[darcs-users] report from darcs hacking sprint #1

Eric Kow kowey at darcs.net
Thu Oct 30 14:18:03 UTC 2008

Hi everybody,

Recently you have received reports from each of our darcs hacking sprint
venues.  In this mail, I'll attempt to provide an overview of the sprint
as a whole.  Note that this post is also available in blog form at
with pictures from the three sites.

So how did that darcs hacking sprint go?  Well, we had a lot of fun and
we got a lot of work done, so I think we can safely say that it was a
great success!

What next?  The sprint participants found themselves with a lot of good work
started that we simply couldn't put down, so we have continued hacking into
the week, turning many of our good starts into more concrete progress. There
is still a lot of work to do so we want to make sure we keep that momentum
going!  The big challenge right now is to get all of the patches reviewed and
merged back into darcs.net.  Unfortunately, this is creating a delay in the
usual patch review process as we clear our backlog.  In the meantime, please
continue sending your patches!

Thanks very much to David Roundy for his advice before the sprint and cheerful
handling of this patch influx; Galois, the University of Brighton and
Université de Paris 7 for graciously hosting our three venues; and especially
to everybody who participated or joined #darcs to cheer us on :-)

The next sprint will be held in conjunction with the Haskell Hackathon, March
2009 in Utrecht, Netherlands.  So see you in six months!

Issues resolved : 7
Total sprint patches        : 234

Patches produced
 - during the sprint itself : 178
 - as follow-up work        :  56

Patches sent and
 - accepted into darcs.net  :  43
 - awaiting review          : 191

("during" defined as 25-27 October 2008 at 08:00 UTC)

Site reports
* Team Portland:
  - report: http://lists.osuosl.org/pipermail/darcs-users/2008-October/015082.html
  - pictures: http://blog.codersbase.com/2008/10/28/darcs-hacking-sprint-summary-from-portland-team/

* Team Brighton:
  - report: http://lists.osuosl.org/pipermail/darcs-users/2008-October/015122.html
  - pictures: http://koweycode.blogspot.com/2008/10/darcs-hacking-sprints-some-pictures.html
  - pictures: http://koweycode.blogspot.com/2008/10/darcs-hacking-sprint-team-brighton-day.html

* Team Paris:
  - report: http://lists.osuosl.org/pipermail/darcs-users/2008-October/015215.html

What we worked on

Warm up tasks
* Warn the user when the patch name looks like a command line option
   - http://bugs.darcs.net/issue395
   - Participants: Reinier Lamers (Team Paris)
   - Status: Accepted!
* Warn when tags are too short (length name <2)
   - http://bugs.darcs.net/issue1000
   - Participants: Christian Kellerman
   - Status: Accepted!

* Solved stack overflow when doing whatsnew on very large lines
   - http://bugs.darcs.net/issue1017
   - Participants: Ganesh Sittampalam (Team Brighton)
   - Status: awaiting review
* Smarter slurpies for faster directory lookups
   - http://bugs.darcs.net/issue711
   - Participants: Ganesh Sittampalam (Team Brighton)
   - Status: awaiting review
* Avoiding lstats in darcs whatsnew
   - http://bugs.darcs.net/issue390
   - Participants: Reinier Lamers (Team Paris)
   - Status: needs tweaking
* Bytestring optimisations
   - Participants: Don Stewart (Team Portland)
   - Status: awaiting review

Performance-related features
* Filecache to improve darcs annotate and darcs changes performance
   - Participants: Benedikt Schmidt
   - Status: still hacking!
* Packs
   - http://wiki.darcs.net/index.html/Packs_Specification
   - Participants: Nicolas Pouillard, Florent Becker (Team Paris)
   - Status: plan is fleshed out; implementation started in branch
* "Chunky" hunk representation
   - Participants: Ian Lynagh (Team Brighton)
   - Status: needs volunteer to start porting from camp to darcs
* Global cache: enabled by default and more portable
   - http://bugs.darcs.net/issue839
   - Participants: Simon Michael
   - Status: Accepted!
* Networking performance (Team Paris)
   - Used tcpdump to examine network performance problems
   - New issues filed:
      * http://bugs.darcs.net/issue1167 - darcs-transfer mode versions
      * http://bugs.darcs.net/issue1168 - ssh pipelining
      * http://bugs.darcs.net/issue1170 - Nagle's algorithm
   - Participants: Team Paris
   - Status: needs implementation!

Improved Windows support
* Bugs fixed:
   - newline endings on Windows for HTTP module.
   - http://bugs.darcs.net/issue774  - fix character echo on win32.
   - http://bugs.darcs.net/issue1023 - bracket file writing to prevent windows permission errors.
   - http://bugs.darcs.net/issue784  - fix file handle leak and check for exceptions on process running.
* Participants: Salvatore Insalaco
* Status: Accepted!

Infrastructure and cleanups
* Code cleanups
   - Added language pragmas in all files
   - Removed OldFastPackedString
   - Replaced FastPackedStrings api in favor of Data.ByteString api
   - Participants: Don Stewart and Jason Dagit (Team Portland)
   - Status: awaiting review
* Documentation cleanups
   - Use .lhs only for truly literate files
   - Migrate .tex to reST in preparation for user manual overhaul
   - Participants: Trent Buck
   - Status: awaiting review
* Cabalisation
   - Participants: Duncan Coutts (Team Portland)
* Makefile simplifications and cleanups (for doc)
   - Participants: Trent Buck
* Makefile improvements (make ci, make darcs_p)
   - Participants: Simon Michael, Eric Kow (Team Brighton)
   - Status: make ci is accepted! make darcs_p awaiting review
* Benchmarking suite
   - Participants: Eric Kow (Team Brighton)
   - Status: usable as of Wednesday, needs visualisation

* http://projects.haskell.org/camp
* Progress...
   - developed "chunky" hunk representation and tests!
   - got libcurl working under Windows with Cabal
   - primitive interactive patch selection implemented
   - Repository type rather than FilePath for repos
* Participants: Ian Lynagh (Team Brighton)

Eric Kow <http://www.nltg.brighton.ac.uk/home/Eric.Kow>
PGP Key ID: 08AC04F9
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