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From "Hirsch, Richard" <>
Subject The current state of ESME
Date Sat, 28 Feb 2009 14:25:00 GMT
Last week, I had a long talk with Anne and we are both worried about the current rate of development.
If you look at a list of svn commits from the last month or so, you will just see commits
from Vassil working on the Twitter API and Actions.  As a sign of the current malaise in the
project, there is currently no active sprint and no one has committed to performing any tasks
in the non-existent sprint. 


Initially, we had a large group of people who were involved, had scrum calls every night and
there was an exhilaration in being part of something new and exciting. Now, we have one scrum
call a week and Anne and I are often alone. Although this change is partially associated with
the desire to move everything to the mailing list, it is still an indication of a
change in project dynamics. 


I know that everyone has been busy but if we continue at this rate, we must change the expectations
that currently exist in Pearl, Siemens SIS, etc - and perhaps, the personal expectations of
those involved in the project. We currently have nothing to show potential users or interested
parties. The problem is that our present community is too small and with one just one developer
committing code, our progress is too slow to meet the current expectations that exist externally.


If we look at our "competition" in microbloging (Yammer and, they are progressing
rapidly. Indeed, SAPLabs has also already installed a version of for internal usage.


Anne and I are sort of like business users who are looking to IT to complete a project without
any ability to really influence its progress. We can't code but are dependent on the developers
to produce. 


Despite the fact Pearl has expressed an interest in investing in ESME, the project is still
an open-source project that lives from the contributions of its community. Pearl might be
able to finance some development but Pearl won't be able to finance all development efforts.


For Anne and I, ESME is still an "Experiment" - although we have both invested much love in
the project, we have come to realize that without additional development progress, the project
will stagnate and die. ESME's death would break the hearts of many but all of us would survive.
If if ESME's death is imminent, I'd like to look reality in the eye rather than ignore the
trends that are so obvious.  


So, the big question is: how do we increase community involvement? 


An open-source projects lives from small changes from many developers. With our tiny to non-existent
community, how should we progress in these small steps? I don't know if the problem is associated
with disterest in microblogging, limited number of developers who know Scala or another reason.
Maybe, the evolution that we are experiencing is present in all Incubator projects?


@Mentors - any suggestions?


Anne and Dick

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