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antarus
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2006 2:33 am    Post subject: Keeping old packages in the tree, a cry for Proxy Maintainer Reply with quote

I currently have two jobs as a Gentoo Developer, one is the lead of the http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/qa/treecleaners/ Treecleaners project. I am also a member of User Relations. In an attempt to join these two together I am asking for user opinions on removing packages.

I try and remove packages that have open bugs. Preferably these are showstopper bugs (app doesn't compile with a recent toolchain, or the app has not been ported to modular X are good reasons). These usually mean no one has touched the package in some time (year+).

However recently I've gotten wind of developers removing perfectly working packages because they lack a maintainer. This was not really the original intent of Treecleaners, although I left it up to the current maintainer to deal with their packages as they see fit; so it's not really my business if they remove their own packages or not. In fact the Treecleaner policy only applies to stuff that Treecleaners do, not stuff that other developers do.

However it has come to my attention that some users are disgruntled about the recent removals (not xmms, which I actually agree is a buggy POS) but moreso other packages (the recent cleanup of window managers comes to mind). The removals are due to a very small desktop-wm herd; so I can feel the pain of that herd in needing fewer packages to maintain and keep "shiny".

My proposal is for a new area in the rsync tree, dubbed "archive/". This will not be included in emerge --sync by default, but can be enabled via PORTAGE_EXTRA_RSYNC_OPTS in make.conf. You could then add ${PORTDIR}/archive as an overlay and gain all the old crappy ebuilds that we used to have.

HOWEVER, this has a few downsides. There will come a time when stuff in archive will just not build. And you won't be able to complain to us about it. Because stuff in archive is there for your benefit, not ours. So bugs against stuff in archived/ would be closed as INVALID. We would not maintain archived/ packages. However this enables users to get to old software that maybe still worked for them but found it's way out of our main tree (for one reason or another).

Many developers will be against this, many developerse are currently against this. Many developers want a cleaner tree with less packages, but they want working software in it. To this end they will remove broken and unmaintained and unused packages to give us a slimmer profile.

There is another segment of developers who wish for portage to be a large software repository. Overlays are annoying for many people (especially new users looking for software that isn't in portage, although eix-remote is fixing those issues). Portage doesn't have native remote overlay support either, which Genone has plans for working on. There is also the shiny thought of pulling out a ten year old package from archived/ and then working on it such that it compiles and is useful again.

Other potential problems include primarily mirror space. Our mirrors would need to continue to hold the distfiles for these files. This may be one of the few technical problems; I have not contacting Gentoo Infrastructure about the reqs for this.

Your thoughts on this are appreciated,
Thanks,

-Alec Warner
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desultory
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2006 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am in favor of some system which fills this role. I would expect, though, that the overlay would actually be somewhat divided, if only because some packages would not immediately move to a unified archive. Perhaps overlays.gentoo.org might be a suitable place to keep archival overlay trees.

Having some (at least somewhat) official place for packages which have been dropped from the official portage tree would be at very least a good buffer both for periods of adjustment and for overzealous removals, the latter of which it would seem was a primary motivator for your proposal, as well as packge resurrection which you also mentioned.

I do not consider having bugs filed against archived packages automatically marked as INVALID as a downside, as such packages would be in large part there to provide reference and await possible rehabilitation. Although, there are at least two types of bug report which might be sensible in regards to archival packages, revived packages and lack of specific versions which are required by other packages in the archival overlay.

As for finding packages present in an archive overlay, would not that problem be resolved if the more general case of a packages.gentoo.org type interface for searching ebuilds present in overlays present on overlays.gentoo.org were available?

As for developers being against it, once the package had moved to an archive overlay it would no longer be their responsibility so they should not really care.

General convenience of overlays could be a problem, but the overlays would likely tend to be used by more technical users which may somewhat alleviate that problem.

The only problem mentioned which I would expect to really be a significant concern would be infrastructural issues, though perhaps the archival pacakges would be mirrored only by those mirror sites with the resources to host such additional files considering that they are by definition no longer core packages.
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djay
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2006 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think keeping these packages in "official" overlays is great idea.

You can even call it "obsolete" overlay, so noone will have to wonder what does it consist of.

OTOH, you have to come up with some sort of communication with users, in order to notify them about packages moved (and where they were moved to and maybe link to a documentation explaining how to use an old packages).
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2006 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One possible solution I've come up with has been to simply setup a central overlay (provided by the community) of stuff that is treecleaned. That way, you still have your archives and old ebuilds in CVS, but people can also add a single overlay that has *everything* that has been removed. It would work if and only if that central one was constantly updated, so some scripts would be necessary.

