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From Branko ─îibej <br...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Further community development and other thoughts
Date Sat, 03 Jan 2015 11:35:57 GMT
On 03.01.2015 08:03, Konstantin Boudnik wrote:
> Just to keep everyone in the loop...
> Dmitriy and I had a good conversation today about what else needs to be done
> in the Ignite (incubating) to further lower the entrance barrier for new
> contributors. So far we have identified the following:
>  1. need for a public CI: current CI is based on TeamCity ran privately by
>     GridGain team. While it is a hassle and a disruptive one to move the build
>     infrastructure to the INFRA's ran Jenkins, there's a need to publicly
>     expose the "official" project CI & test results.
>     This effort needs to be hooked up to the artifacts publishing, that Roman
>     brought up earlier. I am pretty sure that even with CI infra sitting
>     outside of the builds.apache.org the official build producing and
>     publishing the artifacts can be executed on the ASF build hosts.
>     Dmitriy has some ideas on how to solve it and I'll let him to chime in to
>     avoid broken phone effect.

I've said before that it should not be an impossible task to get a
TeamCity instance running on an ASF-owned, infra-supported VM. IIUC cost
of licenses is not an issue; JB offers TeamCity free for Open Source
projects (and anything at the ASF definitely fits the bill). A slightly
bigger concern is getting Infra to support yet another CI platform, but
I think it's worth making the effort.

>  2. First release. I've learned that community is pretty busy finalizing the
>     refactoring and changing some APIs in the project and that makes things a
>     bit liquid. However, even right now the project can be build and deployed
>     and old API is working as before. Hence, in my opinion, the release can be
>     cut, although it won't be in the GA quality at the moment. But at least it
>     will be something the users can try on. It also will create an invaluable
>     experience for all involve, and will demonstrate what does and doesn't
>     work in the release process.

If the APIs aren't finalized yet, consider releasing a beta version.
This is still an "official ASF release" from the point of view of legal
requirements; IOW it's a good way to define, practice and polish the RM
process. But you can put a big warning in the release notes about
changing APIs and not production-ready and not supported etc.

>  3. community growth: what is essential, in my opinion, is to be able to
>     spread the word about the project and be essentially able to recruit new
>     contributors to the project and the community.
>     All sorts of communication channels could be used for it: website updates,
>     blogs, twitting, meetups, hackathons, and so on. I believe the dev@ list
>     is an important tool in this: lively discussions about the on-going
>     development should attract more attention and participation from others.
>     How about start using dev@ for the engineering communication?

This is something I've been meaning to write about for a while ... I see
lots of JIRA notices popping up in the mail, and they're obviously the
result of some discussion that's invisible to the rest of the world.

The policy here is that discussion needs to happen on the dev@ list. If
it's not on the list, it never happened; the list archives are /the/
definitive source of info about project history. (This implies, for
example, that discussions that happen at a hackathon must be summarized
to the dev@ list, too.)

I've found this to be one of the hardest parts of adjusting to the "ASF
way" of doing things. The majority of incubating projects are similar to
Ignite -- the initial PPMC consists mostly of people who work for one
company and are used to their own communication channels. Which is fine;
there's nothing wrong with face-to-face discussions and phone calls and
internal mails and whatnot; however, at least the results, and
preferably the progress of those discussions should be tracked on the
dev@ list.

I suggest the best way to adjust is to just stop using internal channels
for technical discussions about the project, code and community, and
simply start using the dev@ list email for that. It takes a bit of
additional effort because you do have to consider that whatever you
write here ends up in a public archive forever; but the sooner you start
doing this, the easier it will be to get used to the idea. Soon enough,
writing to dev@ will become the natural choice.

>     If this is
>     done using internal emails - it won't be much of a help to involve a wider
>     audience into the community.


>     E.g. people need to learn that there's such a
>     project and see what's going on there. They should be willing to spend
>     their time on it. But it is essential that a contribution shouldn't come
>     with a steep learning curve of how to make one; a new-comer should have an
>     easy way to submit a patch and have it automatically validated by same
>     official project CI. That's where a well-documented development process -
>     Wiki or just a website - comes to mind: a simple "How To Contribute" page
>     would be a great start.
>     And of course a reliable release process will help with the matter.
> Hey, I understand that I might be pushing for a lot ;) And it doesn't have to
> be done over night. But these are essential steps to think about and make.
> Can other mentors chime in here, pretty please? Did I miss something else? How
> the "recruiting process" can be improved?

I'm a dinosaur ... actually, I think we determined on general@incubator
that I'm a sauropsid ... so I have a dim view of social networks and
Twitter and such. But I imagine that a number of Hadoop users and
developers might be interested in Ignite, especially if you bring in the
"Hadoop Accelerator" code mentioned in the other thread. Writing to the
users@hadoop and perhaps dev@hadoop lists about Ignite would probably
generate a fair amount of interest.

TL;DR: +1 to everything you wrote.

-- Brane

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