[Clo-devel] Proposed direction for common-lisp.net in 2015

Erik Huelsmann ehuels at gmail.com
Fri Feb 6 22:34:41 UTC 2015

Hi Andrew,

Thank you for responding!

On Fri, Feb 6, 2015 at 4:10 PM, Andrew Kirkpatrick <ubermonk at gmail.com>

> Hi Erik,
> I'm new to this list and haven't requested any further access to the
> services you linked to.

Welcome! Hope you find your way around soon. Your opinion as a potential
user is just as important as one of long-time users: if we succeed to
convert potential users into actual users, we're achieving the goal of
supporting the Common Lisp community, I'd hope.

> Coming from the Perl world, what I'd like to
> see is something like MetaCPAN https://metacpan.org

I love metacpan indeed and I like how it uses the META.yml file to generate
a lot of information. I'm not sure if the ASDF files that are currently
around have enough information in them to be useful in this respect.
However, it would definitely seem like something to stimulate in library
authors to add the "required" elements to the ASDF files.

It is essentially a nice web interface and index to a bunch of
> services, most of which exist independently.

A large number of Perl
> modules use github for repository hosting, some use bitbucket or
> otherwise.

Right. In Common Lisp it's no different these days.

> For issue tracking, some use the official Perl
> RequestTracker instance, others use github or bitbucket. Testing
> happens both via the Perl testers network and TravisCI on github.

For issue tracking, there's no central "standard" that projects use in
Common Lisp: some have a BUGS file in the root of their development tree,
others use launchpad, github or trac.common-lisp.net. As for CI, there's
really no CI for individual projects within the Common Lisp community at
the moment, although I know Zach Beane - maintainer of quicklisp - runs
daily builds for the entire quicklisp world. Those are - as far as I
understand - just builds. Not test suites.

> What enables this is the CPAN::Meta spec, which is reminiscent of
> ASDF: https://metacpan.org/pod/CPAN::Meta::Spec
> Gitlab is nice enough but it can be a pain to administer (I crashed a
> local install recently with a not-so-unusual construct in an Org
> format readme file).

Ok. Thanks for the warning :-) However, currently we have a lot of
git/darcs/hg/cvs/svn repositories on a host with very little structure on
the DVCS side of things. Even to the extent that Marco Antoniotti seems to
have been working more than a month to migrate a project of his to Git and
get common-lisp.net services working with it. One of the reasons behind
this proposal is to increase the value of common-lisp.net to projects as
well as new-comers like you: if there's more structure, it's easier to
document for the site's maintainers how things work and for project owners
to contribute to multiple projects and for newcomers to find the projects
they want to contribute to.

I guess my question is, what if the site just focused on the core
> business of being an index to a federated community of resources?

I think your idea is perfect. We don't have such an index yet; we do have
similar "services which exist independently": Quicklisp, Quickdocs,
cl-user.net, cliki.net andcommon-lisp.net to name some. I absolutely do
think there's room for such a meta service in the community.

Do I understand your suggestion correctly that you see no value in hosting
any kind of code or project on common-lisp.net? Over the past 10 years,
common-lisp.net has been hosting Common Lisp projects, providing them
more-or-less with the services they needed. Due to the number of projects
being hosted on the infrastructure it also became more-or-less of an index.
However, the more-or-less-index roles can also be claimed by cliki.net and

While there is absolutely an opportunity to grow common-lisp.net with the
meta function, I personally (in the shorter term) only have time to work on
the hugely necessary improvements to be made to common-lisp.net, the
current site and infrastructure itself. The board of the Common Lisp
Foundation (the stewards of the common-lisp.netdomain) heartily welcome
efforts to support the use of Common Lisp. Do you feel that you could work
on an ASDF based meta index?

Next to that, there could be other services for which we think there's room
also room for CI (Continuous Integration) specifically directed at Common
Lisp projects (there's cl-test-grid, which is great, but doesn't provide
continuous integration for individual Common Lisp projects - rather it has
been targetted so far at assessing quality of Quicklisp distributions and
providing feedback thereof to library and implementation developers).

Hopefully I haven't offended anyone with these suggestions.

Definitely not offended here. I'm glad you took the time to respond.



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