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Ideas to help Community Members become Committers [message #10432] Fri, 01 August 2008 18:59 Go to next message
Eclipse User
Originally posted by: dcarver.starstandard.org

This is a summary of a conversation I had with Ed Merks earlier in the
day, basically, there seems to be a common response from committers on
reasons why bugs aren't fixed, or certain enhancements aren't added.
Basically we don't have the time or resources, and as committers from
member companies get moved around, they aren't replaced by other
committers from other members, or it's difficult to get a community
member into place as a committer.

Some of this has to do with the barrier to entry that the community has
to go through. Many blog entries have been written, but it seems that
the blog sphere is getting a bit more vocal about it. I'll use as
example trying to get a summer of code student up and running to get his
XQuery Editor to the point where he could do the intersting stuff.

1. He struggled just trying to understand the documentation, and what
needed to be done to get started. I pointed him to several existing
editors that implemented similiar functionality, however many of these
classess were internal and not to be extended. Plus there was little
or no documentation on the internal classes.

2. Lack of documentation of all of eclipse classes. If a community
member wants to help fix a bug, if classes are clearly documented with
the bare minium of javadoc it makes it next to impossible to get started.

Community Members

These are things we've discussed in the past and still need to address.
The bigger issue is making it as easy for a Community member to become
a committer as it is for a Paying Member to have somebody become a
committer. Right now that barrier to entry is killing us from getting
more active community members as committers. Plus we are locking
ourselves into Knowledge Silos by keeping the commiter ranks as small as
they are.

Support and Access to Documentation:

While we have newsgroups, irc, and the wiki, not all of these resources
are available to people that are behind corporate firewalls.
Particularly the newsgroups (I'll get to the web based interface in a
second). Right now for a community member to understand all the
various processes, one has to go to multiple sites to get the
information. Unless the person is very determined they aren't going to
follow through. Yeah, I know we want determined people to be
committers, but everybody has a limited amount of time to waste just
trying to get started. So one recommendation would be for Eclipse to
actually use some of the projects it has going to provide a common
format and place for the process documentation. I'd suggest using EPF
Composer and generating a Website from that content so that it's all in
one place.

As for the newsgroups, I don't know how much time the Foundation spends
on custom builds of various pieces, but I'd like to see the foundation,
actually spend less time building stuff itself, and more time using
other open source projects for the services. Personally I'm not a huge
fan of the current Web based interface to Newsgroups. It doesn't
provide a good search mechanism, and no RSS feed support. There is a
free open source alternative that could be used and provides the same
functionality and more than what we have now:

http://web-news.sourceforge.net/

An alternative to the Newsgroups (which I know would put Ed through
withdrawl if we removed them completely), is to use a Web based Forum
software. There are several available.

I would also like to see the web interface to the newsgroups move to
their own url. Something like: support.eclipse.org, in which people
could get access to the newsgroups, and other Knowledge bases.

Committers Portal / Foundation Portal

Last item for discussion. This comes back to do you build it yourself
or do you use something that already exists. In some ways I think the
portal needs to use existing software instead of writting customized
software. We have in many ways the not invented here syndrom happening.
An alternative could be:

http://www.metadot.com/index.pl?iid=4119

There are many other options as well, some probably under friendlier
licenses, but it depends on what we plan to do with the software.

Bottom line, I think in order to help bring in fresh blood for the
committers that migrate off of projects for whatever reason we need to
give the community easier access and easier trail to becomming a
committer. I went through the process from a community perspective,
and it isn't as smooth a process as it should be, where as I don't
particularly see that the committers that come from paying members have
it as rough getting that status as does a community member.

If you made it this far, congratulations!!!

Dave
Re: Ideas to help Community Members become Committers [message #10467 is a reply to message #10432] Fri, 01 August 2008 19:42 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Eclipse Webmaster is currently offline Eclipse Webmaster
Messages: 476802
Registered: July 2009
Senior Member
David Carver wrote:
> As for the newsgroups, I don't know how much time the Foundation spends
> on custom builds of various pieces, but I'd like to see the foundation,
> actually spend less time building stuff itself, and more time using
> other open source projects for the services. Personally I'm not a huge
> fan of the current Web based interface to Newsgroups. It doesn't
> provide a good search mechanism, and no RSS feed support. There is a
> free open source alternative that could be used and provides the same
> functionality and more than what we have now:

Actually, our news server is inn, which is bundled with our server OS.
The web interface is also an OSS project that we consume without
modification other than the website skin.

http://amrhein.eu/newsportal/

The search mechanism is Google, which requires no Foundation staff or
server resources to maintain (we were using mnogosearch, but the
database and cpu consumption were huge). Our newsgroups do have RSS
support - just pick any group and hit the RSS icon at the top [1]. RSS
capabilities come from an unmodified mHonARC we use for our mailing list
archives (which is also an OSS project).

