[Ironruby-core] Regarding IronRuby... How true it sounds from this blog

M. David Peterson m.david at xmlhacker.com
Mon Apr 28 11:27:53 EDT 2008

On Mon, 28 Apr 2008 09:02:56 -0600, Charles Oliver Nutter  
<charles.nutter at sun.com> wrote:

> I disagree, and you need look no further than this mailing list to see  
> the truth. Of the perhaps 40 threads I see started since Apr 3, I see  
> only 8 that were started by folks from Microsoft...all John Lam...two of  
> those SVN update emails. So perhaps 6 substantive threads where the  
> initiator is someone from the IronRuby team.

Oh, I don't disagree with this, just that I don't see any physical  
obstacles keeping the community from becoming more involved.  Mental  
obstacles, for sure... And maybe that's really where the focus needs to  
be: Finding ways to remove the mental obstacles that keep people from  
contributing more aggressively.

I know how you guys have done it and are continuing to do it.  But putting  
yourself in IronRuby's Red Slippers for a moment, how would you do it if  
you were starting from scratch (or as close to scratch as you can get w/o  
literally starting from scratch) and had to find ways to first, sell the  
overall idea to the community to then get that same community to actively  
participate in the process while at the same time making attempt to  
convince that the once proprietary-only giant really is committed to  
building OSS into their overall software ecosystem?

> In order for an OSS project to work, any core team needs to be having  
> conversations in the open. Since this is clearly not happening, it would  
> be the first thing to change. I don't know if it's Microsoft policy or  
> just an oversight by the IronRuby team.

I can't say I really know the answer, but I do agree with your point.   
 From my own perspective I would suggest it's a combination of the internal  
culture at MSFT attempting to change how they go about the business of  
courting the developer coupled with the size of the internal IronRuby team  
that still have to meet deadlines and expectations that are unrelated to  
IronRuby (e.g. integration with the DLR team, MIX and other high profile  
events, typical corporate culture stuff such as performance reviews,  
etc.)  That's not an attempt to provide an excuse as to why they can't be  
more open.  Just an attempt at understanding there are more forces  
involved than are immediately obvious from the outside looking in.

> And obviously not tossing SVN bundles over the wall would help foster a  
> bit more dynamic community.

Absolutely 100% agree.  One of things I was curious to see when John first  
announced that IronRuby would be hosted on RubyForge was whether or not he  
could actually pull it off.  From what I assume is both of our  
perspectives, thus far it hasn't worked out as well as it both could and  
should have.

> It's far more difficult (maybe impossible) to run an OSS project well if  
> the community members can't update their working copies to exactly what  
> the core team sees day-to-day. This one is most likely an MS issue.

It's absolutely 100% an internal MSFT issue.  Can it be fixed?


M. David Peterson
Co-Founder & Chief Architect, 3rd&Urban, LLC
Email: m.david at 3rdandUrban.com | m.david at amp.fm
Mobile: (206) 999-0588
http://3rdandUrban.com | http://amp.fm |  

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