Re: [unrev-II] Alexandria: Collaborative programming environment

From: Eric Armstrong (
Date: Wed May 10 2000 - 16:05:41 PDT

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    Lee Iverson wrote:
    > "Alexandria is a CVS/Javadoc/Source code/Documentation management
    > system meant for use within Open Source projects. It's goal is to
    > create a global documentation and source organization system to help
    > people understand source code and to share code across projects."
    > The goals and structure look excellent. I have *huge* qualms about
    > the Javacentric nature of the worldview.
    Java's insistence on including API comments with the source code has its
    good and bad points. The good points are that the stuff is right there
    when reading the code and right there when you're editing the code. The
    bad news is that generating API documentation is unlike any other source
    code system -- you have to use javadoc. That is the part of this process
    that makes it "java-centric", I think.

    Of course Xerces (the parser) and Xalan (style sheet processor) were
    both written in Java, as was Ant (better build utility that now uses
    and XML syntax -- which makes ant files well-structured but tough to
    edit). All of the Apache projects, in fact, are Java-based.

    We are once again looking at the "bandwagon" effect here. Java has
    capatured a lot of developer mindshare, a lot of growth has gone on,
    and a lot of libraries have been/are being written. Granted that it is
    not as open source as some would like, but it was an absolute necessity
    to prevent "embrace and extend" from corrupting the point of the

    To the degree when can draft protocols, we can keep the thing
    language-neutral. Of course, with protocols comes the necessity for APIs
    and libaries for any language that wants to use it, but that is an area
    where open source can provide a major benefit.

    Remember four years of good friends, bad clothes, explosive chemistry

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