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From "Susan L. Cline" <home4...@pacbell.net>
Subject New contributors?
Date Wed, 06 Sep 2006 22:39:18 GMT
Hello Derby-dev, 

I'm writing to point out an experience which discouraged me about growing our community with
new
contributors. 

Recently I submitted a patch for a JUnit test.   I have contributed very few patches in the
form
of code to Derby (I've had just a couple for the Eclipse plug-ins.)  I am not a Java developer
by
trade or training, but I have contributed to the Derby community by writing 
articles, sample applications and some wiki entries. 

My JUnit contribution received comments by two different folks.  I believe that some of the
comments were valid and helpful to me to improve my programming skills and also to help insure
that the test I wrote was readable and understandable, as well as to fit into the constraints
that
JUnit imposes as well as the Derby test harness. 

However, I feel that some of the comments were more style-related or were nits that the individual
reviewer had.  This is where I feel discouraged.  One of the biggest goals I think we have
is to
embrace contributors (and therefore their contributions) and to guide them 
where it is necessary, but also to accept contributions that represent "incremental work."
 Also,
I think when someone makes a contribution it has something to do with that individuals "itch".
 In
this case I thought it would be fun to learn JUnit and become more familiar with the 
Derby test harness, and that was my itch.   

I am fortunate in that I am paid to work on Derby, but I think of other individuals who are
not
paid to work on Derby.  If they make a contribution which is not accepted, partially due to
style
issues, how likely are we to get new contributors?   Again, I'm not saying that I wrote the
perfect test and others are not welcome to comment on my code, but on the other hand if we
make
the barrier to contribute (and it was just a test!) this high, how likely are we to get
contributions from individuals who have a lesser stake in Derby than their own livelihood?


Thanks, 

Susan 

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