Gentoo Archives: gentoo-project

From: Markos Chandras <hwoarang@g.o>
To: gentoo-project@l.g.o
Subject: Re: Daunting developer process? (was Re: [gentoo-project] Call for agenda items - Council meeting) 2013-09-10
Date: Wed, 18 Sep 2013 08:41:07
In Reply to: Daunting developer process? (was Re: [gentoo-project] Call for agenda items - Council meeting) 2013-09-10 by Sven Vermeulen
1 On 18 September 2013 09:02, Sven Vermeulen <swift@g.o> wrote:
2 > On Tue, Sep 17, 2013 at 09:53:22PM -0500, Daniel Campbell wrote:
3 >> As a user, I've considered becoming a developer but the process is
4 >> rather contrived and multi-tiered. It doesn't seem like you're becoming
5 >> a developer through said process, but rather joining a fraternity.
6 >> There's lots of bureacracy involved that really turns prospective
7 >> developers off. I don't know how common it is, but if Gentoo has a lack
8 >> of developers, there must be a clear reason as to why. Clearly Gentoo
9 >> has a lot of avid users *and* developers, so if developers are needed,
10 >> perhaps the process to become a developer should be improved. Why else
11 >> would the distro be lacking devs if it has a bright and enthusiastic
12 >> userbase?
13 >
14 > The process looks daunting at first, but in my opinion it is not as "hard"
15 > as it is often seen. Yes, we work with questions & answers to make sure
16 > proper knowledge is in place. But these questions are not all that difficult
17 > if you already have experience with ebuild creation & development (assuming
18 > you're talking about the ebuild developer quizzes, not the staff quizzes).
19 >
20 > Of course, if you have no experience with it and want to get developer
21 > access, then immediately focusing on the quizzes is the wrong approach. Try
22 > to help where possible with bug fixing and contributing ebuilds - you don't
23 > need CVS (yeah, still CVS) access to do so.
24 >
25 > An important part of joining the Gentoo crew is to work with others - work
26 > with your mentor, interact with the recruiters, etc - because, as with every
27 > free software project, we are all a bunch of individuals whose actions can
28 > impact others.
29 >
30 > Gentoo currently has 245 active developers. That is not a small amount.
31 > Ubuntu is at 210, Debian has many more (I tried to parse
32 > and was over 2000).
33 >
34 > Using a different approach to gain more developers might have more impact
35 > than you imagine on the quality of the distribution as well as the progress
36 > it makes. If the distribution would be 12 developers, it wouldn't be all
37 > that hard to make a good roadmap and focus areas. Twelve people can easily
38 > decide amongst each other what to do. But 200+ developers is a different
39 > ballgame (hence the need for "bureaucratic" things like the Gentoo Council)
40 > where decisions need to be weighted and where every individual can
41 > contribute (or block) to the progress of the distribution.
42 >
43 > Imagine what would happen if we had 500+ developers.
44 >
45 > Wkr,
46 > Sven Vermeulen
47 >
49 We have been through the same discussion over and over again and it
50 usually starts by users
51 who think that the process is mostly non-sense and part of the 19th century.
52 What Sven said is mostly true. Most users tend to focus too much on the
53 "theoretical" part of the recruitment (aka the quizzes) but they don't
54 actually see beyond that.
56 The quizzes might be "hard" or "long" at first look, but *if* you have
57 been part of the community for
58 a not-so-long time, you will notice that you can probably answer all
59 the questions within 2 hours tops!
60 What this means is that, you can't just become a developer out of the
61 blue with the expectation to be an
62 easy process just because you understand what 'emerge' does and what
63 package.accept_keywords is for.
65 If this is how you think, then you clearly are not ready to become a developer.
66 However, if you try to make some real contributions to the project,
67 get involved with teams and the mailing lists,
68 you will notice that most of the questions make sense, and having them
69 in the quizzes is the correct thing.
71 Of course, I don't expect my reply to prevent similar threads in the
72 future but maybe someone could point "scared"
73 users to this thread and make them realize that they need to do their
74 homework before they go blame the process
75 without concrete evidences.
77 --
78 Regards,
79 Markos Chandras - Gentoo Linux Developer