Recent years saw a lot of change in Emacs infrastructure and
maintenance procedures -- we moved from CVS to Bazaar to Git, we
removed some of the obstacles to newcomers, such as ChangeLog files,
we codified the most important parts of the procedures in CONTRIBUTE,
etc. This indeed brought welcome new contributors, but the growth is
very slow, and the impact on the patch review process and on the
number of people who are proficient in core parts of the internals is
still very much minor and inadequate, IMO. E.g., the backlog in patch
review and in solving reported issues is still unsatisfactory.
It was a nice effort on your part but I feel those changes are unlikely to really bring a lot of newcomers. Github/Gitlab users want to have things like this:
Things to watch for:
- Contributions templates (checkboxes, descriptions)
- Tags/Labels for easier filtering of issues that affect X or Y
- Inline code review, with code highlighting, which you can then "resolve" and push new versions that are hidden by default so you only see the latest relevant
- CI bots that builds & tests your change, report breakage (travis-ci) or display code coverage changes (codedov)
- Tabs at the top for status of the PR, commits, files changed, checks done
- Quickly view modified file history / filtering which files to display
- Cross referencing of issues
I could go on & on about things that the tool does for you instead of you having to grep, find-name-dired, find-file, magit-log-buffer-file etc.
With the mailing list the number of things you have to keep in your head or do manually is huge compared to when using these tools.
Now, I understand that you probably see all this as more work, without any guarantee that the number of contributors will increase... so you are right to ask for people wanting these changes to become more involved.
I hope I helped a bit in painting a better picture of why these tools feel "essential" to us, but they are also tied to a more general workflow/mindset and that is probably the crux of the issue.