the
"small and fast" route.  I don't know how to address this.  It is what
it is, largely because we've added the things that we want and people
have asked for.  Most of the "bloat" is my code, including things like
sidebars and plugable text filters.

8.  There's no stable 4.0 release, even after months.  This is
basically my fault, too.  People have been waiting for the installer
that I haven't been able to finish.  With any luck, I'll have some
free time once I'm back off being on-call, and I'll be able to spend
10-15 hours on the installer.  Until then, can people help with bug
fixes?  If we can get a list of bugs that are really broken, and
ideally a list of patches that need applied, then it'll be *vastly*
easier to get changes applied.

9.  We need maintainers with time.  Right now, I think there are 6 or
7 people with SVN write access.  4 of those are basically done with
Typo, leaving 3 of us semi-active.  If a couple people could step up
and demonstrate that they (a) have time, (b) know what they're doing,
and (c) are good at dealing with bugs, then I'd be glad to add them to
the commit list.

So, what am I missing?


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