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today's leftovers

Software: VirtualBox, TeX Live Cockpit, Mailspring, Qt, Projects, and Maintainers

  • VirtualBox 5.2.2 Brings Linux 4.14 Fixes, HiDPI UI Improvements
    The Oracle developers behind VM VirtualBox have released a new maintenance build in the VirtualBox 5.2 series that is a bit more exciting than their usual point releases.
  • TeX Live Cockpit
    I have been working quite some time on a new front end for the TeX Live Manager tlmgr. Early versions have leaked into TeX Live, but the last month or two has seen many changes in tlmgr itself, in particular support for JSON output. These changes were mostly driven by the need (or ease) of the new frontend: TLCockpit.
  • Mailspring – A New Open Source Cross-Platform Email Client
    Mailspring is a fork of the now discontinued Nylas Mail client. It does, however, offer a much better performance, and is built with a native C++ sync engine instead of JavaScript. According to the development team, the company is sunsetting further development of Mailspring. Mailspring offers virtually all the best features housed in Nylas Mail, and thanks to its native C++ sync engine it uses fewer dependencies which results in less lag and a reduction in RAM usage by 50% compared to Nylas Mail.
  • Removing Qt 4 from Debian testing (aka Buster): some statistics
    We started filing bugs around September 9. That means roughly 11 weeks, which gives us around 8 packages fixed a week, aka 1.14 packages per day. Not bad at all!
  • Products Over Projects
    However, projects are not the only way of funding and organizing software development. For instance, many companies that sell software as a product or a service do not fund or organize their core product/platform development in the form of projects. Instead, they run product development and support using near-permanent teams for as long as the product is sold in the market. The budget may vary year on year but it is generally sufficient to fund a durable, core development organization continuously for the life of the product. Teams are funded to work on a particular business problem or offering over a period of time; with the nature work being defined by a business problem to address rather than a set of functions to deliver. We call this way of working as “product-mode” and assert that it is not necessary to be building a software product in order to fund and organize software development like this.
  • Why we never thank open source maintainers

    It is true that some of you guys can build a tool in a hackathon, but maintaining a project is a lot more difficult than building a project. Most of the time they are not writing code, but [...]

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