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From Alex Amies <AAm...@access360.com>
Subject RE: Help wanted: more qualified developers
Date Fri, 30 Mar 2001 21:08:03 GMT
Documentation seems to be one key.  On the other hand there are 
probably many people out there who would like to write 
documentation if it is clear that there is a need for particular
documentation and that there would be a place for it on the 
Apache site or elsewhere.  If there was a road map or outline for the 
documentation desired that would be a start.


-----Original Message-----
From: James Melton [mailto:james.melton@cylogix.com]
Sent: Friday, March 30, 2001 11:59 AM
To: general@xml.apache.org
Subject: Re: Help wanted: more qualified developers


I don't think I have solutions, but I sure recognize some problems. 

1. It takes a LOT of time to get involved in code development on one of
these projects. There is a ton of code of which I know 0% to start.
There seems to be no real architectural documentation that will help me
begin to get a grip. There are large documents from W3C that are not
light reading. There are an enormous number of emails on xalan-dev that
I can only scan without absorbing much (It's good as far as presenting a
lot of material, but bad in that I think I don't really know quite
what's going on). All this requires lots and lots of time.

2. Sorting out how to begin even on simple bug fixes is a problem. When
I read about bugs submitted by the community they often are not bugs,
but it takes an "expert" to make that call. I can find bugs in Bugzilla
but it would help if there was a status of "certified" applied by one of
the committers who should know if something really is a bug. Bugs are
the basic problems that people new to a code base can use to begin to
learn how things fit together. I will spend three weeks in my spare time
fixing something that you can fix in an hour or two of your work-day.
Given the heavy commitment (three weeks! of spare time that I honestly
don't have but steal from my family and employer) I really need to know
that I am working on the "right thing". 

3. When you look from the outside you realize quickly that this is a
full-time paid job for some people. It is difficult to rationalize why I
am doing work for which you are getting paid. I understand why I want to
work on this code but I am damned if I can explain it to anyone else.
They just look confused like maybe they need to find professional help
for me :)

To get more people you have to make it easier for people to be involved.
Consider documenting application architecture, documenting the
relationships between code and standards, categorizing bugs for new
developers, and issuing certificates of sanity that we can show to our
wives and co-workers when they ask, "What are you doing?"

Jim.


Scott_Boag@lotus.com wrote:
> 
> A  good discussion to have is: how do we get better developer
participation
> on the existing apache projects?  Is there anything the PMC or the
projects
> can do procedurally to encourage more people to write code?
> 

____________________________________________________________
James Melton                 CyLogix
609.750.5190                 609.750.5100
james.melton@cylogix.com     www.cylogix.com

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