[plt-dev] a common collection for utility modules

From: Carl Eastlund (carl.eastlund at gmail.com)
Date: Fri Nov 6 23:16:09 EST 2009

On Fri, Nov 6, 2009 at 10:50 PM, Eli Barzilay <eli at barzilay.org> wrote:
>> > * Many of what could be there (eg, things that I would put in such
>> >   a place) seems to me like it will end up staying there for
>> >   years, because turning the code into a general library is
>> >   non-trivial effort.  This means a big pile of unrelated and
>> >   unorganized code fragments that, which is taking the mzlib/etc
>> >   thing to a higher level of being a PITA.
>> Maybe. Do you see any reason why we can't wait and see if becomes a
>> problem and then make efforts to tidy it up if it is?
> Because it will.  This is a fact.  I'm surprised at so much enthusiasm
> towards adding more stuff but none towards cleaning up old stuff that
> needs cleening.

First, it's not necessarily about adding more stuff.  It's about
taking the stuff we already have, and already write, and putting it
somewhere we can share it.

Second, I'm all for cleaning up stuff.  But I have no idea what stuff
needs to be cleaned up, or which things, when cleaned up, might have
something in them I could use.  This 'unstable' collection is a list
of things we could all use.  That's why I'm enthusiastic: I get access
to more useful code.

I don't see that unstable/{foo,bar,baz,bag} requires any more tidying
up than if it were {foo,bar,baz,bag}/private/util.  I see, mostly, the
reduction in stuff that needs to be tidied up and removed, because
there are more eyes on this code, more people picking it up and using
it, more people who might keep it in good shape.  Any that stays in
bad shape, well, would have anyway.

The fact of the matter is, we each currently treat our internal code
as our personal code.  And this is not realistic.  There are all kinds
of things that us behind-the-scenes implementers, not to mention some
of the more advanced end users (by which I mean anyone without commit
permissions to the trunk), could use.  And we don't put it anywhere
people can get at it.  Ryan's suggestion seems a movement in the right


Posted on the dev mailing list.