[sword-devel] New public git mirror of Sword SVN trunk and why

Karl Kleinpaste karl at kleinpaste.org
Mon Dec 17 20:16:24 MST 2012

"Troy A. Griffitts" <scribe at crosswire.org> writes:
> I'm not quite sure why the rebellious nature of your email, instead of
> a friendly conversation


I can summarize with a pair of excruciatingly simple, personal examples
why this sort of "rebellious" plan comes into play.  I've got no
relationship to it myself (I'm not a git user yet myself and have no
beef with SVN, being unconvinced of the existence of some groundswell of
objection to SVN use; this discussion is the first I heard) but I
understand the motivation perfectly well.

The short summary answer is simple:
Friendly conversations manifestly don't accomplish anything.

The long detailed answer requires those mentioned examples.

1. 29 Aug 2007 (5 years, 16 weeks ago)
I sent a note to sword-devel, my first in /agent provocateur/ mode,
arguing for a more regular release of the engine, trying to express a
firm opinion while still being supportive.  At that time, 1.5.9 had been
out for a year-plus and 1.5.10 had been pending much too long.  I argued
that the needs of BibleTime, then-GnomeSword, and the other frontends
were not being properly served by the excessively long delay in a world
where frontend releases were happening between 2x and 5x per year
apiece.  At that time, your response was to (claim to) commit to a rough
6-month release schedule for the engine.

As Greg observed, this time it's been 26 months.  That's 20 months too
long.  That's 4+ times as long as your (claimed) commitment.

2. 10 Nov 2008 (4 years, 5 weeks ago)
I sent you a private note about NASB, with a couple others Bcc'd, some
of whom subsequently made themselves known and a couple of whom did not.
My note pointed out that, at that time, we were approaching 5 years of
waiting for one measly module to come to fruition -- a module that is
arguably the #2 most-requested Bible module.  Yes, it's Just Another
English Bible...but it's *NASB*.  It had already then been in beta more
than 2 years -- it was already in beta before I got involved with
GnomeSword.  Again, you made fervent promises to see to finishing up the
NASB module (or module set, including the Heb/Grk lexicons) right away.
Well...5 years then plus 4 more years now is 9 years, and the 9th
anniversary of the plan or intent or mere fond hope for a NASB module to
be released will come up in early January, based on original sword-devel
chatter about it.  The truly sad thing is that all the NASB module needs
is one afternoon of serious hackery, then kick it out the door to
Lockman.  The Sword-using world has been waiting another 4 years for you
to find one afternoon.

You know of course that in just the last few days I sent you a couple,
very brief private notes about the need for 1.next.  Nothing combative,
nothing remotely "rebellious," just noting that it is impossible for me
to make another Xiphos release until you make another Sword release:
Driven by chatter here, I committed Xiphos to XHTML filters, which are
incomplete in current release.  And then, pointedly, I forwarded one IRC
question, plaintively asking whether Sword ever gets updated any more.

In all seriousness, what living, vibrant, active open source project
goes 2+ years without a release?

Given that the issue has been raised publicly now, and that your
defensive reaction takes the form of criticism for being "rebellious,"
well, Troy...

Please look in a mirror.  Look closely at the face you see there.

This isn't rebellion.  It's frustration.
This isn't rejection.  It's dejection.
This isn't denial (of you).  It's acceptance (of what you've shown us).

A great many believe, on evidence, that without occasionally whacking
you over the head with a calendar -- in essence, "see, it's overdue
again" -- no Sword engine release would ever occur at all.  Your
priorities are very seriously detached from those of the rest of us.

That many of us have had to ask, over and over and over again, over a
period of many years, to please get with the program and provide the
support that the rest of us need, is or ought to be testament enough
that something is very wrong, and has been very wrong evidently
throughout the life of Sword -- since years before I showed up, surely.

You are the founder of The Sword Project, which puts you in charge of
it.  As its titular leader, I wish you would spend some serious time in
prayer and come to a conclusion -- a real conclusion, embodying a real
commitment, one way or another -- as to whether you are willing to
provide such leadership, and get on with things.

Please lead, follow, or get out of the way.

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