Re: ncurses-4.0 un-announcement

From: Eric S. Raymond <>
Date: Fri, 27 Dec 1996 10:57:55 -0500 (EST)

Thhomas Dickey writes:
> both were announced on the mailing list (and I received my copy via the mailing
> list, so I'm reasonably certain that you also received the announcement in that
> manner). The understanding I had with Zeyd was that he'd issue the
> announcement for 4.0 -- but he's not responded, so I'll probably issue it
> today.

Um. I never saw a 1.9.9g announcement. I never saw a 4.0 announcement.
I was never informed of this "understanding". This is bad, among other
things because I would have wanted to issue a terminfo database 10.0
to go with 4.0.

I'm pleased that 4.0.0 is out. I'm even more pleased that Thomas has
finally divulged a current bug list. I still haven't seen

2. A proposed release schedule, with either target dates or functional

3. A theory of release procedure (who issues releases, where do we launch
   it, how do we publicize it).

but if this is a real, stable release that we can hand Linux integrators
then my most important gripe has been handled and point (2) at least recedes
in immediate importance a bit.

But I do wonder why I've been dropped from the LSM maintainer list
without any discussion or inquiry as to whether I wanted to remain on
it. While I don't want to be toiling at this code till the end of time,
when I leave should be *my* choice, or at least one not made without
consulting me.

The state of the 4.0 README file suggests that Thomas has done quietly
what I threatened to do publicly -- seized control of the source base.
He now calls himself "maintainer since 1.9.9e", implicitly dealing
Zeyd and myself out of the picture. Perhaps this implies a theory of
future release procedure after all, though we really ought to develop
one that all three active maintainers (Thomas, Juergen Pfeifer,
myself) agree on.

Considering Zeyd's long virtual absence from the project, I can't say
I really object to Thomas's palace coup per se (nor do I expect
Juergen Pfeifer will). If Thomas is willing to take primary
maintainance responsibility and issue regular, timely releases with
up-to-date bug lists then that's just fine with me. That would
address at least two out of three of the problems that caused me to
become tactically rude and obnoxious for a while.

However, considering that more than half of the inquiry and bug mail
comes to me directly, rather than to the ncurses list, removing me
from the maintainer list and keeping me in the dark would not be a
very smart thing to do deliberately. And to reflect present reality, the
LSM ought to list Thomas and Juergen and myself and drop Zeyd (though
he should certainly be retained as a listed coauthor).

I don't know what notice Juergen got of these developments, and his
response is his business. For myself, if leaving me out of the loop
and omitting me from this LSM were simple errors which will be
corrected, I'm quite willing to overlook them and continue cooperating
(politely, even). Besides the bug mail issue, there's also various
unfinished business in the code I'll be needed for.

If these actions were somebody's policy decision, then explanation
(at least to me, privately, but better publicly) is certainly called for.

	Eric S. Raymond
Received on Fri Dec 27 1996 - 11:57:07 EST

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