[ham] Goals for 2.22?

Shane H. W. Travis travis at SEDSystems.ca
Wed Nov 17 20:36:24 UTC 2004

On Wed, 17 Nov 2004, David Miller wrote:

> That said, just because we have trouble getting people to work on the
> high-priority issues doesn't mean we should give up on it.  Perhaps we
> just need to change the tactics of how we solicit help for such things.

IMHO, reviewing is a BIG issue. David Fallon wrote a week ago indicating
that he had a patch ready to apply, but nobody had looked at it. I've got
two 2.18 blockers that are ready to go... but again, no reviews. It's
quite possible that we're going about it in the wrong way, but other than
blindly setting 'r?' to the name of a complete stranger, there's not much
indication what the right way *is*.

The fact that the Bugzilla Reviewer's list is way out of date doesn't help
either; I'm trying to help with the grunt work of documentation (so don't
talk to me about taking things that nobody else wants to do! :) but the one
person who has been helping out immensely (Vlad) isn't on that list at all,
whereas the two people who are listed for documentation (Jacob and Barnboy)
haven't been active in at least a year.

Given that, I'm rather hesitant to set a code review to anyone on the list
other than Dave (for the blockers) because I have no idea who is and is not
still active in the community... so I either ask the air for a review
(which, apparently, is incredibly ineffective), or I spam the entire review
list with "r?" and hope someone still active catches it. Neither one is
really very satisfying.

Vlad's timely reviews of my documentation patches have played a SIGNIFICANT
part in getting me to do *more* documentation patches. As someone who is
still new to the process, I can tell you this: there's nothing more
disheartening than watching a patch sit (and possibly rot) without anyone
even acknowledging that it's there. Nobody likes to be ignored, especially
when one is trying to help. Being ignored basically sends the message that
nobody WANTS your help... and (correct me if I'm wrong) I don't think that's
the stance of the Bugzilla development team, is it? Because intentional or
not, it's the message that is often being sent to new contributors...

I know reviewing patches is not nearly as 'fun' as writing your own. Without
reviewers, though, people leave for lack of encouragement (or even
acknowledgement) and guidance. When that happens, no new blood comes onto
the project, and eventually everyone who is left on it burns out and it
dies.  I've seen it before -- not on things like Bugzilla (as this is my
first experience in this field), but in other volunteer organizations of
which I've been a part.

Lest anyone think I'm merely criticizing, I've already put my money where my
mouth is, and made an offer to Dave to review documentation patches. I'm not
well-known enough here to do code reviews, nor (honestly) would I feel
comfortable with it... but dagnabbit I know I can write, I'm anal about
spacing and punctiation, and I'm working on this SGML stuff. :)

Shane H.W. Travis       | Anyone who is capable of getting themselves
travis at sedsystems.ca    |  made President should on no account be allowed
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan |  to do the job.  -- Douglas Adams, HHGTTG

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