[OpenLayers-Dev] OpenLayers 2.8 RC2

Christopher Schmidt crschmidt at metacarta.com
Fri May 15 12:47:16 EDT 2009

On Thu, May 14, 2009 at 01:14:11AM +0100, C E M Harrison wrote:
> Chris and group,
> Please see below, noting:
> 1)	AFAIAA, in every case where I have been asked to provide a minimised
> version demonstrating a problem, I have done so.

If you want help, minimize it. I guess this isn't as obvious as I had
always assumed it was, so I've written an email (just sent) explaining
both the how and why of this to some extent. If it's more than 20 lines
of code, there's a good chance I'm not going to look at it unless I can
understand *why* it has to be more in order to cause the problem.

> 2)	The problems that I have reported are in final applications because ...
> >	We invite you to help us test the 2.8 release candidate!
> ... and it doesn't matter how well a piece of code performs in a limited
> environment, no end user is ever going to see it working, if it breaks in
> the more stressful environment of a final application.

If the application has more 'stress', then there's likely a reason why.
Is it because there is CSS involved? Additional HTML? etc. For example,
with #2054, the problem was specific to the PanZoomBar control and a
Google layer -- but I didn't know that until I spent 25 minutes pulling
out one line of code at a time. To be frank, There should be no
expectation that a developer will neccesarily do this. Some of us are
willing to -- I'm generally the more amenable of our group to this type
of behavior, I think. Most developers won't bother -- and the end result
is *you don't get the help you need*, and we all suffer. 

> >     Your test cases, included below, and previously used many times in
> >     comments, are not minimized. There is no way that I am going to read
> >     through 150kb of code to find a bug.
> As above, in every case where I have been asked to provide a minimised
> version demonstrating the problem, I have done so.
> >     I see no such notes on either page
> Just click 'Notes'.
> >	nor do I even see a map
> >     on either
> >     page.
> Just click the Google map button.

Without these direct instructions communicated to me, I have to spend
some fair amount of time looking through your code to determine that
this is the right thing to do. If you just want to state that there is a
problem: Okay, accepted. There is a problem. (And perhaps it is even
new.) However, if your goal is to get the problem *fixed*, then you'll
need to put in more effort in order to get the help you want. 

> >	In the latter case, OpenLayers has never sought to make printing
> >	easy or efficient. There are other tools that you should use,
> >	and the differences in browser printing make the idea of doing
> >	so completely impractical.
> I cannot accept such an illogical argument.  Yes, there are too many
> differences in browser printing, just as there too many differences in
> browsers screen output, but printing is as valid a means of output as
> screen, and is supported under HTML, CSS, etc.  You can't say you don't
> support it because of browser differences without implying that you don't
> support output to screen for the same reason.

The OpenLayers Project, on the whole, is about putting maps into
webpages. We take every effort to make sure that the screen looks right.
We put no testing, or other effort, into making sure that the printouts
look right. If you don't appreciate the differences here, I apologize,
but speaking for myself -- and I believe I can speak for the PSC here as
well -- it will never be the goal of the project to ensure that printing
is on the same level of quality as our screen output.

> >     If you need something, you are always welcome to create patches and
> >     attach them to tickets.
> I want to spend my limited time on this earth in creating something useful
> of my own, rather than fixing other people's code. 

If that is truly the case, then you should not expect anyone else to
feel any differently in the reverse situation. I can understand that you
have no desire to fix OpenLayers code. However, if the same is true of 
everyone else working on the project, then no fixes get made.

> I have noted in one of the bug reports in which I have participated
> that I have on occasion looked to provide fixes, but have been
> deterred by the lack of proper encapsulation in existing code which
> good OOP should bring, and in fact with that particular problem I very
> quickly realised that the quickest way to fix it would probably have
> been to start over with two of the most important classes in the
> heirarchy, and I didn't think the OL community would likely appreciate
> that. 

If this is the most time efficient way for you to fix your problem, I
wish you the best of luck in doing so. Given that you have stated just
above that you have no desire to "fix other people's code", I can't see
a solution to this that will appease you -- since any change to the
OpenLayers library would clearly involve a lot of work in "other
people's code", which you seem unwilling to participate in.  

No developer is going to be forced to work on your problems. If you
can't summon the personal interest to fix them, then it is best to
expect that they will remain broken. Reporting the issues at least has
the chance that someone else might take an interest -- but so long as no
one does, I would not expect any different behavior in the library
than the behaviors you have encountered so far.

Best Regards,
Christopher Schmidt

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