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Re: [Gnewsense-dev] recruitment and retention of gNewSense developers

From: Sam Geeraerts
Subject: Re: [Gnewsense-dev] recruitment and retention of gNewSense developers
Date: Tue, 10 Aug 2010 22:05:10 +0200
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20100402)

Delyan Raychev schreef:
> Ladies and Gentlemen,
> Partially triggered by own guilt, but primarily by the desire to grow
> the gNewSense project I've been contemplating on the scarce developer
> manpower here at the gNewSense project.

You're not the only one. I think that to attract more developers what is
needed are (in more or less that order):

1) Good documentation
2) Good bug reports/tasks
3) Good mentoring

After that it's just <saltgrain>point and they will come</saltgrain>.

Problems (IMO):
1) Writing accurate documentation is boring (not a good excuse) and hard
(slightly better excuse), at least to me. Writing appealing
documentation (reading it should not be a chore) requires skill. And it
takes time, of course.

2) I think we're doing fairly well with regards to bug reports. It's
inconvenient that some of them require a Yeeloong or server access, but
a lot of the bugs can be picked up pretty easily. We could use some more
bite-size bugs for those taking their first steps in free software
development. I think there's also still some stuff in my brain that I
haven't dumped to Savannah yet.

3) Mentoring requires time and certain social skills. Good documentation
is also nice. On the other hand, trainees nagging mentors all the time
about how stuff works can be a good incentive to improve documentation.
:) There doesn't have to be a formal mentoring process, though. People
can just ask on the mailing list or IRC "I want to help with this bug,
how can I do that?" (which I think is easier to answer than "I know this
programming language, how can I help?").

Your ideas to help gNewSense development are all good. Every effort to
implement them is welcome.

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