Re: Fully winding down my involvement in GTK+

On 21 Jul 2012, at 13:54, Emmanuele Bassi wrote:

> So, I would like a concrete proposal: how do you think we can change this trend?

Well the first requirement would be to identify the problem(s).  I'm guessing that the biggest problem for developers is the huge amount of their free time they end up having to devote to GTK+.  If that is indeed a big problem, an obvious (though difficult) solution might be to encourage sponsorship from GTK+ users.  i know there are companies like Red Hat and Sun who sponsor other open source projects.  Maybe GTK+ needs to find such a sponsor (assuming there isn't already one?)  It's certainly an important enough project to warrant some kind of patron or benefactor.

But that's the difficult solution.  Another problem is the disconnection between developers and users - again (probably) caused by too many demands on the developers' time.  I agree with you Emmanuele and I also agree with Mike...  IRC _AND_ mailing lists are both dreadful ways of interacting between users and devs.  IRC is fine for devs (assuming they aren't in wildly different time zones) but once you introduce users to IRC, you can quickly eat up huge amounts of the developers' time.  Mailing lists take up less time (and they have better record keeping) but on the downside, everybody gets a copy of every discussion which is redundant and annoying.  Perhaps an answer would be to play down the mailing lists and IRC (for users) and encourage more use of the GTK+ forum.  The great advantages of forums are:-

1) They keep a reasonably ordered record of discussions.
2) Users only see the discussions they want to subscribe to.
3) Users feel more connected to the product than they do with a mailing list.
4) Developers can dip into discussions as and when it's convenient for them.
5) Some users can be 'Power Users' who help the others (thereby reducing time pressures on the actual devs).

Some of those things are theoretically possible with a mailing list - but forums definitely handle them better.  I'm sure there are lots of other things that would help too.  We just need to start thinking them up!


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