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digitalmars.D - Contributing to the compiler? Tracking suggestions?

reply Bill Baxter <dnewsgroup billbaxter.com> writes:
I take it there's not enough DMD code provided to actually compile 
anything, right? There at least aren't any makefiles...  GDC is 
available for hacking, but how useful is a patch against GDC to Walter?

In general, what are the best ways to help keep this D-train on chugging 
forward?  Are compiler patches useful?  Library code?  Apps?  Wrappers? 
  Bug reports?

I guess what I'm looking for is a big fat "How can I help?" page 
somewhere.  It would make a good top-level page for Wiki4D, for instance.

As far as suggestions go, what's the best way to keep them from getting 
lost?  Wiki4D has a "proposals" section [1], but it's not very populated 
-- only 5, one of which I added, which is quite few considering that 
about that many suggestions show up on the newsgroup every week.

There's also the tracker for D [2], but a comment on one enhancement 
proposal I saw there says that the D issue tracker is reserved for 
suggestions that received positive feedback from Walter, but many good 
ideas are just ignored by Walter until like 90% the community jumps up 
and down about it simultaneously.

Finally there's the Unofficial D Wish List [3], but that seems to be 
rather out of date/seldom pruned, as it includes old things like "add 
opIn", duplicates ("System.Windows.Forms"), and just irrelevant things 
like "This list makes a difference?".

--bb

[1]  http://www.prowiki.org/wiki4d/wiki.cgi?IdeaDiscussion
[2]  http://d.puremagic.com/issues/
[3]  http://www.all-technology.com/eigenpolls/dwishlist/
Oct 22 2006
next sibling parent Brad Roberts <braddr puremagic.com> writes:
Bill Baxter wrote:
 I take it there's not enough DMD code provided to actually compile 
 anything, right? There at least aren't any makefiles...  GDC is 
 available for hacking, but how useful is a patch against GDC to Walter?
 
 In general, what are the best ways to help keep this D-train on chugging 
 forward?  Are compiler patches useful?  Library code?  Apps?  Wrappers? 
  Bug reports?
 
 I guess what I'm looking for is a big fat "How can I help?" page 
 somewhere.  It would make a good top-level page for Wiki4D, for instance.
 
 As far as suggestions go, what's the best way to keep them from getting 
 lost?  Wiki4D has a "proposals" section [1], but it's not very populated 
 -- only 5, one of which I added, which is quite few considering that 
 about that many suggestions show up on the newsgroup every week.
 
 There's also the tracker for D [2], but a comment on one enhancement 
 proposal I saw there says that the D issue tracker is reserved for 
 suggestions that received positive feedback from Walter, but many good 
 ideas are just ignored by Walter until like 90% the community jumps up 
 and down about it simultaneously.
 
 Finally there's the Unofficial D Wish List [3], but that seems to be 
 rather out of date/seldom pruned, as it includes old things like "add 
 opIn", duplicates ("System.Windows.Forms"), and just irrelevant things 
 like "This list makes a difference?".
 
 --bb
 
 [1]  http://www.prowiki.org/wiki4d/wiki.cgi?IdeaDiscussion
 [2]  http://d.puremagic.com/issues/
 [3]  http://www.all-technology.com/eigenpolls/dwishlist/

