[reportlab-users] Development practices

Andy Robinson reportlab-users@reportlab.com
Wed, 28 Apr 2004 22:50:47 +0100

I'd like to make some strawman suggestions on working practices
and get feedback from both our 400+ users and internal staff.

My goal is to get some more positive open-source-style 
development dynamics going... I hope we can.

1. Move from CVS on SourceForge to a Subversion archive on our
own machine.  Benefits:
   - we have our Open Source and customer code in one place,
     much easier for us to arrange it so everyone gets the
     right deployments
   - much easier to grant fine grained access so we can let
     lots more people work on the right bits of the code
   - branch management is MUCH easier, so we can easily have
     bleeding-edge branches anyone can hack on, stable ones
     for us and customers, even highly experimental ones for 
     a clean sheet "version 2"
   - we can rearrange the tree easily to "push reportlab down"
     a level and hopefully create a working distutils setup
     script, which has eluded us so far :-)

If you don't know about subversion, read the book at 
subversion.tigris.org, and be aware that Plone and Zope are
moving to it. It rocks.

2. Create a new reportlab-developers list for people actively
working on our code (open source and commercial).  This is
2/3 of our staff, probably half a dozen user group members, and
a few partners.  

3. Create a wiki on www.reportlab.org for discussion.  While I 
am skeptical  about them, it will let people organize and persist 
ideas about  who is doing what if they want to use it. In
particular, if you want to work on something, you can say
so here so people with like interests can find each other.

4. Adopt epydoc to formalize the public APIs.  Ensure output is
built daily and placed on www.reportlab.org.  This has the advantage
that one can suppress internal modules, so we could start with
minimal but correct docs on the canvas, and build up 'correct'
documentation in stages.

5. Show the test suite output on www.reportlab.org (run with
Python 2.3.3 initially) so the resulting PDFs are visible.

6. Subject to sufficient volunteers emerging, use the subversion
access so non-employees can contribute to web content for
www.reportlab.org, maintaining local copies and checking in
changes for publication.  The site needs to be a shared community
resource to work...

Comments are most welcome.  If people are broadly happy we'll
aim for most of these steps in May...

Best Regards,

Andy Robinson
CEO/Chief Architect
ReportLab Europe Ltd.
mobile +44-7976-355742
office +44-20-8544-8049