Some of you may have heard rumors of some work in progress on a replacement for Twisted's IConsumer/IProducer interfaces.
Tubes have been largely Glyph's effort (though a lot of people have contributed in one way or another). And a large effort it's been. Development is proceeding in a Twisted branch and comes to over three thousand lines of additions so far.
Given the large size of the implementation and the long time that this effort has been underway (I remember the Twisted meetup at the Rackspace offices that *I* attended when I was visiting SF... a year and a half ago... at which point tubes wasn't exactly a brand new project) I'd like to re-raise the idea that the best next step for the project is to see some distribution in its *current* state.
Specifically, I think it would be beneficial to set up a tubes project on Github under the Twisted organization and try for a release in the very near future.
I think this has several advantages over the status quo:
1) As an independent project, tubes will attract more attention than it presently gets as a relatively unknown ticket & branch of Twisted.
2) As a separate Python package, the logistics of actually using tubes are simpler (just consider how you might declare a dependency on a branch of Twisted - keeping in mind you may want to use tubes in a project that already depends on some version of Twisted). It may not make sense to say that it is the same quality as Twisted proper right off the bat (on the other hand, it may well - I suspect tubes in its current form actually is a lot higher quality than large sections of Twisted) but that doesn't mean people (not to mention the tubes project) can't benefit from being able to experiment with it.
3) Decoupling tubes from Twisted frees tubes from certain of Twisted's policies which are more challenging to follow for the kind of non- trivial, brand new code base that tubes is. Technically we could just say that these policies don't apply to a tubes package *in* Twisted but this kind of subtle distinction is often lost on users (ie application developers).
a) Twisted's compatibility policy need not apply. It could either be sped up or abandoned more thoroughly. I'm generally a fan of being backwards compatible even when you have few users because it actually makes development easier, but loosening the policy to say things might break if it's just really inconvenient to keep them working (whereas Twisted goes to the inconvenience to keep them working) seems reasonable.
b) tubes can undergo a faster release cycle to benefit more from user feedback.
4) At this point, a normal review of the tubes branch is going to be a problem. We do not have good tools or mechanisms for dealing with branches this large. The code in the current tubes branch can just become master of a new project. Development going forward from this point should continue to follow the feature-branch, small-changes, pre- commit-peer-review process. But those 3k lines are written already. Short of an extremely expensive effort to break the work up into smaller, self-contained pieces there's simply never going to be a *good* review in the typical style.
Additionally, it may turn out that tubes can remain independent indefinitely. Someday perhaps Twisted would come to depend on it to allow the various protocols and applications implemented in Twisted to benefit from the superior abstractions it provides. Or maybe once it has undergone a few iterations it will make sense to bring it back to Twisted. I don't think this needs to be decided now.
There are downsides, of course. All of the boring maintenance involved with having a separate project - setting up CI, actually doing the releases, etc. Perhaps we could find some volunteers to help out with these tasks, though, in exchange for getting some great code out there?
I'm curious what the folks out there who develop applications using Twisted would find to be the easiest path forward. I'm also curious to hear what Glyph thinks about all this. ;)