You'll probably get a bunch of responses because everyone has their own opinion of "that one missing thing that makes D not yet useful enough" for them. So, the best answer is probably to work on the things that make it useful for you.. or better put, just use it. :) If you really want a list, there's a couple other pages in the wiki4d that are worth a look: http://www.prowiki.org/wiki4d/wiki.cgi?HelpDProgress http://www.prowiki.org/wiki4d/wiki.cgi?StalePages Probably the biggest things, in my opinion, are stale or incomplete docs. Shortage of introductory walk-through materials for various aspects of the language and compiler targeted at fledgling programmers. There's a lot of language comparisons and reference material, but those tend to presume pre-existing knowledge. Restated.. polish is one of the areas that is subtle but important and an area that could use some focus. Pick either a portion of www.digitalmars.com/d or wiki4d and give it a thorough review from a number of angles: - accuracy - does it still match the language as implemented - completeness - what's missing - references linked to where relevant - clarity - how much context is required to comprehend the info - is it presented well - is it grammatically correct and spelled correctly ... almost certainly others To answer some of your direct questions. Patches that are contained strictly within the front-end files of gdc are useful. That part of the code is shared between dmd and gdc. Bug fixes more useful than new features, imho, but experimentation with new features has it's place too. Strictly a personal opinion: it's not the language or the compiler that needs the most attention.. it's critical mass of people just using it. Don't use D for the sake of D, use it for your next project and show that it's been useful. The more people that are showing the viability and utility of the language in real work the better. A lot of time is being spent by a number of people in a bit of a closed feedback cycle: producing bits and pieces of the compiler, runtime library, or other libraries. This grows the size of the D base, certainly, but I'd dearly love to see some people breaking out of that cycle and producing visible case studies of how an end product was produced on top of that base and how D was clearly the right choice of tools to have used. Later, Brad
Oct 23 2006
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Walter Bright <newshound digitalmars.com> writes:
Bill Baxter wrote:
 There's also the tracker for D [2], but a comment on one enhancement 
 proposal I saw there says that the D issue tracker is reserved for 
 suggestions that received positive feedback from Walter, but many good 
 ideas are just ignored by Walter until like 90% the community jumps up 
 and down about it simultaneously.

The suggestions for new features come in *daily*, sometimes several times a day. It's not possible to give a thoughtful response to them all, and it would be inappropriate to give a flip response. Let alone the impossibility of implementing all of them, or even all the good ones. So some sort of vetting process has to happen.
Oct 23 2006
parent reply Bill Baxter <dnewsgroup billbaxter.com> writes:
Walter Bright wrote:
 Bill Baxter wrote:
 There's also the tracker for D [2], but a comment on one enhancement 
 proposal I saw there says that the D issue tracker is reserved for 
 suggestions that received positive feedback from Walter, but many good 
 ideas are just ignored by Walter until like 90% the community jumps up 
 and down about it simultaneously.

The suggestions for new features come in *daily*, sometimes several times a day. It's not possible to give a thoughtful response to them all, and it would be inappropriate to give a flip response. Let alone the impossibility of implementing all of them, or even all the good ones. So some sort of vetting process has to happen.

Understood. I wasn't trying to say you *should* personally respond to every single thing that comes in -- if you did, you'd waste all your time on the newsgroup, and D would never go anywhere. But the fact is you don't have time, and many of the suggestions seem like good ones, so the question is what's the best way to A) make these suggestions as digestible as possible for you (and others), [e.g. more formal proposal structure with well-considered discussion of pros-and-cons and ramifications; or say outright patches to GDC] so they have more chance of being considered/accepted. B) Even if not accepted make sure they get on a TODO list, somewhere, or at least TO-THINK-MORE-ABOUT list. I personally like the wiki as a place for that, but I think that page has been around on Wiki4D for a while but gotten very little attention. --bb
Oct 23 2006
next sibling parent reply Don Clugston <dac nospam.com.au> writes:
Bill Baxter wrote:
 Walter Bright wrote:
 Bill Baxter wrote:
 There's also the tracker for D [2], but a comment on one enhancement 
 proposal I saw there says that the D issue tracker is reserved for 
 suggestions that received positive feedback from Walter, but many 
 good ideas are just ignored by Walter until like 90% the community 
 jumps up and down about it simultaneously.

The suggestions for new features come in *daily*, sometimes several times a day. It's not possible to give a thoughtful response to them all, and it would be inappropriate to give a flip response. Let alone the impossibility of implementing all of them, or even all the good ones. So some sort of vetting process has to happen.

Understood. I wasn't trying to say you *should* personally respond to every single thing that comes in -- if you did, you'd waste all your time on the newsgroup, and D would never go anywhere. But the fact is you don't have time, and many of the suggestions seem like good ones, so the question is what's the best way to A) make these suggestions as digestible as possible for you (and others), [e.g. more formal proposal structure with well-considered discussion of pros-and-cons and ramifications; or say outright patches to GDC] so they have more chance of being considered/accepted. B) Even if not accepted make sure they get on a TODO list, somewhere, or at least TO-THINK-MORE-ABOUT list. I personally like the wiki as a place for that, but I think that page has been around on Wiki4D for a while but gotten very little attention.

