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From: Albert Krewinkel <>
To: pandoc-discuss-/
Subject: Re: Offering support to mitigate Pandoc's Issue/PR backlog
Date: Mon, 06 Nov 2023 16:31:07 +0100	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <2cdf2453-8021-43d8-a69b-8b6d3d260374n-/>

Stephan Meijer <me-nPKYAObcRdo6Blr+0TYHagC/> writes:

> This is mainly directed to @jgm / John MacFarlane and/or Pandoc maintainers.
> We have been closely following
> the project’s progress and have observed the growing number of open
> issues (947 to date) and pull requests (77 at the current count).
> […]
> Understanding that managing such a popular project can be challenging,
> we are curious about the underlying factors contributing to the
> backlog.

For general issues I suspect popularity and complexity as the main
causes, while the main issues for me personally are funding, time, and

You already noted above that pandoc has become a central part in many
workflows. This has led to a ever-growing request for features, which
leads to the invariable increase in complexity and bugs. The bigger the
code-base, the harder it becomes to change anything, and the less
attractive the project becomes to new contributors. Still, Haskell is a
big help here, and while it can't stop the trend, it does slow down the
rate at which things become harder.

As for my personal reasons:

1. Funding – I'm doing freelance work, and am lucky enough to have
   companies and projects fund some parts of my work. For example, some
   improvements to table handling, to JATS, functions in the Lua
   subsystem, the initial development of Docker containers, and figure
   processing have all been funded (partially or fully) by companies,
   universities, and other organizations.

   There are also a number of people who are kind enough to sponsor me
   on GitHub. Using current industry rates, this allows me to around 30
   minutes of "paid" work each month.

2. Time – while pandoc sits somewhere between "job" and "hobby" for me,
   it is still much closer to "hobby". About a year ago I took a look at
   the numbers of hours that I spend on pandoc, comparing paid and
   unpaid hours. Most of my pandoc-related work (~60%) was still unpaid.
   This is not a problem per se, as I generally enjoy all the time I
   spend on pandoc. But it also means that pandoc is one of the places
   where I tend to reduce my involvement whenever time is scarce. And
   time has been a lot scarcer lately.

3. Focus – Juggling a lot of things, something that seems inherent to
   open source work, can be overwhelming and tiring. So much so, that I
   burn out from time to time, and just have to do other things for a
   while. This is a temporary issue, and partially do to the first two
   points. However, it's something to consider.

> We are eager to give back to the Pandoc community that has offered us
> so much. Please let us know the most impactful way we can lend our
> support.

I can't offer a clear answer, unfortunately. But I can say that I'd
*love* for somebody to take over maintenance of pandoc's Docker
containers. It's quite the time-sink for me, the changes and
incompatibilities in upstream containers make it hard to keep up, and
the current build chain has proven to be too hacky – it has been defunct
for a couple of months now. However, there are many people (and
companies) who rely on it.

Either way, thanks for asking!


Albert Krewinkel
GPG: 8eed e3e2 e8c5 6f18 81fe  e836 388d c0b2 1f63 1124

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      parent reply	other threads:[~2023-11-06 15:31 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 4+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2023-11-06 12:37 Stephan Meijer
     [not found] ` <2cdf2453-8021-43d8-a69b-8b6d3d260374n-/>
2023-11-06 12:47   ` Stephan Meijer
     [not found]     ` <13581e70-a573-414a-ab05-bfa9f73b9259n-/>
2023-11-07  3:09       ` John MacFarlane
2023-11-06 15:31   ` Albert Krewinkel [this message]

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