[Adium-devl] Shawn's Bug Day Proposal
alangh at adiumx.com
Mon Nov 12 21:01:12 UTC 2007
Even though I currently spend very little time on Adium development,
perhaps my insights might shed some light on difficulties implementing
this proposal, together with the date driven methodology proposed a
few days ago.
In a volunteer based organization, it is difficult to enforce
compliance to standard project management techniques. Those
techniques (such as project plans and schedule driven development)
work well in one of two environments:
1) People are compensated so that they can prioritize spending time on
the project above other needs (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow's_hierarchy_of_needs)
2) There is a sufficiently large pool of available talent that people
can be dismissed from it without impact on the overall success.
Unfortunately, Adium does not exist in either of these environments,
and so must rely upon the greatly varying amount of time people chose
to make available to the project. For example, I was able to spend
full time on Open Source projects for 2 years as my financial and
employment status allowed me to do so, but right now, I can spend less
than 2 hours a week on it.
I agree completely that the approach you suggest, together with
Colin's ideas a few days ago would be the best thing to help new
developers and our end customers, but as a rule they do not work for
the current developers. Therefore, we have to find creative ways to
modify these techniques so that they work in this volunteer environment.
I don't claim to have the answers here, but there are a few principles
that have worked well as I have participated in these types of
volunteer organizations for the last 20+ years:
1) Recognize people's contributions - that is often their only reward
2) Be understanding of missed commitments
3) Wherever possible remove barriers to entry to get new participants
4) Build friendships among team members
5) Minimize the impact of individuals who cause contention
6) Allow people to work in their areas of interest
I know it's a long winded answer, but it might stimulate some
conversation that helps us come up with an optimal solution.
Adium Development Team
alangh at adiumx.com
On Nov 12, 2007, at 11:37 AM, Jordan Schelew wrote:
> Sorry to create a new thread about this, but I deleted the old one
> accidentally! I was rather surprised to see nobody flat out turn down
> the request and I happen to believe it to be a good idea, not so much
> as to enforce development by the current team, but more so to
> encourage outside development support.
> People have a tendency to often forget or ignore deadlines, but many
> people also heavily rely on them. In this case, by setting a date, it
> means those coders that do work well based on meetings or deadlines or
> just schedules in general might take a closer look at Adium and help
> by submitting patches on a more regular basis. To make this work, it
> wouldn't necessarily require that all current developers work on
> fixing bugs like a madman for a single day (as we all know everyone
> here is very busy with other things in their lives... especially the
> good ol' day job), but it would be nice to have a few who are very
> familiar with the internal workings of Adium there to help push people
> in the right direction for where they might start on a particular bug
> fix or enhancement.
> On top of a couple devs in attendance (which happens to be true on
> IRC most of the time anyway, but thought I'd mention it just to be
> thorough) the only other thing that would be handy for making this
> work would be the support of the primary people that are also acting
> as PR for Adium. Evan, Colin, Eric, and Chris most particularly seem
> to have regular blog posts and interaction with Adium fans. By helping
> out with blog posts and Digg submissions, we just *might* be able to
> entice a few people out of the thousands that read these things to not
> just stop by and take a peek (of which a good hundred or so must have
> some familiarity with coding) but also push them towards fixing a few
> I really can't see how this is not worth a shot, and would like to
> hear what others have to say about it. Shawn is looking to set a first
> day for this to go live, but I think we should have the word put out
> before it goes ahead since it's going to be fairly useless if nobody
> hears about it...
> So... comments? Suggestions on a first day?
> Adium-devl mailing list
> Adium-devl at adiumx.com
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