Re: Question on community to the candidates.

Hi Sriram,

On Mon, May 25, 2015 at 9:16 PM, Sriram Ramkrishna <sri ramkrishna me> wrote:
It is my impression (and I state impression because I am providing no
data) that GNOME has more reliance on people paid to work on GNOME
than community.  I do not question the passion and dedication to those
who are paid on GNOME, I know that they would do it as a community
even if they were not paid.

If you agree with my impression, what actions do you think would help
increase participation in GNOME?  Participation in the core parts of
GNOME is not trivial, and requires an enormous amount of time and
dedication to get to become familiar with the huge codebase that we
have, as well as gain the trust of the maintainer of the module you
are interested in.

If you disagree with my impression, what makes you believe that it is
not the case? How would you change my mind?  I did not bring any data
points, so you don't have to either.  I'm more interested in giving
you a biased opinion and I want to know how you would react to it.

I neither agree nor disagree with your impression :-)

I think it's true that GNOME has more reliance on paid people in some areas, and the opposite in other areas: in particular, development and design of some specific core parts of the user experience (gnome-shell, gnome-control-center, nautilus among others) is mostly carried out by people paid for that job - but the GNOME community is much wider than that.
In other words, I question the assumption that "increasing participation in GNOME" necessarily equals to increasing the number of non-paid people working on those few core modules; to some extent it's only natural that large, important features on those modules will be driven forward by those that are paid to do so, since they're those able to commit to getting them done by release time.

A few more thoughts:
- the initiatives and hackfests around Developer Experience go in the right direction of lowering the entry barrier to develop for our platform. I believe application development is a great way to attract new people to our community - a better one than core OS development in fact - and I will support efforts in that direction.
- the "Every Detail Matters" initiative (and "Gnome Love" before then) has been very successful in bringing new contributors to some of the core areas of the OS. I think we as a community should do more of them and in a more systematic way, but they requires a lot of time and effort to set up.


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