pcl-cvs / lastwill.txt

			 Fare Well, pcl-cvs!
				  or
	    The First Implementors Last Will and Testament

1. The past

Once upon a time, there was a group which started writing a
teleconferencing system (similar to both News and BBS:es).  Before
long, I decided that we needed a version control system, and promptly
installed RCS.  Some time later I discovered CVS, and immediately
forced my friends to learn yet another version control system.  Not
all of them were amused, but that is a different story.

I soon realized that CVS would be a whole lot more convenient to use
if it were integrated with GNU Emacs.  I looked around for a CVS mode,
but no matter how hard I looked, none could be found.  It was not long
until I started writing a front-end en Emacs Lisp.  To avoid repeating
the confusion which existed with multiple RCS front-ends all named
rcs.el, I decided to call it pcl-cvs.el.

The first commit of pcl-cvs was performed on September 24th, 1991.  By
that time, pcl-cvs was 1001 lines long (and did not contain a trailing
newline).  Now, over four years later, the file is 2859 lines long and
over a hundred revisions have been committed to the repository.

2. The present

I wrote pcl-cvs hoping that it would make my life easier.  It was a
success and a failure.  Or rather, its success made it a failure.  I
was soon swamped with feedback from users all over the globe.  It was
fun to receive so many emails, but it took time.  I soon found myself
spending so much time maintaining pcl-cvs that I had no time left over
to work on LysKOM, the teleconferencing system that got me interested
in revision management in the first place.

Let me take this opportunity to apologize to all pcl-cvs users for the
lousy maintenance I have done the last couple of years.  Release 1.05
was made on June 1st, 1993.  Two and a half years later, I still have
not made a new release, despite having promised that I was about to do
it as soon as possible.  I kept hoping that I would be able to devote
more time to pcl-cvs, but there never seemed to be enough time.

The past autumn I decided to take the consequences and hand the
maintainership over to somebody else.  I even found somebody willing
to take over, but then a deadline at work forced me to put in even
more hours, and I still haven't sent my current code to him.  Some
time after that, I learned that the folks at Cyclic Inc have
incorporated pcl-cvs in their source tree for CVS.  I think they made
the right decission, and support it wholeheartedly.

3. The future

I have received lots of feedback and even some code contributions.
Much of it is not included in the current releases.  I don't want to
make private email conversations available to the world, so I'm afraid
that those contributions will be lost.  However, I may be willing to
send my archives to a single person, if he promises not to spread any
secrets he may find in it (such as who is using pcl-cvs -- even that
may be sensitive to somebody) if he is willing to scan the hundreds of
mails I have in my backlog.

My wish for the future is that somebody would take my version of the
code, gently merge it with the code currently at Cyclic, and make a
new release.  (Maybe it will be easier to do the merge the other way
around; I suspect that my code has changed more since 1.05 than the
code at Cyclic).

I hope that I one day will be able to devote more time to pcl-cvs, but
for the time being, the only decent thing I can do is to release
control over the code.  I hope that Cyclic will be a central point so
that pcl-cvs will not fork into many branches.

By the way, if you need a teleconferencing client-server system which
is accessible through both WWW and special-purpose clients, and are
willing to pay for it, please contact me at ceder@signum.se.  Signum
Support AB will introduce LysKOM commercially on the Swedish market
during the first quarter of 1996; by the time you read this we may
have an English version available.  Check out
http://www.signum.se/lyskom for up-to-date information.

Linkoping, January 1st, 1996

				/ceder
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