I've been giving the idea a lot of thought, and it seems technically pretty simple, and wouldn't mind setting it up / hosting it myself if anyone else thinks its an idea worth chasing.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2006 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Would it be a "stand alone" overlay? managed by layman?

Would it be searchable offline (with eix-remote) ?
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2006 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, after talking with antarus some more, my idea doesnt seem that great.

Theres a couple of problems with it. For one, the ebuilds will eventually break, and nobody is going to want to fix ebuilds that were already moved because the programs were buggy in the first place. Or, the dependencies will disappear. Lots of stuff could happen.

Anyway, theres more reasons than that, so I'm out of ideas.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2006 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If it is technical feasible, I'd say it is a great idea. I think a lot of people would appreciate the possibility of keeping apps as long as possible, even if Gentoo does not officialy support them any longer. It would also allow us to keep a wide range of apps, even if some are not actively supported, while still allowing the needed cutdown on quantity in favor of quality.

:D
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 15, 2006 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is really a problem with just dropping them in overlay, as the ebuilds should be mantained or they rot even more - probably is time for project sunset :)
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2006 3:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as just moving these packages to special area of the portage tree, I dont think this is really useful, because it is impossible for non-devs to update, and devs won't care. Assuming upstream is still alive, you can expect new versions of $package, with new dependancies and features needing use flags. Users are still going to be miffed that $package is the old-n-crappy version instead of the new-n-sexy. And the risk of a new eclass or some other update breaking things in /archive is really high. So I think most of these should probably just be punted...better no ebuild at all than a broken or terribly obsolete one.

For the overlay argument, this could at least allow interested users to maintain the ebuilds. If someone wants to invest the time and effort into making an archive/sunset overlay, and make it relatively easy for interested users to maintain the old ebuilds there, I have no objections.

But either case seems mostly suitable for trivial things without a lot of dependancies. So a window manager and its themes could find a home there, but something like xmms with all of its plugins, flags, eclasses, and dependancies should probably just die.

The best possible case I can think of for most of these ebuilds is to push them upstream assuming upstream is alive and willing to maintain them (possibly with some user-supplied patches now and then). Users would then be responsible for installing the ebuilds to their local overlays, and filing bugs with upstream if something doesn't work. In fact, my strong preference in this is to just tell users to use their local overlay regardless of whether upstream accepts ownership of the ebuilds. I would even suggest we encourage this by providing a dedicated forum and IRC channel for users to help each other with their 'private' ebuilds.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

richfish wrote:
The best possible case I can think of for most of these ebuilds is to push them upstream assuming upstream is alive and willing to maintain them (possibly with some user-supplied patches now and then). Users would then be responsible for installing the ebuilds to their local overlays, and filing bugs with upstream if something doesn't work. In fact, my strong preference in this is to just tell users to use their local overlay regardless of whether upstream accepts ownership of the ebuilds. I would even suggest we encourage this by providing a dedicated forum and IRC channel for users to help each other with their 'private' ebuilds.

That sounds like the simplest and most effective option.
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antarus
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

richfish wrote:
As far as just moving these packages to special area of the portage tree, I dont think this is really useful, because it is impossible for non-devs to update, and devs won't care. Assuming upstream is still alive, you can expect new versions of $package, with new dependancies and features needing use flags. Users are still going to be miffed that $package is the old-n-crappy version instead of the new-n-sexy. And the risk of a new eclass or some other update breaking things in /archive is really high. So I think most of these should probably just be punted...better no ebuild at all than a broken or terribly obsolete one.


Breaking old ebuilds with eclass changes is a QA violation ;)
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2006 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

richfish wrote:
In fact, my strong preference in this is to just tell users to use their local overlay regardless of whether upstream accepts ownership of the ebuilds. I would even suggest we encourage this by providing a dedicated forum and IRC channel for users to help each other with their 'private' ebuilds.

Can we do this then?
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2007 3:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Supporting old ebuilds shouldn't be that big of a problem. If there is a bug, seperate it out in bugzilla with a new flag and list it somewhere, so other users can look into the problem. If someone else has a problem, and they post a bug, flag it, and if someone else has the time or sees the same problem, the could continue the discussion, and possibly upload a patch to fix the issue which could then be refered to in the ebuild (with some at least minor testing, of course).

