Re: 11 Questions to answer

> From: Sri Ramkrishna <sri aracnet com>
> Date: Mon, 25 Nov 2002 10:35:49 -0800 (PST)
> To: Jim Gettys hp com
> Cc: Havoc Pennington <hp redhat com>, Christian Rose <menthos menthos com>,
>        <foundation-list gnome org>
> Subject: Re: 11 Questions to answer
> -----
> > I don't think the cultural issues can be overcome unless we can ensure
> > there is commitment to "make it work", so it ends up being better
> > (less work) than the current process.  So having a set of people who
> > say they'll really make it work is probably the only way to break
> > the deadlock.
> It is a cultural issue.  From my understanding, Xfree started in a very
> closed environment (ie no access to cvs) and only the core hackers worked
> on it.  Recently, we've seen a lot more openness from them on that front.

Yes, things have improved: Keith Packard and I have certainly been pushing
in this direction.

The closed culture is a result of that instilled by the requirements of
the X Consortium, which did not allow full public involvement.  The genesis
of that was the unintended consequence of wanting to incent vendors to help
fund it, which may have been necessary at the time. The details of the
consortium agreement inadvertently "froze out" individuals who wanted to
contribute not having affiliation with a member company, however.

With 20-20 hindsight, this was the key mistake made in the X consortium's
founding, one I'm at list slightly cupable for in that had I understood
the consequences, I would now try to have done it differently,
and one I've worked  hard to try to have the Gnome foundation avoid.

XFree86 has been opening up, but it is a gradual process.

> I think it's a natural progression to open up the project further by
> having a formal bug reporting structure.  Perhaps bugzilla isn't the right
> one but it doesn't matter as long as they have one.  However using
> bugzilla can open the way to assign bug reports from one project to
> another.   I digress. :-)
> I've seen that most people get involved in a project in two ways.  Either
> they grab on to a piece of technology they think is cool and just start
> hacking or they work their way up by trying to fix easy bugs from the bug
> list.

Good point.  Right now, there is a bug list kept, but it is a closed
mailing list, and that means people have no visibility into problems
at all.

> Adding bug reporting should increase the number of volunteers.  I
> can't imagine that there aren't a lot of people who would not think it's
> cool to hack X. (or maybe they don't know better..I don't know. :-)  That
> and a couple of people who are willing to mentor and answer questions.

It's fun.  I've done it for years now...  :-). Some people don't see from the
outside though that it isn't a huge monolith: it is actually a well engineered
piece of modular code that once you know where to look isn't hard to deal

It still begs the question of whether we can muster the resources to
ensure that a bug list, using whatever technology, is more help than
hindrance.  I haven't seen quite enough volunteering to make be believe
the time is ripe (yet).  More mail from volunteers greatfully accepted...

                                 - Jim

[Date Prev][Date Next]   [Thread Prev][Thread Next]   [Thread Index] [Date Index] [Author Index]