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From Martijn Verburg <>
Subject Re: Get thee to the Core...
Date Sun, 12 Jun 2011 11:07:59 GMT
Hi all,

Long time lurker, I'm de-lurking because I like to harp on a bit about
how to run a successful open source project (based off Karl Fogel's
teachings at - got to love opinionated
lurkers right? ;p

My comments in-line below:

>> * Open up access to the community somehow (suggested by Kristian)
>> * Draw in more developers to core (suggested by John)

I typically see this being successful when there are readily
accessible issue trackers, documentation, developer guidelines, a
community manager (or several) and more. In order to not scare a new
developer away from something difficult (like Maven core), you want
them to grok it in a day or so by supplying:

* A 30,000 foot view
* A "how to build and run" the core
* A list of _really_ simple bug fixes that new developers can try out
so they can follow the development process.  My favourite is to say
"Hey, we just switched on Findbugs - and there are 3 issues to fix in
class X".  The feeling of accomplishment that a new developer will get
from successfully making a change is really, really important.
* Crucially they need some really patient community
leads/managers/whatever to be there for them in real-time.  This is
the hardest part.

Maven already has some of this stuff covered, which is great!  But I
think it's perhaps lacking a little in the documentation around the
core and maybe some more dedicated community managers/leads/whatever
wouldn't go amiss either.  A really good example of great interaction
is with the ossrh mailing list with Juven as the de-facto community
manager.  He's so quick and polite to respond to issues that users
volunteers start responding in kind and get involved (in my case the
tiniest of doc patches, but hey I wouldn't have normally bothered).

Remember, every user/developer is a potential volunteer :-).

>> * apply patches from people that genuinely can help (suggested by Brett)

I think the applying or rejecting of patches could be sped up (from my
anecdotal watching of JIRAs over the past year).  It can help to have
a dedicated person for this, quick response times to patches means a
much higher chance of having that user/developer join the project!

>> I think we need to create documentation that is accessible from the
>> main site.  Perhaps the tooling isn't quite there to do that easily.
>> Personally I'd love to see a beginners walkthrough of how maven is
>> architected with diagrams and links to the code.

This would be brilliant.

> Yes, documentation is the bane of most open-source projects...and we
> certainly have a weakness there. Part of the documentation needs to be
> fueled by a wish list from the community though...I'm too close to things
> personally to know which parts aren't easy to understand. :-)

<blatantly looking a Sonatype>Interns can be really useful in these
sorts of situations (where you have to play catch-up on the
docs)</blatantly looking at Sonatype>

Feel free to ignore any of the above - I just couldn't resist sticking
my nose in.

Martijn - (Maven fan - most of the time ;p)

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