As for continuing with gathering new versions of "crappy" software, there could be a script run when a new version is found to split features out based on the ./configure that most programs have, to give at least a decent basis for USE flags. The problem with this is that there would need to be a real USE-flag definition instead of the general "Well, lets see what $USE does here" that there is with so many programs. Many ebuild writers would hate this, but it has been needed for a long time.

Personally, I'm at bit of an impass with the overlay idea. It has always seemed to me as a place to test things and mess with the ebuilds, not a place to stick broke ebuilds that someone won't spend the time fixing.

Personally, I think either hard-masking the offending packages, or putting them under their own keyword/mask would be a better option. Keep them in a central place, but it would give the user the option of installing it without having to mess with an overlay. If they can fix a problem with it, let them submit a patch.

On the other hand, I think having a good repository for patches (other then bugzilla) would be a nice bonus. If you think you've fixed a problem, post it there. Using a newsfeed people could subcribe to to keep up with the patches. If one of the patch works, you could submit an enhancement with a link to the patch location, and someone could drop the fix into the ebuild.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 3:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dralnu wrote:
Personally, I'm at bit of an impass with the overlay idea. It has always seemed to me as a place to test things and mess with the ebuilds, not a place to stick broke ebuilds that someone won't spend the time fixing.
You know you can have more than one overlay right? So there's no technical issue with having a so-overlay or whatever you want to call it.
Quote:
Personally, I think either hard-masking the offending packages, or putting them under their own keyword/mask would be a better option. Keep them in a central place, but it would give the user the option of installing it without having to mess with an overlay. If they can fix a problem with it, let them submit a patch.
I'm not a gentoo expert, but i believe the issue with this atm is that it messes up the tree. I can't see how a keyword would cover it, but perhaps a mask could, given a different back-end which doesn't exist atm.
Quote:
On the other hand, I think having a good repository for patches (other then bugzilla) would be a nice bonus. If you think you've fixed a problem, post it there. Using a newsfeed people could subcribe to to keep up with the patches. If one of the patch works, you could submit an enhancement with a link to the patch location, and someone could drop the fix into the ebuild.
Agreed, central location, with supporting infrastructure as you mentioned and a forum as someone else suggested.

Where /are/ those user reps? ;)
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

steveL wrote:
Dralnu wrote:
Personally, I'm at bit of an impass with the overlay idea. It has always seemed to me as a place to test things and mess with the ebuilds, not a place to stick broke ebuilds that someone won't spend the time fixing.
You know you can have more than one overlay right? So there's no technical issue with having a so-overlay or whatever you want to call it.


I think you totally missed the point.
Quote:
Quote:
Personally, I think either hard-masking the offending packages, or putting them under their own keyword/mask would be a better option. Keep them in a central place, but it would give the user the option of installing it without having to mess with an overlay. If they can fix a problem with it, let them submit a patch.
I'm not a gentoo expert, but i believe the issue with this atm is that it messes up the tree. I can't see how a keyword would cover it, but perhaps a mask could, given a different back-end which doesn't exist atm.


If you tagged in a new mask, then you wouldn't need a back-end. You could let Portage handle it all.

Quote:
Quote:
On the other hand, I think having a good repository for patches (other then bugzilla) would be a nice bonus. If you think you've fixed a problem, post it there. Using a newsfeed people could subcribe to to keep up with the patches. If one of the patch works, you could submit an enhancement with a link to the patch location, and someone could drop the fix into the ebuild.
Agreed, central location, with supporting infrastructure as you mentioned and a forum as someone else suggested.


And we continue

Quote:
Where /are/ those user reps? ;)


I guess trying to figure out their jobs.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 3:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dralnu wrote:
steveL wrote:
Dralnu wrote:
Personally, I'm at bit of an impass with the overlay idea. It has always seemed to me as a place to test things and mess with the ebuilds, not a place to stick broke ebuilds that someone won't spend the time fixing.
You know you can have more than one overlay right? So there's no technical issue with having a so-overlay or whatever you want to call it.

I think you totally missed the point.
So why don't you explain it to me. It was just a side comment since you refer to overlay in the singular.
Quote:
If you tagged in a new mask, then you wouldn't need a back-end. You could let Portage handle it all.
I have no idea how easy it is to `tag in a new mask.' Do you?
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Dralnu
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 5:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

steveL wrote:
Dralnu wrote:
steveL wrote:
Dralnu wrote:
Personally, I'm at bit of an impass with the overlay idea. It has always seemed to me as a place to test things and mess with the ebuilds, not a place to stick broke ebuilds that someone won't spend the time fixing.
You know you can have more than one overlay right? So there's no technical issue with having a so-overlay or whatever you want to call it.

