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Re: Concerns about community contributor support

From: ian martins
Subject: Re: Concerns about community contributor support
Date: Wed, 21 Apr 2021 08:55:57 -0400

Timothy, thanks for raising this. I agree with everything you've said
in this thread. I think it may be a hard problem to solve, but maybe
we can start by just trying to improve. To be clear the problem I'm
talking about is that potential contributors sometimes receive no
response from the list.

Maybe it could help to normalize somewhat generic responses.  Here are
some possible situations where we might not respond to a patch
submission, followed by a potential response we might consider:

1. A patch looks useful to me, but I feel I don't know if it's a good
   idea for org in general, or maybe I think it is but I cannot apply the
   patch because (I'm not a maintainer, I don't have elisp experience, I
   haven't signed the copyright release, etc)

   "Thanks for submitting this. I'd use it.  Hopefully a maintainer
   will take a look."

2. A patch does not look useful to me, but I can see how it may be useful
   to someone else and it was posted a while ago and no one has commented

   "Thanks for submitting this. It looks like this affects an org
   feature that not many of us use.  Sorry, but it might not get much

3. A patch does not look useful to me, and can't imagine how it is useful
   in any context.

   "What is your use case?"

These trite responses may be seen as mailing list noise, but I don't
think so. They assure the patch submitter that their patch has been
seen and at least for (1) they signal to maintainers that the patch
would be useful to somebody.

There are volunteer maintainers for the codebase, and volunteers who
help with the mailing list.  Maybe someone who wants to help with this
could check Bark once in a while and respond to submissions that have
been missed or post them to the list to put them in front of everyone

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