[Ironruby-core] How we will do better at community outreach

Wayne Kelly w.kelly at qut.edu.au
Tue Apr 29 01:13:35 EDT 2008

The issue that Charles raised about people not knowing what others are already working on is an important one. At a higher level, I'd like to see a clearer statement of short term and medium term goals and plans for getting there. Those plans require people taking ownership of certain tasks, so it would be nice to know who is working on what at any given stage - both for people within and external to Microsoft.

I also note that this email list serves two audiences, those interested in using IronRuby and those interested in building it. It's probably too early to split the email list, but we should be conscious of this fact when we are trying to manage the activities of this latter core-development group - there probably aren't that many of us! In terms of community building for this core-development group, I'd certainly be interested to know a bit more about who my peers are in this virtual community. Perhaps we could set up a WIKI for core-developers to at least list their names, a little about themselves (no more than one paragraph) and what they're currently working on.

With respect to the code repository, the experience as an external contributor is certainly more painful than my experience with Ruby.NET where I could directly commit changes. I'm not suggesting that we should have such privileges with IronRuby, just confirming that there is an issue here. I don't have any concrete suggestions for improvement. Certainly frequent revisions helps (ideally 2 or 3 per week), also timely feedback on what's happening with submitted patches.

A number of people are working on entirely new and separate bits, for example implementations of native standard libraries. Currently there is no common place for external contributors to upload prototypes of bits that they are working on. Some form of fileshare or ftp system where people could create directories and unload files may be useful, prior to them being formally merged into the official distribution. This would help us see what people are working on, how far progressed they are, and to make comments.

Cheers, Wayne.

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