I think you totally missed the point.
So why don't you explain it to me. It was just a side comment since you refer to overlay in the singular.


Overlays in Gentoo are seen as pretty much a one-stop shop for fixes that need a real solution. I cann't count the times I've seen "put in in an overlay" as the only answer given to a real problem.
Quote:
Quote:
If you tagged in a new mask, then you wouldn't need a back-end. You could let Portage handle it all.
I have no idea how easy it is to `tag in a new mask.' Do you?


Dig through the code for it. I'm sure it shouldn't be that hard (and if it is, they probably need to rewrite that bit of code so it handles things in a decent way)
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 6:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dralnu wrote:
Personally, I'm at bit of an impass with the overlay idea. It has always seemed to me as a place to test things and mess with the ebuilds, not a place to stick broke ebuilds that someone won't spend the time fixing.
...
Overlays in Gentoo are seen as pretty much a one-stop shop for fixes that need a real solution. I cann't count the times I've seen "put in in an overlay" as the only answer given to a real problem.
Someone won't spend the time fixing- why should they? Of course they are a place to mess with ebuilds. As to how they are seen in gentoo, I don't think you're qualified to make that call, since you refuse to interact via any medium but the forums and the "occasional" bit of IRC.

I find it hard to believe that these even were "real" problems; and there have been enough of those for users without getting into all this, to do with interaction with devs, system breakage and the like. Wrt dev relationship, that's what user-reps and this forum are for. System breakage hasn't been an issue for me, but it did happen a few years ago when i first tried gentoo, and clearly has happened to others. I don't know where putting an ebuild into an overlay fits into that. I'd guess xmms or something, but I really didn't get why all those users couldn't just put the thing in an overlay, and the recompile, while a bit long, didn't give me any issues, and was nothing in the overall scheme of compiling the whole system.
Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
If you tagged in a new mask, then you wouldn't need a back-end. You could let Portage handle it all.
I have no idea how easy it is to `tag in a new mask.' Do you?
Dig through the code for it. I'm sure it shouldn't be that hard (and if it is, they probably need to rewrite that bit of code so it handles things in a decent way)
Wtf?! You dig thru the code for it. Have I ever sounded like I'm about to start taking orders from you?
My point actually was that I have never heard the phrase "tag in a new mask" and I thought you might actually have an idea as to what you were talking about.
You spend so much time posting about what's wrong- with quite a condescending attitude- making sweeping statements about what should be done, telling others what to do without putting any effort in yourself. It's really difficult to take seriously.
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Dralnu
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 6:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

steveL wrote:
Dralnu wrote:
Personally, I'm at bit of an impass with the overlay idea. It has always seemed to me as a place to test things and mess with the ebuilds, not a place to stick broke ebuilds that someone won't spend the time fixing.
...
Overlays in Gentoo are seen as pretty much a one-stop shop for fixes that need a real solution. I cann't count the times I've seen "put in in an overlay" as the only answer given to a real problem.
Someone won't spend the time fixing- why should they? Of course they are a place to mess with ebuilds. As to how they are seen in gentoo, I don't think you're qualified to make that call, since you refuse to interact via any medium but the forums and the "occasional" bit of IRC.


Wrong. I have, and anything I've mentioned has seemed to fall on deaf ears, generally with the "holier than thou" attitude that seems common amoung many of the devs. I don't refuse - I don't see a point in wastes the time anymore.

Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
If you tagged in a new mask, then you wouldn't need a back-end. You could let Portage handle it all.
I have no idea how easy it is to `tag in a new mask.' Do you?
Dig through the code for it. I'm sure it shouldn't be that hard (and if it is, they probably need to rewrite that bit of code so it handles things in a decent way)
Wtf?! You dig thru the code for it. Have I ever sounded like I'm about to start taking orders from you?
My point actually was that I have never heard the phrase "tag in a new mask" and I thought you might actually have an idea as to what you were talking about.
You spend so much time posting about what's wrong- with quite a condescending attitude- making sweeping statements about what should be done, telling others what to do without putting any effort in yourself. It's really difficult to take seriously.
[/quote]

Not my problem if you take things in a bad way. That sounds like a personal problem to me.

