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Re: Metaproblem, part 3

From: Phillip Lord
Subject: Re: Metaproblem, part 3
Date: Thu, 04 Dec 2014 13:58:55 +0000
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.3 (gnu/linux)

"Eric S. Raymond" <address@hidden> writes:

> Stefan Monnier <address@hidden>:
>> Every commit should come with a commit message, yes.
>> And every commit message should use the ChangeLog format (plus
>> a summary if appropriate).
>> And every commit message should be duplicated in the ChangeLog file.
> But Paul Eggert said: "It's not needed for one-liners."
> So not only do we have commenting conventions that are duplicative,
> fussy, and undocumented, the senior developers seem not to agree on the
> details.
> Hello?  Hello?  Am I the only one that sees a problem here?
> I've been hacking on Emacs since before it was GNU Emacs and now *I*
> feel like I'm walking on eggshells and the overhead of contributing is
> irritatingly high.  How much more forbidding do you suppose it is for
> J. Random Junior Hacker?

I would like to contribute a little, as my time and skills (both very
limited) allow. So, I've been on the mailing list for a while. I've got
the repo checkout out (on git, thanks Eric!), and am running my daily
emacs of trunk. It's take me quite a while to achieve this. I was
genuinely quite nervous about pushing to ELPA -- normally, I just push
to my own repos and if I trash then, its my problem, no one elses.

I've mailed Stefan a few times about things (out-of-band). I feel a
little guilty about this because I know his time is limited. Ultimately,
though, it's his own fault because he gives simple, clear and thoughtful
anwsers that I understand. How we has managed to survive in academia
while doing this, I don't understand.

Cheesy as it sounds, perhaps, what is needed is "mentors". So, someone
wants to fix something or change something about Emacs, they get a short
term mentor to help them through the process (both at a code level, and
at a rules of community level). So, the first piece of advice in
contribute wouldn't be "do this, do that", it would be "think of a
problem, ask for a mentor".

Eli is right, Emacs is complex because it's a big project and some of
this will remain. There may be ways to reduce the initimidation levels.


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