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Re: Metaproblem, part 3

From: João Távora
Subject: Re: Metaproblem, part 3
Date: Fri, 05 Dec 2014 11:21:29 +0000
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.4 (windows-nt)

Eli Zaretskii <address@hidden> writes:

>>   "If this is your first time contributing to Emacs, ask for a mentor on
>>   emacs-devel first. A mentor can be anyone who has contributed to Emacs
>>   at least once, and will guide you through the instructions [linked]
>>   below, as well as any extra documentation. He/she can also answer
>>   specific questions about copyright assignment, version control,
>>   changelogs, coding style, etc."
> OK, so how would this mentoring be different from what we have now?

Right, the devil in is the details. So let me make a concrete
example. JR Well-Behaved Hacker reads the above guideline writes to

   Hi, I started working on some code/have an idea to add/modify a
   frankinbogen-mode to Emacs. It's my first time contributing, and I
   have no idea:

     * if it should go into Emacs or Elpa,
     * if I have to assign copyright
     * if I need commit rights or, make a branch in my clone or, send some 
     * how to write those curious ChangeLogs/format commit messages
     * how to organize code in files
     * etc etc etc (any more?)
   Can anyone mentor me off-list so that my contribution can be

The "I have no idea" bit could also be "I have no idea about anything"

> Does it happen in private email instead of on the list?

I would say off-list, yes

> If it's still on the list, do we formally tell people stay out of the
> mentor/mentoree dialog and let the mentor alone handle that?

It can happen on list, and we would advise people to stay out of the dialog.

> the only difference that a specific person will step forward and say
> he/she will be the mentor for a particular J.R. Hacker, and all the
> rest should stay as it is today?

Imagine that this is working already. The idea is that the next email
from JR Well-Behaved Hacker would be.

  So, I have cleaned up my frankinbogen-mode with the help of my mentor
  JR Mentor.

  The code lives at a feature branch on blabla, and even though JR
  Mentor thinks it is not very useful for him personally, he thinks that
  we can discuss it here. Would the maintainers have a look?

> IOW, I have a difficulty translating the above principles (with which
> I agree) into practical steps that need to be made, to make the
> procedure different from what it is now.  Can you please clarify?

I agree it is not *very* different from what we have now, and indeed if
it's not going to be concise and clearly different and effective, it's
best not to add the additional overhead. Which is not a lot, I think,
but it's too early to be estimating that.

I hope I did clarify a bit, but ideally others can pitch in. I think
simulating a hypothetic platonic dialog between "JR Hacker" and "JR
Mentor" would be a good format to pitch in. Phillip, what would be the
ideal dialog between mentor and mentoree be?


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