New developer introduction

John Arbash Meinel john at
Mon Mar 10 18:33:35 GMT 2008

Hash: SHA1

Mark Hammond wrote:
| Greetings!


| I'm hoping to be able to contribute some of my development experience to
| this wonderful project.  I've been involved with open source for well over a
| decade, usually revolving somewhat around Windows - I'm committer to the
| Python project and maintain the Python for Windows extensions ('pywin32')
| along with various other bits and pieces, including the Mozilla 'pyxpcom'
| Python bindings.

I can say that I've used pywin32 several times, so thank you for your work. I'm
very happy to hear that you'll be helping polish Bazaar for Windows.

| I've had some discussions with Steve Alexander and Martin Pool about the
| things I could assist with, and they all boil down to better "integration"
| with Windows - and primarily integration with Windows Explorer.  While this
| presumably will mean helping out with the tortoise port, we also want to be
| sure we take advantage of features unique to bzr but which may not fit with
| the tortoise model.  Other fair game would probably include installers and
| anything that generally doesn't work as well as it could on Windows.

I think for "installers" that we would like to have some sort of chained MSI
installer. At the moment Alexander has to generate 2 installers. One which
installs into an existing Python installation, and a separate one to get
everything into a standalone setup.

The problem is that the standalone is much easier to install, because it bundles
everything it needs. However, you don't end up with a genuine python
installation. Which means that some plugins might want to use some of the
standard library which isn't available (as the core bzrlib doesn't use it.)

It also causes problems for plugins like bzr-gtk, because they don't have
anywhere to install the pygtk bindings.

So what would be nice, would be a single top-level installer, which would call
out to install the python-*.msi and any other installers. Having the
infrastructure, it would then be possible to do the same for bzr-gtk (it can
then call out to the pygtk and gtk installers.)

| Eventually I will know enough about how bzr works to make more specific
| comments, but that will take some time.  In the meantime, I obviously
| welcome all comments which can help enlighten me on the current state of
| things, or even the current state of people's thoughts! I hope to attend the
| bzr sprint at pycon, which I expect will give me a big boost along the
| learning curve, but in the meantime I'll lurk around and try to get my head
| around the current state of the bazaar...
| Cheers,
| Mark

Other thoughts-

There are some who feel that GTK is not the best toolkit to be using for a
Windows gui. Perhaps having native win32 widgets would be better. I only mention
it because it seems along your abilities. I personally feel that developing the
actual GUI is more important than what widgets it uses at this point.

Obviously we know you from pywin32, but I'm curious what you feel *your*
strengths are. Or possibly what areas you feel you want to develop. Since
obviously we want to have you doing things you find interesting, and there are
generally lots of areas that a project like Bazaar can work in.

It would also be good if you document anything that you encounter as you try to
get up and running with Bazaar. We really want it to be a smooth learning curve
for people, and we always want to get feedback from newcomers who haven't
already made it up the curve.

Did I mention it is great to have you around?


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