[neomutt-devel] #224

David Champion dgc at bikeshed.us
Mon Feb 13 00:55:48 CET 2017

* On 10 Feb 2017, Guyzmo wrote: 
> better and more stable over time, and now I cannot live without notmuch,
> so as you see karel as a guy who did an offensive fork, I thank him for
> enabling a tool I love work nice with another tool I love.

My problem with Karel is that he never spoke to us, never posted the
patch, nothing.  We would have been interested in the work if it had met
our quality standards, or he was willing to iterate on it.  We would
have been glad to have him join us.  But it was easier for Karel to

My objection is to people dividing communities because of what's easier
for them at the time.  It's not actually very community-focused, it's
rather self-centered.

> And from my understanding (please prove me wrong), the mutt project is
> not interested in merging a fat feature like notmuch, and even if it
> did, then you'd get a whole bunch of old school users — and I know and
> have respect for some of them — that would complain about how mutt is
> becoming a useless huge bloat, instead of staying the same MUA they love
> since 1995.

Yes, some people would respond that way.  We have some very conservative
community members, and some less so.  We have people who complain about
nearly every patch posted. This happens over time with an old project;
Sven's departure from the community was hardly the last of our trolls.
Most of them are not actually involved in the decision-making process,
although their opinions can be valuable and we try to listen.  You'd get
those complaints; we'd ignore them except where they pointed out actual
flaws or points of improvement.  I've faced this with a number of my own
patches.  My answer?  You can disable it.

The other case where we sometimes reject essentially worthwhile patches
is when it doesn't appear that there's someone who will "own" it.  That
was the case with sidebar for a very long time.  The code was in bad
shape, the original author (I don't even remember who it was anymore)
had moved on, nobody was willing to own it until Richard took care of
it.  It would be a poor choice for us to take code we cannot maintain,
and can't call on someone to maintain.  It is definitely thanks to his
effort that we merged it.

I don't use notmuch but I realize that it's very popular.  If someone
had shown it the love in a patch that we could merge, I think we'd have
been interested.  But Karel never said hello.

> On Thu, Feb 09, 2017 at 03:42:26PM -0800, David Champion wrote:
> > 1) what does a new community bring that the established one does not
> I don't know and I can only speak from my perspective.
> All I know, is that if it wasn't for Karel's fork followed by Rich's, I
> might have stopped using mutt, or I'd have worked on another mutt-like
> MUA that has a first class notmuch integration.
> Though I do appreciate you guys reaching out in a rather nice way, so we
> can discuss the issue and decide how we can gather efforts, or whether
> both projects have too divergent goals.
> > 2) is it advantageous to create a new community rather than making any
> > effort whateoever to introduce those advantages (I don't doubt that
> > there are some) to the established community?
> Well, it all depends on whether we'll lose more time talking politics,
> or if we actually care about code.
> I'm not against contributing to mutt directly, and would actually be
> honoured to, if the features I'm actually interested in (mainly:
> notmuch, but other troll-bait features like composing mime/alternative
> mails) can be considered by the "established" community.
> That being said, and after having dug a bit in (neo)mutt's sources, I do
> believe that some modernisation of the codebase is really needed
> (homogeneous coding style and indentation, no more globals, no more huge
> functions…), the most important thing being introducing regression tests
> and CI. And I'd be happy to discuss these topics in length and write
> patches for that.
> Politics? gah, not really.
> Cheers,
> -- 
> Guyzmo

David Champion • dgc at bikeshed.us
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