[1] http://www.eclipse.org/newsportal/thread.php?group=eclipse.n ewcomer

Of course, there is always something different (not always better), but
in the end, it's all the same -- with anything different we'll solve
some issues and gain new ones, plus we'll spend lots of time in
migration. The free OSS alternative you've pointed out hasn't had a
release in over 2 years.

The bottom line is that the foundation tries really hard to avoid
building in-house where it makes the most sense. Just do a Bugzilla
search on Community/Bugzilla and you'll see how many requests have been
made to hack Bugzilla apart.


--

Eclipse WebMaster - webmaster@eclipse.org
Questions? Consult the WebMaster FAQ at
http://wiki.eclipse.org/index.php/Webmaster_FAQ
View my status at http://wiki.eclipse.org/index.php/WebMaster
Re: Ideas to help Community Members become Committers [message #10499 is a reply to message #10467] Fri, 01 August 2008 19:50 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Eclipse User
Originally posted by: dcarver.starstandard.org

Thanks for the response Denise, didn't know that we used a open source
portal.

Any thought of moving the news groups to a support.eclipse.org link,
instead of having it in dev.eclipse.org? Especially since the
newsgroups are more for support instead of development work?

Dave
Re: Ideas to help Community Members become Committers [message #10564 is a reply to message #10432] Mon, 04 August 2008 14:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Bjorn Freeman-Benson is currently offline Bjorn Freeman-Benson
Messages: 335
Registered: July 2009
Senior Member
David Carver wrote:
> Yeah, I know we want determined people to be
> committers, but everybody has a limited amount of time to waste just
> trying to get started.

I couldn't agree with you more.

> I'd suggest using EPF
> Composer and generating a Website from that content so that it's all in
> one place.

I thought I'd already suggested this, but in case it was only the voices
in my head: "go for it, Dave!". Use EPF Composer to take the existing
development process and generate a website. We'll even supply you with a
vserver if you need. Once you show us how, we'll adopt it.

> Committers Portal / Foundation Portal

Ward and I looked very carefully at all the existing portal software
before deciding to undertake a brand-new piece of software. At the time,
none of the existing portal software we could find provided transparent
open processes, e.g., something like this: http://tinyurl.com/3to3qj
We felt that it was more important to provide more transparency and
openness about the way the Foundation was operating. Perhaps that was
the wrong decision? Anyway, we'd certainly like to switch to an existing
open source portal system but none that has been recommended to us (to
date) has this transparency that we deem so important.
Re: Ideas to help Community Members become Committers [message #10597 is a reply to message #10564] Mon, 04 August 2008 23:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Eclipse User
Originally posted by: dcarver.starstandard.org

Bjorn Freeman-Benson wrote:
> David Carver wrote:
>> Yeah, I know we want determined people to be committers, but everybody
>> has a limited amount of time to waste just trying to get started.
>
> I couldn't agree with you more.
>
> > I'd suggest using EPF
>> Composer and generating a Website from that content so that it's all
>> in one place.
>
> I thought I'd already suggested this, but in case it was only the voices
> in my head: "go for it, Dave!". Use EPF Composer to take the existing
> development process and generate a website. We'll even supply you with a
> vserver if you need. Once you show us how, we'll adopt it.

Here's the thing, I don't know all of the eclipse documentation, the
roles that are involved, and the various activity diagrams,
documentation, and resources that would need to go into consolidating
this information. Now what might be nice is if Eclipse wanted to have
a Project that was setup for this. Then I might be able to help, you
might also get some of the EPF committers to participate as well. It
would be a good real world sample for showing off the project.

Plus eclipse can use it's own projects to help elevate some of the
community pain.


>
>> Committers Portal / Foundation Portal
>
> Ward and I looked very carefully at all the existing portal software
> before deciding to undertake a brand-new piece of software. At the time,
> none of the existing portal software we could find provided transparent
> open processes, e.g., something like this: http://tinyurl.com/3to3qj
> We felt that it was more important to provide more transparency and
> openness about the way the Foundation was operating. Perhaps that was
> the wrong decision? Anyway, we'd certainly like to switch to an existing
> open source portal system but none that has been recommended to us (to
> date) has this transparency that we deem so important.