As for the effort I put into things, like you have any clue. What I do with my spare time is my concern. For all you know I could be rebuilding the whole kernel from scratch. For someone who has only been lurking around here since September, you seem to have an attitude of "I know you all personally, and I know everything you do", which we all know you don't.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dralnu wrote:
steveL wrote:
Someone won't spend the time fixing- why should they? Of course they are a place to mess with ebuilds. As to how they are seen in gentoo, I don't think you're qualified to make that call, since you refuse to interact via any medium but the forums and the "occasional" bit of IRC.

Wrong. I have, and anything I've mentioned has seemed to fall on deaf ears, generally with the "holier than thou" attitude that seems common amoung many of the devs. I don't refuse - I don't see a point in wastes the time anymore.
Oh sorry you mentioned that you propose stuff on bugzilla too. Can't imagine why that doesn't get the response you expect.
Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
Dig through the code for it. I'm sure it shouldn't be that hard (and if it is, they probably need to rewrite that bit of code so it handles things in a decent way)
Wtf?! You dig thru the code for it. Have I ever sounded like I'm about to start taking orders from you?
My point actually was that I have never heard the phrase "tag in a new mask" and I thought you might actually have an idea as to what you were talking about.
You spend so much time posting about what's wrong- with quite a condescending attitude- making sweeping statements about what should be done, telling others what to do without putting any effort in yourself. It's really difficult to take seriously.

Not my problem if you take things in a bad way. That sounds like a personal problem to me.
No, I just don't like you telling me what to do, especially since it's for your proposal.
Quote:
As for the effort I put into things, like you have any clue. What I do with my spare time is my concern. For all you know I could be rebuilding the whole kernel from scratch. For someone who has only been lurking around here since September, you seem to have an attitude of "I know you all personally, and I know everything you do", which we all know you don't.
Rebuilding the whole kernel from scratch? You mean compiling it?
No I don't know anything at all about you, or anyone else in here- my comments were about your recent posts. Sure your spare time is your concern- so to is everyone else's their own concern. I don't want to "dig thru code" just because you tell me to, in order to implement something which you want. That's my spare time thanks.
Night night, i'll respond to anything else (that merits it IMO) in a day or two.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 7:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

steveL wrote:
Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
Dig through the code for it. I'm sure it shouldn't be that hard (and if it is, they probably need to rewrite that bit of code so it handles things in a decent way)
Wtf?! You dig thru the code for it. Have I ever sounded like I'm about to start taking orders from you?
My point actually was that I have never heard the phrase "tag in a new mask" and I thought you might actually have an idea as to what you were talking about.
You spend so much time posting about what's wrong- with quite a condescending attitude- making sweeping statements about what should be done, telling others what to do without putting any effort in yourself. It's really difficult to take seriously.

Not my problem if you take things in a bad way. That sounds like a personal problem to me.
No, I just don't like you telling me what to do, especially since it's for your proposal.

Like I said, it sounds like a personal problem to me.
Quote:
Quote:
As for the effort I put into things, like you have any clue. What I do with my spare time is my concern. For all you know I could be rebuilding the whole kernel from scratch. For someone who has only been lurking around here since September, you seem to have an attitude of "I know you all personally, and I know everything you do", which we all know you don't.
Rebuilding the whole kernel from scratch? You mean compiling it?
No I don't know anything at all about you, or anyone else in here- my comments were about your recent posts. Sure your spare time is your concern- so to is everyone else's their own concern. I don't want to "dig thru code" just because you tell me to, in order to implement something which you want. That's my spare time thanks.
Night night, i'll respond to anything else (that merits it IMO) in a day or two.


Some people seem to miss comments as bad a a blind man skeet shooting with a .22.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, dear.
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antarus
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Joined: 16 May 2005
Posts: 74
Location: Michigan

PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

steveL wrote:
Yes, dear.


Chill out. Both of ya ;P

This is some silly software forum, not the end of the world. No one is giving orders to anyone here. We are supposed to be collaborating about new ideas and whatnot.
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Dralnu
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Joined: 24 May 2006
Posts: 1919

PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

antarus wrote:
steveL wrote:
Yes, dear.


Chill out. Both of ya ;P

This is some silly software forum, not the end of the world. No one is giving orders to anyone here. We are supposed to be collaborating about new ideas and whatnot.


I'm cool, lol.
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