[Rpcemu] Information for users and developers

Peter Howkins rpcemu.howkins at marutan.net
Tue May 25 08:54:55 PDT 2010


On Tue, May 18, 2010 at 01:57:57PM +0100, Peter Howkins wrote:
> 
> Give us a couple of days to sort things out and I'll post some more 
> details for users, developers and the generally interested.
> 
> At the moment it looks like updating the riscos.info pages and tutorials 
> to point at the spoon repository, downloads and documenation, and making 
> sure all the riscos.info content is either, replicated in spoon, up to 
> date, or in the case of some tutorials, with large caveats explaining 
> this was for an earlier version. This should remove the confusion 
> surrounding the two repositories (one no longer being used).

Information for users
---------------------

 The latest releases of RPCEmu will be available on the website

http://www.marutan.net/rpcemuspoon/

 I would recommend using a release version of RPCEmu, as opposed to using 
 the source code repository (even if you're are a Linux user compiling 
 from source), as release versions have had more testing and the 
 documentation updated to match them.

 How to report bugs, suggestions and ask for advice

  This best place for questions and advice is this mailing list, where 
  both fellow users and developers will be reading it.

  All bug reports are very welcome. RPCEmu is a large and complex piece of 
  software, it's difficult to test all combinations of OS configuration 
  and software. Even if you think "Surely they'd already know about this 
  bug" report it anyway, if a bug if affecting a lot of people it helps 
  us prioritise fixes.

  Similarly all suggestions are very welcome, the users help us know which 
  sections of the software are hard to use and what needs improvement. So 
  all suggestions to the program itself and support files or documentation 
  are very much appreciated.

  As for advice, asking on this mailing list is the best thing. You'll
  find the users and developers both on this list. Many of whom have been
  using the program for a long time and can offer lots of useful 
  suggestions and in the event of a bug maybe a workaround.
 
 
Information for developers and potential developers
---------------------------------------------------

 We're very happy for RPCEmu to accept code and contributions from third  
 parties, already many people have contributed code and we hope to 
 continue down this route.

 The RPCEmu source is stored inside the Mercurial version control system,
 Mercurial clients are available for many platforms, including (but not 
 limited too) Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Solaris, BSDs. If you are used to 
 a different version control system, such as CVS or SVN, Mercurial (as a 
 distributed version control system) may seem a little odd, but there are 
 plenty of tutorials and advice for users coming from other systems on the 
 web.

 The Mercurial repository is based at

 http://www.home.marutan.net/hg/rpcemu

 and checking out the code is as simple as

 hg clone http://www.home.marutan.net/hg/rpcemu rpcemu

 How to get code committed into the repository. Prepare a patch file of 
 the differences between your new code and the current 'HEAD' of the 
 project.
 Mercurial provides the 'hg diff' command, which generates diff files   
 suitable for this.

 Then post this patch file to the mailing list (or too us directly if you
 so wish), with an explanation of what it's for, and in the case of bug   
 fixes, the bug it's meant to fix (it's not always obvious from the code)

 Generally the smaller the patch, with the most specific function or
 reason, the easier the patch is to merge in, whereas a "I fixed 
 everything I thought was wrong" would take a very long time to verify and 
 test.

 Patches may get edited before being committed, or if the changes required
 are particularly large an updated patch may be requested of the 
 developer. In some rare cases it might not be possible to commit a patch, 
 and at that point there should be a stated reason (e.g. patch overlaps 
 with another patch that deprecates it, patch is too widespread to verify 
 (suggest breaking into smaller patches), etc).

 If you have any questions, once again the mailing list is the best place 
 to ask, also, if you're considering a particulaly large change, that 
 would affect a large functional area or many files, it might well be 
 worth getting some advice from the developers on the mailing list first, 
 incase it overlaps with other development work, or even just a suggestion 
 of how to accomplish it in smaller changes.

Other information
-----------------
 
 At the moment the mailing list traffic is very low, but if it becomes too
 congested or busy, a suggestion we might implement is to split the user 
 messages (questions, bug reports etc) from the developer messages (patch
 requests), as whilst developers will generally wish to see user
 messages, users may well not wish to see code discussions.


I hope this answers some questions people have had about development and 
reassured them that things can quite happily continue on into the future.

Peter

ps Now I've gone to the effort of writing that much, I think I'll put 
it on the website too :-)

-- 
Peter Howkins
peter.howkins at marutan.net



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