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Re: [Gcl-devel] How to submit GCL patches

From: Jerry James
Subject: Re: [Gcl-devel] How to submit GCL patches
Date: Tue, 20 Jan 2009 15:47:02 -0700

Okay, so I'll try to answer my own questions.

On Mon, Jan 12, 2009 at 7:33 AM, Jerry James <address@hidden> wrote:
> 1. Who are the current developers?  There's a list on the project web
> page, but since I can't even get anybody to fix a broken link there
> (see the first message in this thread), I have no confidence that
> those pages aren't years out of date.

So here's the list from the Savannah page, along with date of last CVS
commit, followed by date of last message to this mailing list in
YYYY-MM-DD format (the namazu results seem to indicate that either the
archives are not complete, or some messages were sent off-list and
replied to on-list, so these dates may be off arbitrarily):

David Billinghurst <billingd>: NONE, 2008-12-09
Robert Alan Byer <ByerRA>: 2002-01-11, 2002-01-15
Camm Maguire <camm>: 2008-09-08, 2008-09-05
Gabriel Dos Reis <gdr>: 2006-10-27, 2008-12-02
Gene Cooperman <gene>: 2005-12-19, 2005-12-20
GOTO Kentaro <gotoken>: NONE, 2002-11-15
David Holmgren <holmgren>: NONE, 2002-03-21
Michael Koehne <kraehe>: 2003-08-08, 2005-02-16
Stavros Macrakis <macrakis>: NONE, 2008-04-17
Mike Thomas <mjthomas>: 2006-06-23, 2005-02-15
Paul F. Dietz <pfdietz>: 2006-05-31, 2005-08-08
Walt Read <read>: NONE, 2002-12-02
Aurelien Chanudet <rlbrk>: 2005-12-01, 2004-07-18
Robert Read <rread>: NONE, 2002-01-13
Viet Ha Nguyen <vietha>: NONE, NONE
Vadim V. Zhytnikov <vvzhy>: 2003-11-22, 2005-08-07

Those who have responded to previous messages of mine are David
Billinghurst and Gabriel Dos Reis.  Thank you, David and Gabriel.  It
appears that you are the only GCL developers still reading this list.

> 2. Who has editing rights on the project web pages?

I don't know.

> 3. Who has commit rights to the code repository?

The developers, would be my guess.

> 4. Who is in charge of release management?

Since the last release was in 2005, my guess is nobody.

> 5. What are the release criteria for 2.6.8 and 2.7.0, respectively?

I haven't yet found any information on this.

> 6. What processes are used to manage incoming patches?

There doesn't seem to be one (anymore).

> 7. What are the policies and procedures around recruiting new developers?

I don't know.  Along those lines, let me introduce myself and explain
my interest in GCL.

My first technical job, while still an undergraduate in Computer
Science, was as a Lisp programmer.  I worked for a year, writing an
interviewing tool for a Psychology professor on what, if my memory
hasn't failed me, was called Macintosh Allegro Common Lisp.  This was
around 1990 somewhere.  I had read parts of CLtL1 while taking a Lisp
class the previous year, and read CLtL2 from cover to cover during
that time.  I didn't touch Lisp much for a few years after that
(unless you can count hacking on my ~/.emacs file).  Then, halfway
through grad school, a couple of Masters students doing some work for
me asked me why I was using Emacs instead of XEmacs.  I hadn't heard
of XEmacs, so they clued me in.  How could I resist the spiffy Gnus
interface?  So I became an XEmacs convert.  I bumped into a few bugs,
and started sending patches off to the XEmacs developers.  Before
long, they recruited me to become a developer, and later a member of
the XEmacs Review Board.  I've done a number of things to XEmacs
(mostly good!), but my biggest feat was adding bignum/bigfloat support
to XEmacs Elisp.  I modeled it after the Common Lisp types.  In 1999,
I started life as a Computer Science professor, first at the
University of Kansas, and later at Utah State University.  During that
time I started using PVS [1], which is written in Common Lisp, and
started contributing to the project.  Just this fall, I completed a
port of PVS to SBCL (available Real Soon Now, once the SRI guys have
time to roll out a new release).  I have been told that GCL is the
best-performing free Lisp, and there is a pretty big performance gap
for PVS between SBCL and Allegro Lisp.  I would like to port PVS to
GCL next to have another point of comparison.  Since Fedora is my
platform of choice, I wanted GCL to be available on Fedora.  And since
the previous Fedora GCL maintainer gave up on GCL about the time I
became interested, I took over.  So here we are.  I see some things I
could do to improve GCL a little, here and there.  What can be done to
make that possible?

[1] http://pvs.csl.sri.com/
Jerry James

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