It might be time to revisit again. Unfortunately, I dislike that
tinyurl diagram you put together. Some may like it but I don't find it
very clear and straight forward. I prefer activity diagrams or
something like that.

There are several open source portals now, with a variety of
functionality. Some even have plugin api that could allow you to
customize pieces and parts for integration into the Foundation data
bases and processes.
Re: Ideas to help Community Members become Committers [message #10629 is a reply to message #10597] Tue, 05 August 2008 17:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Bjorn Freeman-Benson is currently offline Bjorn Freeman-Benson
Messages: 335
Registered: July 2009
Senior Member
David Carver wrote:
> Now what might be nice is if Eclipse wanted to have
> a Project that was setup for this.

Great, I look forward to your proposing that project.
I will join as a committer.

> There are several open source portals now, with a variety of
> functionality. Some even have plugin api that could allow you to
> customize pieces and parts for integration into the Foundation data
> bases and processes.

Again, great. Point us to the right one to use that provides the
functionality that the portal currently provides (including all the open
and transparent process documentation) and we'll look into how much work
it will be to switch. We're certainly not wed to a given technology: if
there's something better for which the cost of switching plus the long
term maintenance of the new X is lower than the long term maintenance
cost of the existing Y, we'll switch.
Re: Ideas to help Community Members become Committers [message #10662 is a reply to message #10629] Tue, 05 August 2008 18:55 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Eclipse User
Originally posted by: dcarver.starstandard.org

>> There are several open source portals now, with a variety of
>> functionality. Some even have plugin api that could allow you to
>> customize pieces and parts for integration into the Foundation data
>> bases and processes.
>
> Again, great. Point us to the right one to use that provides the
> functionality that the portal currently provides (including all the open
> and transparent process documentation) and we'll look into how much work
> it will be to switch. We're certainly not wed to a given technology: if
> there's something better for which the cost of switching plus the long
> term maintenance of the new X is lower than the long term maintenance
> cost of the existing Y, we'll switch.

Here is some infomration on MetaDot:

http://www.intranetjournal.com/articles/200504/ij_04_29_05a. html

There is also PHPGroupWare. Only the Foundation can determine if the
effort of switching is worth it or not. I'm just tossing out ideas for
the committer reps to contemplate.

As for the EPF composer project, I formally submit the idea, but I think
it has to be a Foundation project, not necessarily run by the community
in order to make sure it's accurate.

Dave
Re: Ideas to help Community Members become Committers [message #10694 is a reply to message #10662] Tue, 05 August 2008 19:02 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Bjorn Freeman-Benson is currently offline Bjorn Freeman-Benson
Messages: 335
Registered: July 2009
Senior Member
David Carver wrote:
> Here is some information on MetaDot:

That's nice, but what we need is you to step you and do an evaluation.
You know what features the current portal provides (because you use it)
- how does Metadot or PHPGroupWare support those features?

> As for the EPF composer project, ... but I think
> it has to be a Foundation project, not necessarily run by the community

I think it needs to be run by the community. We currently have a
solution run by the Foundation. It's ok, but it has problems. If the
current solution is not solving the community's needs, the community
(you) need to help create a better solution. I've stated, here, in
public, that I'm willing to assist with and adopt your solution. But you
and the community have to create it.
Re: Ideas to help Community Members become Committers [message #10729 is a reply to message #10499] Fri, 10 October 2008 19:22 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Denis Roy is currently offline Denis Roy
Messages: 334
Registered: October 2004
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Senior Member

David Carver wrote:
> Any thought of moving the news groups to a support.eclipse.org link,
> instead of having it in dev.eclipse.org?

The newsgroups aren't in dev.eclipse.org, they are accessible via nntp at
news.eclipse.org or via web at http://www.eclipse.org/newsportal.


