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Re: Reworking the GTK+ cdebconf frontend

Jérémy Bobbio wrote:
On Thu, Jun 21, 2007 at 03:35:09PM +0200, Attilio Fiandrotti wrote:
I must evantually say i'm disappointed of the way the gtk frontend code was nonchalantly modified, without any patch being posted and discussed on d-boot previously, moreover proving to ignore many design decisions behind the whole g-i.

Because of all the above reasons, i'd like to revert the gtk frontend to r47287 ASAP.

My initial plan was to work on the code alone until I would be satisfied
with it and then only to submit it for inclusion.

Colin told me that it would be better if I would rather do more
incremental changes that could be more easily reviewed.  I then followed
his advice and started to commit incremental changes in the repository.

What I have done yet is only a first step in a process.  I basically
wanted to have a better view on the code to be able to refactor it.
It's currently underdocumented, so I wanted to get things clearer in the
first place.  This meant expanding variable definitions and adding a lot
of comments all over the code.  And yes, this made the code longer, but
that's only a first step to be sure that I would not loose any
subtitlities during the refactoring step.

I felt a general consensus here, in Edinburgh, from most people involved
in the debian-installer, that such improvement of the code base would be
more than welcome.  I also felt that they were trusting my intents and
my abilities to improve the code.

I know how much time you have actually spent on that code, and I fully
appreciate it.  If you don't trust me, well...  I might just go on with
my initial idea and submit a huge diff at the end.

In any case, please give me more time before rejecting my contributions
straight away.

Apropos of the changes you brought to the sourcecode (the one where you added "comments" all over the code specifically), i already expressed my opinion: i believe they don't bring any substantial benefit, overcomplicate it and don't take into account existing issues.

I understand GTK+'s API may look complex to newbies, so adding comments aboout GTK's API may seem a good idea initially, but in the long term perspective all those obvious commentings will turn into a burden for sourcecode manageability.

IMHO, what *really* needs to be documented are cdebconf's internals (data structures, frontend/db implementation..): i still remember my initial difficulties in working on the GTK frontend were not related to the GTK API, which is well documented, but rather to the understanding of how cdebconf is structured and works internally, which i had to understand by myself.

Apropos of the way of performing commits, after the g-i became part of official builds i became very prudent about committing huge changes to the sourcecode.

If you look into last months d-boot archives, you'll see that i usually discuss patches on list before committing, and you'll also see the same do all other people working on the g-i: because the d-i is a community project, i think posting-before-commiting is the correct way of proceeding.

You did warn the ml about your intentions about refactoring the GTK frontend in the next 2-3 days, but your mail dates 20/06/2007 18:55 and your first commit 2007-06-20 21:31:37 (just a few hours later), practically leaving no time for replies: using an euphemism, i consider this behaviour unfair.

I'd like you to respect the simple "post-before-committing" and discuss with the d-boot team further changes before they take place.

As anyone can see, i didn't rejected (reverted) anything, but rather expressed my doubts about your commits; still, my opinion is that commits 47577, 47580, 47591 have to be reverted, while 47587 and 47611 are ok.


Attilio Fiandrotti

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