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From Sebastian Schelter <...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Call to action – Mahout needs your help
Date Sun, 24 Mar 2013 17:31:24 GMT
Hi Grant,

how would/could such a scale back look like?

Best,
Sebastian


On 24.03.2013 18:30, Grant Ingersoll wrote:
> Personally, I think the bigger issue is that most of the committers (me included) are
not very active, so we either need to identify other committers sooner rather than later or
really scale back the project to just those areas where we have activity.
> 
> I know I struggle to find time to contribute, esp. in moving the ball forward on issues
that are non-trivial usually requires a significant amount of effort to understand the math,
etc.
> 
> 
> On Mar 24, 2013, at 6:08 AM, Isabel Drost-Fromm wrote:
> 
>>
>>
>> Hello,
>>
>>
>> this is to those of you using Mahout or lurking on the mailing list somewhere.
>>
>>
>> In the current Mahout board report [1] it became apparent that Mahout has a 
>> large number of users. However looking at the dev list there's barely any 
>> activity left: Committers including myself are drowning in help requests that 
>> they cannot keep up with or have been surprised by life taking away more of 
>> their time than a few months and years ago. Contributors wait for long until 
>> they get feedback on patches getting frustrated along the way.
>>
>>
>> In the software world if there are no more resources to support a released 
>> version that version usually is marked as “no longer maintaned”, being 
>> subsequently retired and replaced with a new version.
>>
>>
>> At Apache projects that are lacking resources, energy and support go through a 
>> similar process: Usually they get moved into the Attic – which means that 
>> mailing lists are closed though archives remain searchable, bug trackers are 
>> marked as read only. Honestly as a project founder my personal goal for Mahout 
>> always was to build a sustainable community that would survive core people 
>> having less time for the project at some point in time. I'd be distressed to 
>> see Mahout go to the Attic.
>>
>>
>> If you are an active Mahout user and want to help – what can you do? 
>>
>>
>> At the current point Mahout doesn't need any new algorithms (though high 
>> quality contributions that come with people maintaining them within the 
>> project are of course welcome). What the project needs is much simpler even 
>> for beginners:
>>
>>
>> - help answering mails on both dev and user list 
>>
>> - help reviewing patches that come in: Having another contributor say “yes, 
>> this looks valuable and correct” can be a big help for committers – and can be

>> the first step for you to become one yourself. 
>>
>> - help with documentation – both for developers and users of the project. 
>>
>> - help with structuring documentation to make it easier for others to find the 
>> relevant information. 
>>
>> - help with making our build faster and easier: There are a few quick wins in 
>> terms of long running unit tests, there certainly are areas that lack testing. 
>>
>> - help with code cleanup – there are areas that do not adhere to our coding 
>> conventions (standard Java, but with two spaces for indentation) – make 
>> changes in small batches 
>>
>> - help with optimising existing implementations  
>>
>> - if you truly believe that your algorithm or implementation is faster: Be 
>> bold. Prove that it really is faster for all relevant use cases and work with 
>> the community to replace existing code with your optimised version. 
>>
>>
>> Also help with what areas you are using and what exactly you see missing is 
>> welcome.
>>
>>
>> It would be awesome to see Mahout gain activity. But in order to achieve that 
>> the project really does need your help.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> Isabel
>>
>>
>> [1] <https://cwiki.apache.org/confluence/display/MAHOUT/Monthly+Progress>
> 
> --------------------------------------------
> Grant Ingersoll | @gsingers
> http://www.lucidworks.com
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 


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