Denis Roy
Eclipse Webmaster -- webmaster@eclipse.org
Re: Ideas to help Community Members become Committers [message #561018 is a reply to message #10432] Fri, 01 August 2008 19:42 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Eclipse Webmaster is currently offline Eclipse Webmaster
Messages: 476802
Registered: July 2009
Senior Member
David Carver wrote:
> As for the newsgroups, I don't know how much time the Foundation spends
> on custom builds of various pieces, but I'd like to see the foundation,
> actually spend less time building stuff itself, and more time using
> other open source projects for the services. Personally I'm not a huge
> fan of the current Web based interface to Newsgroups. It doesn't
> provide a good search mechanism, and no RSS feed support. There is a
> free open source alternative that could be used and provides the same
> functionality and more than what we have now:

Actually, our news server is inn, which is bundled with our server OS.
The web interface is also an OSS project that we consume without
modification other than the website skin.

http://amrhein.eu/newsportal/

The search mechanism is Google, which requires no Foundation staff or
server resources to maintain (we were using mnogosearch, but the
database and cpu consumption were huge). Our newsgroups do have RSS
support - just pick any group and hit the RSS icon at the top [1]. RSS
capabilities come from an unmodified mHonARC we use for our mailing list
archives (which is also an OSS project).

[1] http://www.eclipse.org/newsportal/thread.php?group=eclipse.n ewcomer

Of course, there is always something different (not always better), but
in the end, it's all the same -- with anything different we'll solve
some issues and gain new ones, plus we'll spend lots of time in
migration. The free OSS alternative you've pointed out hasn't had a
release in over 2 years.

The bottom line is that the foundation tries really hard to avoid
building in-house where it makes the most sense. Just do a Bugzilla
search on Community/Bugzilla and you'll see how many requests have been
made to hack Bugzilla apart.


--

Eclipse WebMaster - webmaster@eclipse.org
Questions? Consult the WebMaster FAQ at
http://wiki.eclipse.org/index.php/Webmaster_FAQ
View my status at http://wiki.eclipse.org/index.php/WebMaster
Re: Ideas to help Community Members become Committers [message #561028 is a reply to message #10467] Fri, 01 August 2008 19:50 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Eclipse User
Originally posted by: dcarver.starstandard.org

Thanks for the response Denise, didn't know that we used a open source
portal.

Any thought of moving the news groups to a support.eclipse.org link,
instead of having it in dev.eclipse.org? Especially since the
newsgroups are more for support instead of development work?

Dave
Re: Ideas to help Community Members become Committers [message #561058 is a reply to message #10432] Mon, 04 August 2008 14:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Bjorn Freeman-Benson is currently offline Bjorn Freeman-Benson
Messages: 335
Registered: July 2009
Senior Member
David Carver wrote:
> Yeah, I know we want determined people to be
> committers, but everybody has a limited amount of time to waste just
> trying to get started.

I couldn't agree with you more.

> I'd suggest using EPF
> Composer and generating a Website from that content so that it's all in
> one place.

I thought I'd already suggested this, but in case it was only the voices
in my head: "go for it, Dave!". Use EPF Composer to take the existing
development process and generate a website. We'll even supply you with a
vserver if you need. Once you show us how, we'll adopt it.

> Committers Portal / Foundation Portal

Ward and I looked very carefully at all the existing portal software
before deciding to undertake a brand-new piece of software. At the time,
none of the existing portal software we could find provided transparent
open processes, e.g., something like this: http://tinyurl.com/3to3qj
We felt that it was more important to provide more transparency and
openness about the way the Foundation was operating. Perhaps that was
the wrong decision? Anyway, we'd certainly like to switch to an existing
open source portal system but none that has been recommended to us (to
date) has this transparency that we deem so important.
Re: Ideas to help Community Members become Committers [message #561075 is a reply to message #10564] Mon, 04 August 2008 23:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Eclipse User
Originally posted by: dcarver.starstandard.org

Bjorn Freeman-Benson wrote:
> David Carver wrote:
>> Yeah, I know we want determined people to be committers, but everybody
>> has a limited amount of time to waste just trying to get started.
>
> I couldn't agree with you more.
>
> > I'd suggest using EPF
>> Composer and generating a Website from that content so that it's all
>> in one place.
>
> I thought I'd already suggested this, but in case it was only the voices
> in my head: "go for it, Dave!". Use EPF Composer to take the existing
> development process and generate a website. We'll even supply you with a
> vserver if you need. Once you show us how, we'll adopt it.

Here's the thing, I don't know all of the eclipse documentation, the
roles that are involved, and the various activity diagrams,
documentation, and resources that would need to go into consolidating
this information. Now what might be nice is if Eclipse wanted to have
a Project that was setup for this. Then I might be able to help, you
might also get some of the EPF committers to participate as well. It
would be a good real world sample for showing off the project.

Plus eclipse can use it's own projects to help elevate some of the
community pain.


