Re: OPW; Where does the 500$ for each GSoC goes?

hi Sébastien;

On 16 September 2014 12:01, Sébastien Wilmet <swilmet gnome org> wrote:
On Sun, Sep 14, 2014 at 04:41:13PM +0100, Emmanuele Bassi wrote:
I honestly don't think either you or Philip are aware of how outreach
works in the context of free software.

I know that with a good documentation (i.e. a book) and good development
tools, developers will be more attracted by the Gnome platform.

that's not nearly enough.

the existence of a book during GNOME 1.x hasn't really changed much in
our DX, and books for free software platforms tend to go out of date
by the time they hit the printer.

the Foundation spends money on outreach because it's demonstrably the
most convenient and effective way to increase the user base and, thus,
the contributors to the project. it's also the "cheapest", so to
speak, because it increases the volunteers working on the project in a
much more efficient way than hiring developers to work on single
aspects of GNOME.

There are important areas where Gnome is lacking. If the Gnome
Foundation can give a little more financial support to improve those
weak areas, it would be great.

please, enumerate them, and have actionable deliverables to verify
that they are, in effect, improving weak areas.

Not everything can be achieved by beginners during a GSoC or OPW. For
example writing a good and recent book on GLib/GTK+, like GGAD was [1],
is something that can be done only by an experienced developer, ideally
by a GLib/GTK+ maintainer.

I'd contend that maintainers have already one job to do, and they are
not really good at writing documentation for beginners.

I've been asked multiple times to write books about Clutter, and I'm
probably the worst person to do so because I know the internals of the
library. I'd be focusing on all the wrong issues.

nevertheless, we do have core developers writing documentation — in
the form of wiki pages, like the HowDoI documents, or the API
reference examples.

Like Havoc Pennington describes it [2], GGAD
is an "advanced internals"/"conceptual understanding" kind of thing. And
this kind of book is needed to get more experienced developers,
beginners would learn more quickly, and better software would be
created. For the long-term it would be beneficial. It would be a good

you're skimming over various fundamental bits, and making some
unconnected leaps, like: a beginner's documentation does not look at
all like an expert documentation; you cannot improve the former just
by having the latter. the ability for a beginner to learn "more
quickly" is not a result of a lack of low level documentation, and
there's really no proven connection there.

I think you're vastly underestimating the effort of writing good
documentation, but I'd be absolutely delighted to be proven wrong. if
you want to organise a fund raiser for you to take time off to write a
GTK/GNOME book, I'd be happy to donate to it.


[ ] ebassi [ gmail com]

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