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From "David W. Van Couvering" <David.Vancouver...@Sun.COM>
Subject So you wanna write some database code
Date Wed, 14 Dec 2005 20:28:02 GMT
Down at ApacheCon at our BoF we had a good discussion about what might 
help people who want to contribute to Derby but feel they don't have the 
database internals background needed.  It was generally recognized that 
there is a pretty hefty learning curve to be able to work on some of the 
core parts of Derby such as the SQL compiler and the kernel.  The skills 
and background for someone writing database applications is pretty 
different from someone writing database internals.

The problem is that Derby support can not scale to handle the growing 
number of users unless more members of the community are able to get to 
know the code and start contributing.

One thought we had was that those of us who know a certain area of Derby 
can make ourselves available to mentor/provide guidance to those who 
want to work in that area but don't feel qualified.

For example, let's say there is a bug in the compiler that is causing me 
problems.  I log the bug, but nobody seems to be responding (scratch 
your own itch and all that).  I could send an email out saying "I'd like 
to get this fixed, and am willing to do the work, but I don't know 
anything about the compiler. Is anyone willing to help walk me through 
this?"  Then someone who knows the compiler can volunteer to help.

Alternately, someone who knows the compiler can respond to a JIRA item 
saying "I don't have time to implement, test, and document this, but I'd 
be willing to help walk you through how you might do this."

I think this is pretty workable.  It does take a willingness on both 
sides -- from the specialists to not try to fix everything themselves 
(not scalable long-term) and instead make themselves available to 
provide guidance, and from the non-specialists to jump in with the 
support of a specialist.

David

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