Gentoo Archives: gentoo-project

From: Sven Vermeulen <swift@g.o>
To: gentoo-project@l.g.o
Subject: Daunting developer process? (was Re: [gentoo-project] Call for agenda items - Council meeting) 2013-09-10
Date: Wed, 18 Sep 2013 08:02:24
In Reply to: Re: [gentoo-project] Call for agenda items - Council meeting 2013-09-10 by Daniel Campbell
1 On Tue, Sep 17, 2013 at 09:53:22PM -0500, Daniel Campbell wrote:
2 > As a user, I've considered becoming a developer but the process is
3 > rather contrived and multi-tiered. It doesn't seem like you're becoming
4 > a developer through said process, but rather joining a fraternity.
5 > There's lots of bureacracy involved that really turns prospective
6 > developers off. I don't know how common it is, but if Gentoo has a lack
7 > of developers, there must be a clear reason as to why. Clearly Gentoo
8 > has a lot of avid users *and* developers, so if developers are needed,
9 > perhaps the process to become a developer should be improved. Why else
10 > would the distro be lacking devs if it has a bright and enthusiastic
11 > userbase?
13 The process looks daunting at first, but in my opinion it is not as "hard"
14 as it is often seen. Yes, we work with questions & answers to make sure
15 proper knowledge is in place. But these questions are not all that difficult
16 if you already have experience with ebuild creation & development (assuming
17 you're talking about the ebuild developer quizzes, not the staff quizzes).
19 Of course, if you have no experience with it and want to get developer
20 access, then immediately focusing on the quizzes is the wrong approach. Try
21 to help where possible with bug fixing and contributing ebuilds - you don't
22 need CVS (yeah, still CVS) access to do so.
24 An important part of joining the Gentoo crew is to work with others - work
25 with your mentor, interact with the recruiters, etc - because, as with every
26 free software project, we are all a bunch of individuals whose actions can
27 impact others.
29 Gentoo currently has 245 active developers. That is not a small amount.
30 Ubuntu is at 210, Debian has many more (I tried to parse
31 and was over 2000).
33 Using a different approach to gain more developers might have more impact
34 than you imagine on the quality of the distribution as well as the progress
35 it makes. If the distribution would be 12 developers, it wouldn't be all
36 that hard to make a good roadmap and focus areas. Twelve people can easily
37 decide amongst each other what to do. But 200+ developers is a different
38 ballgame (hence the need for "bureaucratic" things like the Gentoo Council)
39 where decisions need to be weighted and where every individual can
40 contribute (or block) to the progress of the distribution.
42 Imagine what would happen if we had 500+ developers.
44 Wkr,
45 Sven Vermeulen