>
>> Committers Portal / Foundation Portal
>
> Ward and I looked very carefully at all the existing portal software
> before deciding to undertake a brand-new piece of software. At the time,
> none of the existing portal software we could find provided transparent
> open processes, e.g., something like this: http://tinyurl.com/3to3qj
> We felt that it was more important to provide more transparency and
> openness about the way the Foundation was operating. Perhaps that was
> the wrong decision? Anyway, we'd certainly like to switch to an existing
> open source portal system but none that has been recommended to us (to
> date) has this transparency that we deem so important.

It might be time to revisit again. Unfortunately, I dislike that
tinyurl diagram you put together. Some may like it but I don't find it
very clear and straight forward. I prefer activity diagrams or
something like that.

There are several open source portals now, with a variety of
functionality. Some even have plugin api that could allow you to
customize pieces and parts for integration into the Foundation data
bases and processes.
Re: Ideas to help Community Members become Committers [message #561090 is a reply to message #10597] Tue, 05 August 2008 17:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Bjorn Freeman-Benson is currently offline Bjorn Freeman-Benson
Messages: 335
Registered: July 2009
Senior Member
David Carver wrote:
> Now what might be nice is if Eclipse wanted to have
> a Project that was setup for this.

Great, I look forward to your proposing that project.
I will join as a committer.

> There are several open source portals now, with a variety of
> functionality. Some even have plugin api that could allow you to
> customize pieces and parts for integration into the Foundation data
> bases and processes.

Again, great. Point us to the right one to use that provides the
functionality that the portal currently provides (including all the open
and transparent process documentation) and we'll look into how much work
it will be to switch. We're certainly not wed to a given technology: if
there's something better for which the cost of switching plus the long
term maintenance of the new X is lower than the long term maintenance
cost of the existing Y, we'll switch.
Re: Ideas to help Community Members become Committers [message #561105 is a reply to message #10629] Tue, 05 August 2008 18:55 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Eclipse User
Originally posted by: dcarver.starstandard.org

>> There are several open source portals now, with a variety of
>> functionality. Some even have plugin api that could allow you to
>> customize pieces and parts for integration into the Foundation data
>> bases and processes.
>
> Again, great. Point us to the right one to use that provides the
> functionality that the portal currently provides (including all the open
> and transparent process documentation) and we'll look into how much work
> it will be to switch. We're certainly not wed to a given technology: if
> there's something better for which the cost of switching plus the long
> term maintenance of the new X is lower than the long term maintenance
> cost of the existing Y, we'll switch.

Here is some infomration on MetaDot:

http://www.intranetjournal.com/articles/200504/ij_04_29_05a. html

There is also PHPGroupWare. Only the Foundation can determine if the
effort of switching is worth it or not. I'm just tossing out ideas for
the committer reps to contemplate.

As for the EPF composer project, I formally submit the idea, but I think
it has to be a Foundation project, not necessarily run by the community
in order to make sure it's accurate.

Dave
Re: Ideas to help Community Members become Committers [message #561119 is a reply to message #10662] Tue, 05 August 2008 19:02 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Bjorn Freeman-Benson is currently offline Bjorn Freeman-Benson
Messages: 335
Registered: July 2009
Senior Member
David Carver wrote:
> Here is some information on MetaDot:

That's nice, but what we need is you to step you and do an evaluation.
You know what features the current portal provides (because you use it)
- how does Metadot or PHPGroupWare support those features?

> As for the EPF composer project, ... but I think
> it has to be a Foundation project, not necessarily run by the community

I think it needs to be run by the community. We currently have a
solution run by the Foundation. It's ok, but it has problems. If the
current solution is not solving the community's needs, the community
(you) need to help create a better solution. I've stated, here, in
public, that I'm willing to assist with and adopt your solution. But you
and the community have to create it.
Re: Ideas to help Community Members become Committers [message #561133 is a reply to message #10499] Fri, 10 October 2008 19:22 Go to previous message
Denis Roy is currently offline Denis Roy
Messages: 334
Registered: October 2004
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Senior Member

David Carver wrote:
> Any thought of moving the news groups to a support.eclipse.org link,
> instead of having it in dev.eclipse.org?

The newsgroups aren't in dev.eclipse.org, they are accessible via nntp at
news.eclipse.org or via web at http://www.eclipse.org/newsportal


Denis Roy
Eclipse Webmaster -- webmaster@eclipse.org
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