Or a THIS-HAS-ALREADY-BEEN-SUGGESTED list.
Oct 23 2006
parent Tomas Lindquist Olsen <tomas famolsen.dk> writes:
Don Clugston wrote:
 Bill Baxter wrote:
 Walter Bright wrote:
 Bill Baxter wrote:
 There's also the tracker for D [2], but a comment on one enhancement 
 proposal I saw there says that the D issue tracker is reserved for 
 suggestions that received positive feedback from Walter, but many 
 good ideas are just ignored by Walter until like 90% the community 
 jumps up and down about it simultaneously.

The suggestions for new features come in *daily*, sometimes several times a day. It's not possible to give a thoughtful response to them all, and it would be inappropriate to give a flip response. Let alone the impossibility of implementing all of them, or even all the good ones. So some sort of vetting process has to happen.

Understood. I wasn't trying to say you *should* personally respond to every single thing that comes in -- if you did, you'd waste all your time on the newsgroup, and D would never go anywhere. But the fact is you don't have time, and many of the suggestions seem like good ones, so the question is what's the best way to A) make these suggestions as digestible as possible for you (and others), [e.g. more formal proposal structure with well-considered discussion of pros-and-cons and ramifications; or say outright patches to GDC] so they have more chance of being considered/accepted. B) Even if not accepted make sure they get on a TODO list, somewhere, or at least TO-THINK-MORE-ABOUT list. I personally like the wiki as a place for that, but I think that page has been around on Wiki4D for a while but gotten very little attention.

Or a THIS-HAS-ALREADY-BEEN-SUGGESTED list.

Oct 23 2006
prev sibling parent reply Bruno Medeiros <brunodomedeiros+spam com.gmail> writes:
Bill Baxter wrote:
 Walter Bright wrote:
 Bill Baxter wrote:
 There's also the tracker for D [2], but a comment on one enhancement 
 proposal I saw there says that the D issue tracker is reserved for 
 suggestions that received positive feedback from Walter, but many 
 good ideas are just ignored by Walter until like 90% the community 
 jumps up and down about it simultaneously.

The suggestions for new features come in *daily*, sometimes several times a day. It's not possible to give a thoughtful response to them all, and it would be inappropriate to give a flip response. Let alone the impossibility of implementing all of them, or even all the good ones. So some sort of vetting process has to happen.

Understood. I wasn't trying to say you *should* personally respond to every single thing that comes in -- if you did, you'd waste all your time on the newsgroup, and D would never go anywhere. But the fact is you don't have time, and many of the suggestions seem like good ones, so the question is what's the best way to A) make these suggestions as digestible as possible for you (and others), [e.g. more formal proposal structure with well-considered discussion of pros-and-cons and ramifications; or say outright patches to GDC] so they have more chance of being considered/accepted. B) Even if not accepted make sure they get on a TODO list, somewhere, or at least TO-THINK-MORE-ABOUT list. I personally like the wiki as a place for that, but I think that page has been around on Wiki4D for a while but gotten very little attention. --bb

I had a similar (if not identical) idea some time ago: http://www.digitalmars.com/d/archives/digitalmars/D/40396.html http://www.prowiki.org/wiki4d/wiki.cgi?DCP_Template The base objective is the same: to flesh out, review and clean proposals before they reach to Walter, as well as to avoid repeated discussion. This is useful mostly only for complicated proposals or when there is some disagreement in the community. As for point B), it would be an index of the TODOs/Change-Proposals, similar to http://www.prowiki.org/wiki4d/wiki.cgi?IdeaDiscussion and http://www.prowiki.org/wiki4d/wiki.cgi?PendingPeeves (this latter one has become mostly obsolete with the emergence of the D bugzilla) -- Bruno Medeiros - MSc in CS/E student http://www.prowiki.org/wiki4d/wiki.cgi?BrunoMedeiros#D
Oct 24 2006
parent Bill Baxter <wbaxter gmail.com> writes:
Bruno Medeiros wrote:
 Bill Baxter wrote:
 
 Walter Bright wrote:

 Bill Baxter wrote:

 There's also the tracker for D [2], but a comment on one enhancement 
 proposal I saw there says that the D issue tracker is reserved for 
 suggestions that received positive feedback from Walter, but many 
 good ideas are just ignored by Walter until like 90% the community 
 jumps up and down about it simultaneously.

