[Ironruby-core] IronRuby community and communications

William Yeung william.yeung.hk at gmail.com
Tue Oct 2 12:42:32 EDT 2007

Have you guys seen the way how mono report their compatibility? I think this
is one thing I really missed. I only know some basic ruby syntax works, but
then a lot of the methods are not implemented. If you want everyone know
whats going on for a language port, perhaps the best bet is show us a list
of all the ruby methods and then the compatibility status. I think with some
reflection implementation this thing could be largely automated. For example
I keep trying public_instance_methods on class and hope it would bring me
the list of implemented methods, with no luck so far :(

I, as a user expecting IronRuby to be used by my projects, doesn't really
care a lot about how DLR are designed. As long as IronRuby is going to be as
close as 100% compatible as possible in shortest time, with reasonable to
believe verification result, I don't care. I guess thats most people's
concerns too, so if you talk about communications between expecting users
and IronRuby team I think that feature list thing is the most concerned.

On 10/3/07, John Lam (DLR) <jflam at microsoft.com> wrote:
> Wow.
> I was enjoying my day off with my family and my brother who was in town
> visiting when I discovered this thread on my phone. It was fun reading
> things go by, but there was no way that I was going to try and respond via
> T9. But now that I'm back in the office let's begin anew to address some of
> the issues that were raised yesterday:
> Charlie Nutter:
> >> Are there development discussions happening on private lists,
> >> say inside Microsoft within the IronRuby or DLR team? If so,
> >> you should really think about moving as much of those discussions
> >> as possible into the open.
> When I first joined the company back in January, we had a regular set of
> F2F meetings called the DLR Design Discussions. Culturally at Microsoft, we
> do tend to do a lot of technical discussions F2F since, well, we all work
> within about 50 feet or so of each other :) Almost all complex code reviews
> and technical design are done in front of a computer/whiteboard in someone's
> office. Given a choice, like most people, we will take the path of least
> resistance.
> That said, I do think that there are a number of things that we can do to
> improve how we communicate with y'all. So let's address some of the issues
> raised on the thread and then I'll summarize with some proposals at the end.
> Charlie Nutter:
> >> there doesn't appear to be any discussion about the runtime and
> >> compiler subsystems.
> Guilty as charged. Partly because of cultural things above, and partly due
> to lack of bandwidth in driving these discussions in the open. I did have
> the crazy idea of videotaping our design meetings, but I'm not convinced
> that's the best way of getting information out to folks - it's really
> unfiltered and if you lack context they're really rather useless. But wait
> until the end of this mail to see some ideas.
> Curt Hagenlocher:
> >> I think some of what we're seeing is a result of IronRuby's dependence
> >> on the DLR -- which appears to be far from finalized, and which is not
> >> going to be driven by the community at all.
> This is true in the sense that the *implementation* of the DLR will not be
> driven by the community. However, the *design* of the DLR is absolutely
> driven by community feedback. The IronRuby compiler is technically
> 'community' insofar as the DLR itself is concerned, and there's been lots of
> design changes in DLR due to IronRuby.
> Jb Evain:
> >> I'm a little frustrated as well by this situation, and I'd like to
> >> see more technical discussions *between MS engineers* on this list.
> Charlie Nutter:
> >> I heard five developers, but perhaps that was a couple testers/QA
> >> as well.
> I'm pretty sure that I talked about our org chart before, but here it is
> again:
> Tomas Matousek: compiler dev
> Haibo Luo: compiler test
> John Lam: program manager
> John Messerly from our larger team contributes code as well, but only
> between stints in his 'real job'.
> Most of our discussions happen on the whiteboard in 41/5612. I agree that
> we need to fix this, see end of mail.
> Some ideas:
> ===========
> 1. We hold a bi-weekly (soon to become weekly I think due to the # of
> times that I cancel it) meeting for the IronRuby team. We can make this
> available via a toll-free conference call # if folks want to dial into it.
> We can't do Skype etc. from inside of corpnet.
> 2. We can put together a weekly summary of changes to IronRuby/DLR so that
> folks can see the changes. Right now due to the way we sync with svn, we're
> losing some information from checkin mails.
> 3. In the same weekly summary, we can post about what we're planning on
> working on next and folks outside can chime in with status reports on what
> they're working on and how it's going.
> I'd love to hear some more ideas about how we can improve our
> communications / transparency.
> Thanks,
> -John
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