Community Contributions (was IDE oddities (was Re: Error Messages Are Evil))

Richard Gaskin ambassador at
Thu May 15 19:05:16 EDT 2014

Charles E Buchwald wrote:

 > Mike, I did follow the whole "[Off] Cool Plugins thread". I was a
 > bit disappointed that it kind of petered out after several people
 > expressed an interest in helping.

I wouldn't be too disappointed.  Things ebb and flow; we all have many 
things to do.  But two very good things have come out of that already: 
several members of the community have stepped forward offering to help, 
and that prompted me to make RevOnline the core focus of my meeting with 
Ben today.

As the old saying goes, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with one 
step."  We'll get where we want to go, one steady step at a time.

This stack open source stuff is new for all of us.  There's nothing like 
LiveCode in the open source world, so we're breaking new ground, 
discovering new workflow models.  This requires as much innovation as it 
is important.  It may seem slow, but all big things do in the beginning.

 > I did propose that the forum for plugins and extensions be split in
 > two. My thought being that developing either is very different from
 > the other, and that perhaps a forum focusing on LC-code-only plugins
 > would be more inviting to newcomers.

I saw that and I agree.  I just haven't gotten to it yet, between client 
work and the upcoming LiveCode Global Jam next weekend (more on that 

 > I do see that people have been volunteering. I thought if we had a
 > group we could designate a code integrator, someone to work on
 > categories, another for UI issues, and so on.
 > Richard, I'm glad there is talk about mechanisms for contributing
 > fixes. I will look at a couple of my pet "IDE Oddities" with that in
 > mind and try submitting a FIX. Perhaps I can even dig into the
 > RevOnline stack and suggest a FIX or two.

That would be very cool - thanks.

Also, to keep that earlier conversation rolling, I've started a new 
thread in the IDE Contributors forum around one of the themes that 
emerged, RevOnline curation:

By flagging the topic as a "Brainstorm" I'm hoping to encourage broad, 
perhaps adventurous thinking.  All input is welcome.  RevOnline is, 
after all, a community resource, so it should reflect our values and 

 > I did participate in the Documentation Brainstorming forum, but I
 > haven't seen much discussion there.

It'll happen.  At least we have a place for it, and a process outlined 
there to move initiatives from brainstorming to actual work projects.

 > The message I'm getting overall, is that it's too early for anything
 > but simple "FIX" contributions. I'll try to be patient for the coming
 > ideas and solutions for making contributions. (Isn't that, as much as
 > anything, a topic for community discussion?)

Indeed it is.  Maybe my earlier post wasn't clear or simply too long, 
but my intention wasn't to limit the conversation to bug fixes, but 
simply to triage activities in a way that recognizes that bugs 
preventing RevOnline from being used at all are immediate concerns, and 
fortunately items we can take action on without guidance from the core 
dev team.

In parallel with that, Ben and Mark Waddingham will be discussing other 
aspects of RevOnline from their end, and collectively the experiment 
with the "FIX:" protocol will help inform directions for all of us to 
establish workflows for more ambitious tasks ahead.

 > In the mean time, I'm going to continue making plugins. I'll add
 > explicit open source licenses to at least some of them. Perhaps some
 > of the ideas and code can be folded in to community efforts later.

Plugins and libraries are really great contributions for the community, 
for several reasons:

1. They have immediate value.

2. They're often borne of scratching an itch, so they get done.

3. Because they can be written by a solo dev or small team, they're 
unemcumbered by integration issues with the IDE workflow.

4. They help build a future in which newcomers can know that they don't 
have to reinvent every wheel.

CPAN (the Comprehensive Perl Archive Network) is a great example of the 
power of community.  Anyone considering Perl can see the size of that 
collection and feel confident they can do anything.

As our community resource pool grows we'll have that as well, and as we 
fix the issues currently preventing some folks from using RevOnline 
we'll have something better than CPAN because we can run and install 
them from one tool right in the IDE.

In fact, we already have some great stuff in our community.  We just 
need to address the immediate issue of making RevOnline run reliably for 
folks so everyone can be using it.

And kudos for the explicit licensing.  As more newcomers join, and many 
of those being large orgs, having licensing made clear is really helpful.

 > Maybe I can even find another list member or two who would be
 > interested in collaborating on a plugin....
 > P.S. I haven't posted any of my plugins on RevOnline, because it
 > crashes LC each time I attempt a login or search.

That seems like a great first collaboration project:  Who here is in a 
position to work with Charles to get his RevOnline running?

  Richard Gaskin
  LiveCode Community Manager
  richard at

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