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Re: Concerns about community contributor support

From: Thomas S. Dye
Subject: Re: Concerns about community contributor support
Date: Sun, 18 Apr 2021 08:45:58 -1000
User-agent: mu4e 1.2.0; emacs 26.3

Timothy <tecosaur@gmail.com> writes:

, but Org mode development is
in a new phase that *requires* technique and is quicker to identify and filter
out noise.

Hmmm, what constitutes noise?

Good question. I suppose like most words the meaning changes over time. Early on, posts along the lines of "Wouldn't it be cool if Org mode would do this?" were given more space than they seem to be today. Tim Cross points out a project trajectory that appears to be common and would explain why. At a more concrete level, I can offer several of my posts to the list :)

These changes mean that contributions need to be checked for contributions to Nicolas' project and also fit into the history of discussion and development. The Org mode project now resembles a scholarly discipline that moves slowly and deliberately toward a more or less well defined goal. The days when Carsten would bang out a new feature during his train ride home from work are gone.

I think here there may have been a minor misunderstanding
/miscommunication. Reading this paragraph I get the sense you read my email as complaining about a delay in merging patches, however this is a
separate ---if related--- point to what I intended to raise: the
lack of /response/ to patches.

1. Were I talking about merging: a more considered development model, as you describe above, can certainly see a protracted merge delay. However, 6 months for a minor feature addition [1], and 2 months for a minor bug fix [2] is not justified by a more considered development
   model IMO.
2. (My main point) Even if development is slower, leaving a first-time contributor with /absolutely no response/, i.e. *zero* replies to their email *months* after they sent it (see [1] and [2] for example, and updates.orgmode.org for more) is not good enough IMO. We should
   be better.

So, something in between merging (or not) and appearing on the public list that Bastien keeps?

Once again, with reference to my earlier paragraph, IMO slowed
development is one thing, not responding at all to attempted
contributors for months on end another. It is the latter which I seek to improve. I can, have, and will try to help with this myself; but I think we would benefit from a "community effort" and a discussion on what the
best way to improve this is.

What do you think of Tim Cross' suggestion that a way forward is for "new features and enhancements to be initially implemented as add on contribution packages rather than as extensions/enhancement to the core 'org-mode' package"? This sounds good to me, but I'm not much of a programmer and lack the ability to suss out its ramifications fully. I can see how it would ease Org mode maintenance, though.

All the best,

Thomas S. Dye

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