Andreas Röhler writes:
It will go from the screen lacking new users/developers if you
change the course.
Really? I really don't think so. We picked up two new potential
developers in the last week.
In any case, what's important to me is that it's not going to
disappear from *my* screen any time soon, and therefore I'm going to
work on what I need. If you think a course change is in order, submit
patches and cooperate with requests from reviewers to improve them is
the best thing to do.
For the record, I believe that
(1) people who are stopped by something as small as the
allow-remote-paths bug or separate installation of XEmacs and the
packages are extremely unlikely to become developers
(2) ditto CUA keymap
What's holding people back that's important:
(1) We're a fork of a GNU project; politics makes GNU more attractive
to a lot of people (and not a few in the other direction, but
mostly to the extent it matters I think it works in GNU's favor).
(2) We're not GPLv3 yet, and therefore most of our external packages
and much internal code is behind GNU Emacs. I think the biggest
costs are things like nxhtml, so we're not dead yet.
(3) Emacs LISP is a crufty variant of a niche language.
(4) Most elisp applications appeal to crypto-hacker types, rather than
to ordinary users and developers. Lots of rough edges, not much
flash. Much of the code is twisted and sucky.
What we can do to attract new users likely to become developers (to
some extent in order of importance):
(1) release under GPLv3+, which will unblock packages and core code
(2) Modernize elisp (Aidan's done a lot of Common LISP compatibility
work; I would prefer a move toward Scheme, but since he's doing
the work, I can only applaud).
(3) Make XEmacs much more web-aware. Make URLs the standard input
format for find-file for example (probably renamed to
find-resource or retrieve-url or something like that). Get robust
support for URL fetching (curl, neon, stuff like that) and editing
(4) More robust support for Unicode as such, and non-traditional
characters in general (eg, spaces in file names).
(5) GNU syncs, both in core and packages.
(6) Large file support.
(7) Better font support.
(8) Improved ease of installation.
(9) Exciting new features ... but that's for the new developers. :-)
Personally, I intend to spend time on (1), (3), (4), and (7). (8) is
way down the scale right now.
XEmacs-Beta mailing list