Subject: Re: Brewing a new backend
From: Jesper Skov (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Tue Dec 26 2000 - 15:47:46 CST
>>>>> "Dom" == Dom Lachowicz <email@example.com> writes:
Dom> Hi Jesper, To say the least, you've peaked my interest. Len
Dom> Rosenthal and I were going to start something similar before the
Dom> holidays, but it was to be more of a "triage" rather than the
Dom> type of fix that you propose.
A triage - followed by a detailed battle plan would be the sensible
Dom> No doubt, this will take some good amount of time to do right and
Dom> we'll want to keep as much of our existing backend in place as is
Dom> possible until this work is done.
Agree, hence the suggestion for a new directory.
Dom> So my questions are (in no particular order):
Dom> 1) What do you need help with?
Everything :) For starters to get a full overview of what needs to be
done (triage, planning).
My immediate plans were to wait for feedback (got it, ta! ;) and
continue to write an overview doc of the existing implementation -
to get reacquainted with the code.
However, now I think I'll look at the BiDi patch from Thomas before
starting on the doc stuff.
Dom> 2) What're your resources like (is this an official RH project
I wish. No, it's just a something that's been annoying me for a long
time after I hacked on findPointCoords - the backend isn't robust
enough and the design doesn't match the way it's actually being used.
I'd like to see a cleanup for the simple reason that AbiWord is nice -
and I'd hate to see it grow on a foundation that keeps getting more
and more out of date. I don't actually use a WP myself - this is
strictly a scratching-the-itch project from my part :)
Resources - realistically, probably only 1-4 hours a week. Hence the
expectancy of this being a long term project.
Dom> 3) When are you starting?
Now. I have time off from work this week, so I'm hoping there's a
reasonable chance I'd get started somehow.
Dom> I'm terribly interested in helping out. We should come up with
Dom> some sort of game-plan and design firstly, which will probably
Dom> take a while (mostly because i don't see how we can use a
Dom> white-board when I'm in Philly and you're in NC ;)
Ah, I'm in Denmark, actually. Don't let the email address fool you :)
I think first step will be to make a more detailed list of stuff that
we'd like to get done, then flesh that list out with references to
earlier discussions on the list (re the long list of threads in my
From that we should be able to make some rough design outlines using
archived reasoning from people like Paul, Martin, Mike, Sam, and
With that in hand, get those people to look it over and say their
piece. Then another iteration with detail design & review.
Then decide in what order to implement it all in. Possibly use
milestones to raise interest and pace the project :)
Dom> Unless proven unusually stable and properly regression-tested,
Dom> the new backend would not be turned on by default until after the
Dom> 1.0 release.
Agree. I had planned to bring this up after 1.0, but I'm afraid that
with the long time this will take to implement we'd have to live with
annoying weird behavior and crashing in a 1.x product. I'd rather have
something ready for rapid introduction just post 1.0, possibly even at
0.9 depending on how things work out.
Dom> So I'm all for the src/text2 directory, though I
Dom> would probably call it "layout" or "formatting" or something like
Well, it covers both fmt and pt - i.e., both layout/formatting and
content, right? So layout or formatting are not suitable IMHO - mayby
just "backend" or "rep" (for representation - this is after all the
WP's internal representation of the document). But I don't really
care about the name :)
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