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Re: Concerns about community contributor support

From: Bastien
Subject: Re: Concerns about community contributor support
Date: Sun, 25 Apr 2021 06:30:37 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/28.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Dear Timothy,

thanks for raising this points so carefully, they are important.

I see three distinct problems:

1. The lack of response and/or follow-up when people contribute by
   sending bug reports or patches on the list.

2. The lack of maintainance on documenting the contribution process
   and the correct expectations for future contributors.

3. The inherent difficulty to move the Org codebase forward.

I won't comment on (3).  For (1) and (2), I suggest appointing a
"contributor steward" with these responsibilities:

1. Maintain updates.orgmode.org (i.e. make sure it is accurate.)
2. Maintain the documentation for contributors.
3. Help contributors enhancing their patches.
4. Try to reproduce bugs (and confirm them for updates.orgmode.org)
5. Make sure patch contributors are not left with no answer.

You started (1), which is really appreciated.

Tim and others mentioned (2), and that's certainly needed too.

(3) has historically been the role of the maintainer and of the core
contributors, but helping with this is very welcome: knowing the doc
at https://orgmode.org/worg/org-contribute.html by heart, educating
contributors on the commit messages, etc.  This all helps.

(4) is perhaps the most daunting task: I even think we could have
someone only dedicated to this very important task.  Just count the
number of times Nicolas says "I cannot reproduce this."  Each time,
there is a real bug that is *not* fixed...

(5) is not about systematically welcome patch submitters with a
message (that would be annoying) but to monitor updates.orgmode.org
and decide what to do with a patch that didn't receive feedback:
either say thanks and ping the list for why you think the patch
deserves more attention, or thanks and dismiss the patch, or another

What do you think?  Would you be willing to take this role?

If not, that's perfectly okay, I'll send a call for help.



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