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From "Adrian Lanning" <alannin...@hotmail.com>
Subject thoughts on encouraging user development
Date Mon, 28 Jun 2004 16:04:28 GMT
Hi all,

I'm new to this list and looking forward to contributing.  Recent list messages have implied
a lower community involvement in submitting patches and helping out.  I know its not an emergency
or anything but I thought I'd throw some ideas out and try to stimulate some discussion on
it.

At the risk of sounding silly I'd like to suggest that the first steps in encouring users
to patch and contribute more might be trying to get the word out that the developers Want
more user contribs (marketing) and making it easy to find out How to do it (usability).  

I'm new to open-source development and contributing so maybe the contributing process is common
knowledge.  But it took me a lot longer than I would have expected to find out how to contribute
to Struts.  My original plan after not finding something on the Struts website was to email
Ted Husted and ask him how to contribute. (I choose Ted simply because I own his book.) :-)
  Then I happened to find something about emailing patches to the dev list.

Only in doing my due-diligence for this letter did I happen across this page which outlines
the process:
http://jakarta.apache.org/struts/faqs/helping.html


It would be interesting to see if just putting little links like, "Wanna contribute to Struts?
 Click Here!" around the Struts website (especially the main page) has a noticable effect.
 Also, putting a message from the developers on the main page about, "Ready for the next version?
 Help us get there faster!" might help get the message across that not only is it ok to contribute,
the developers actually want you to.  

(Now I'm not trying to say that people think developers don't want contributions.  I don't
know.  I'm just throwing out some ideas on how to encourage more user involvement.)

Thoughts?

Adrian Lanning

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