Re: debiandoc-sgml table support
(Background: Ardo sent me some private email - which I won't post
without his permission - answering some of my questions. I think that
because of the nature of my reply, I ought to post it publicly.)
Thanks for your reply.
I still disagree with you about the sgml() calls. I think those are
morally equivalent to function declarations/definitions, rather than
actual code. I also still have an aesthetic loathing of the new
If you say you've changed most of the code anyway then I can see why
you reformatted it. I have to say that the code mostly looked the
same to me apart from formatting and this breaking-out-of-subroutines
question, but since diff can't tell me anything useful I'll have to
So, in that case, I'd like to apologise for my overreaction to your
changes, which was it seems based on an error in my perception of the
facts, to wit how much other work had been done.
If you want an excuse, I can offer the fact that the last piece of
software I'd `lent' (always intended to be temporary, in that case)
was dpkg, and when I got it back to try to work on it the build system
had been made braindead beyond belief.
However, for the general point, I still think that the original author
of a piece of software has the right to rant and rave about things
they think subsequent modifiers have done badly, and I still think
that they're entitled to call the software `theirs' in some sense.
That's not to say I don't think people ought to have the _right_ to
modify code in ways the original author(s) object to; I just think
that it should generally be avoided if reasonably possible, both
because it keeps people happy and seems less rude, and also because a
lack of wholesale changes makes it easier to apply patches and see
changes between versions, etc.
Ardo asked why I immediately made public comment, rather than
contacting the maintainer privately first. Mainly, because I usually
prefer doing things in public, including washing dirty linen.
Certainly if someone had a similar problem with something I'd done, I
wouldn't expect them to just mail me about it. I also feel that with
most issues (especially `political' ones) it's helpful to get the
opinions of third parties.
Ardo made a comment about the end result being improved documentation,
which should appeal to me as project leader. Of course, with my
project leader hat on there is nothing wrong with what Ardo has done,
and I applaud his effort and energy. However, with my ornery and
temperamental `artistic' code style programmer hat on, I'm touchy
about people editing my software.
Ardo, I'll talk to you some more about my proposed table support,
possibly with some code.
I hope that I have managed to unruffle the feathers of at least Ardo.
If not, I hope that he'll tell me what more I could do or say that
might help, or at least that he'll be willing to work together with
It would be nice if I've unruffled others too, but otherwise I suppose
they'll just have to deal with it ...