The suggestions for new features come in *daily*, sometimes several times a day. It's not possible to give a thoughtful response to them all, and it would be inappropriate to give a flip response. Let alone the impossibility of implementing all of them, or even all the good ones. So some sort of vetting process has to happen.

Understood. I wasn't trying to say you *should* personally respond to every single thing that comes in -- if you did, you'd waste all your time on the newsgroup, and D would never go anywhere. But the fact is you don't have time, and many of the suggestions seem like good ones, so the question is what's the best way to A) make these suggestions as digestible as possible for you (and others), [e.g. more formal proposal structure with well-considered discussion of pros-and-cons and ramifications; or say outright patches to GDC] so they have more chance of being considered/accepted. B) Even if not accepted make sure they get on a TODO list, somewhere, or at least TO-THINK-MORE-ABOUT list. I personally like the wiki as a place for that, but I think that page has been around on Wiki4D for a while but gotten very little attention. --bb

I had a similar (if not identical) idea some time ago: http://www.digitalmars.com/d/archives/digitalmars/D/40396.html http://www.prowiki.org/wiki4d/wiki.cgi?DCP_Template The base objective is the same: to flesh out, review and clean proposals before they reach to Walter, as well as to avoid repeated discussion. This is useful mostly only for complicated proposals or when there is some disagreement in the community. As for point B), it would be an index of the TODOs/Change-Proposals, similar to http://www.prowiki.org/wiki4d/wiki.cgi?IdeaDiscussion and http://www.prowiki.org/wiki4d/wiki.cgi?PendingPeeves (this latter one has become mostly obsolete with the emergence of the D bugzilla)

What's the policy for the bugzilla? Because really, wiki is a pretty painful way to keep track of data like this. I tinkered with the change proposals page a little bit, and that big table gets out of date really easily. If those things all went into bugzilla instead the tracking would be much easier. People who care about particular propoals could sign up for email updates on particular issues, Walter could add comments like "sorry, this is never going to happen", priorities could be assigned, reports could be generated automatically, etc. I don't really see why all the things on the features request wiki page couldn't just all be added as enhancement requests. Don commented on one item in the tracker that the tracker should be used only for proposals that Walter agreed to or something like that. But why? Trackers are meant for tracking all kinds of proposals and feature requests and bugs. Why not let them all go there (for anyone who feels like bothering to file a ticket for their particular pet feature)? If they shoulnd't be mixed in indiscriminately with "Walter-accepted" enhancement proposals, then make a separate tracker category like "feature idea" or "vague wish". --bb
Oct 24 2006
prev sibling parent Alexander Panek <a.panek brainsware.org> writes:
What would you think about a little proposal system? Every proposal has
to be approved and improved by the community until it is ready to be
formed to a final formal proposal (like RFCs?). You could then decide
whether you want to use it or not based on your own intention and the
community's votings/contributions/whatever.

IMHO, that would be a great system to help you manage proposals on one
hand and provide a defined way to create proposals for the community. Of
course, the newsgroup would then 'just' be for discussions or work in
progress proposals which then might become 'real' ones.

Alex


On Mon, 2006-10-23 at 01:35 -0700, Walter Bright wrote:
 Bill Baxter wrote:
 There's also the tracker for D [2], but a comment on one enhancement 
 proposal I saw there says that the D issue tracker is reserved for 
 suggestions that received positive feedback from Walter, but many good 
 ideas are just ignored by Walter until like 90% the community jumps up 
 and down about it simultaneously.

The suggestions for new features come in *daily*, sometimes several times a day. It's not possible to give a thoughtful response to them all, and it would be inappropriate to give a flip response. Let alone the impossibility of implementing all of them, or even all the good ones. So some sort of vetting process has to happen.

Oct 23 2006