Re: [xsl] xslt test automation

Subject: Re: [xsl] xslt test automation
From: Wendell Piez <wapiez@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 01 Dec 2010 11:04:02 -0500

At 04:38 PM 11/30/2010, you wrote:
On Tue, Nov 30 2010 17:45:14 +0000, wapiez@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:
> The fact that they aren't more comprehensive than they are, however, I
> attribute to the factors I mentioned, namely that the *motivation* for
> a project this complex is an important consideration, both for
> development and long-term support. Every project, that is, needs a
> sustainability model.

Sometimes it comes down to itches and scratches.  XSpec probably exists
because Jeni's earlier, untitled XSLT testing framework didn't properly
scratch her itch for XSLT testing, particularly after seeing the BDD
slant on testing, and XSpec 0.2 is mostly due to Florent having the itch
to extend XSpec to handle XQuery, and a few other improvements happened
along the way because people had an itch to do something.

That projects aren't more comprehensive than they are may be because
no-one's had the itch to do more (or they've had more urgent itches).
There are myriad open-source projects, not just in the XSLT testing
arena, that start as personal projects made public for other people to
use and tinker with where the development plateaus when the project
works well enough for the purposes of the authors.  Projects don't need
a sustainability model when the authors are happy with the status quo
but, being open source, if you have the itch to take a quiescent project
to the next level, there's often a low barrier to becoming a committer
for such a project, and there's always the option of forking the code if
the current project isn't going to go anywhere.

This is all very true, and I should qualify myself to say that to scratch where it itches, and only when it does, is itself a sustainability model, if only implicitly.

As with so many other things, the problems start when either one makes promises (to oneself or others) that one will do more than one can, or others infer (perhaps on the basis of the good work) that one owes it to them to put more effort into it than one can afford to.

For us this is compounded by the fact that developers such as Jeni, Florent and yourself, who are XSLT experts, can also work at lower levels, and yet have the liberty and inclination to work in the open and give it away, are something of an elite group, and people can't be forced into it. Nor should they be: the free enterprise model -- including the idea that the material compensation one gets for one's work can also be the basis for a more robust sustainability model than scratch-where-it-itches -- can and should coexist with the communitarian ethos IMHO. Indeed the two can amplify each other, as is demonstrated every day on this list.

I guess this all goes to say that the best response to "why isn't there better open-source support for X" is "no one has been able to do it yet: go for it".


Wendell Piez                            mailto:wapiez@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Mulberry Technologies, Inc.      
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