Daily Archives: March 24, 2007

In or out [part 3]

The other recent event that prompted this reflection concerns my own modules. Several modules originally by me are now in the apache 2.2 core distribution. Some of these started life at WebÞing. And other modules still at WebÞing have been discussed for possible inclusion.

Now my second most popular module has been included in /trunk/. Or not. Well, sort-of. The module that was recently introduced to /trunk/ implements the same idea as mod_line_edit. It’s an output filter that, to all intents and purposes, looks like processing outgoing text through sed. Coincidentally, I recently wrote about why mod_line_edit beats sed when used in an Apache context.

[CUT *2 – ill-advised words]

Now, mod_line_edit is one I’d already contemplated offering for inclusion, and would’ve done if anyone had suggested we need the functionality in core. So it shouldn’t matter that the new module is called something else, right?

But it does matter, for different reasons, and I’m pissed off. Basically, I have a number of as-yet-unpublished improvements to mod_line_edit. Some of them are quite significant. I have every intention of publishing them in due course for the benefit of all users. So either I have to reimplement a bunch of this stuff in the new module, or continue to update mod_line_edit separately as an external module. And probably still have to merge it somewhere down the line:-(

I have yet to decide.

In retrospect, I could have avoided all this crap by including mod_line_edit at an earlier date. That is, if it was well-received at the time it was proposed.

Of course, all the usual open source arguments apply here. But with a difference: it’s equally open-source in or out, so the question is one of visibility, and of convenience for the community of Apache committers. If it had been in, then it might have had enhancements from other Apache developers, independent of what I’ve done, by now. But at the same time, I’d have relinquished (or rather shared) control over it, so all my enhancements would be subject to community scrutiny, for better or worse. Probably better.

But we are where we are. Bah, Humbug.