[Ironruby-core] "Start spreading the news"

Cory Foy cory.foy at gmail.com
Sat Aug 7 22:56:21 EDT 2010


Ok, I like to propose a pause in action.

Here's what we know. Jimmy has moved on, as has Jim. Tomas is the main person left, and from the emails we've received, he's only working on it part-time. I don't know the politics of this specific org, but being an ex-softie I do have an idea, and that hunch is that the politics that caused the reshuffle were not a conspiracy theory against IronRuby, but just normal organization dysfunction and quarterly reorganization.

We also know thay we have a community of people who are passionate about IronRuby, and a secondary wave of people driven into action by the events of the past day or so. It stands to reason, from work I've done in other communties, that one or two will end up being long term participants because of the new awareness.

That said, I don't think that what we should do right now is fork it, since IronRuby relies heavily on the DLR which wouldn't be controlled. This is not to say that we take it off the table. Rather we need to ask ourselves what holes have now opened up that we need to fill:

1) Jimmy provided leadership and vision for the project. We've now lost that, and either Tomas will pick this up internally, or we will need an external person to run with the vision. Regardless, the person will have to interface with and understand the vision from the Microsoft side.

2) Tomas already mentioned needs like a CI and gatekeeper. I bet there are lots of other needs, and if this is truly a community-owned movement, we need to engage with Tomas and the remaining team to understand what else we're missing.

3) IronRuby has likely taken a huge blow of credibility from the enterprise adoption side, because if it isn't supported by Microsoft PSS, they will be unlikely to use it internally or in their products. 

All three of these are vital points that we need to think about as a community. Someone is going to have to step up to take charge of this - and it's not going to come from the Mono side. Tomas may be willing to take charge as much as possible - no one has asked him, and that's a shame.

IronRuby has not had a heart attack which requires CPR. That means we need to take a measured, levelheaded response as a community and work to understand how we can help and how we can respond in a way that makes sense. We already know from Jimmy's tweets that he's planning an email for the group - how can we take advantage of the knowledge Jim and Jimmy have, and support the work Tomas is doing?

Finally, we may have a burst of energy right now, but no form of sprinting is going to help solve this. This is not a "we have to take action now before we lose the opportunity!" moment. The code is there. Many of the contributors are there, and know what is going on internally. Let's collaborate and find a way to make this project a real success.

Cory 



On Aug 7, 2010, at 20:36, William Green <will at hotgazpacho.org> wrote:

> I agree with Michael here. As long as the canonical source for
> IronRuby lives in TFS behind the big blue firewall, with only MSFT
> employees as core committers, there is a problem.
> 
> What I propose is that we, as a community, designate the github repo
> as the canonical one, and that whoever controls it opens up commit
> access beyond the MSFT core team, perhaps to those that have already
> had accepted contribution. (this may already be in place, I don't
> know)
> 
> Bottom line is that MSFT has decided they no longer desire to invest
> in the project. If we want IronRuby, we're going to have to make it
> happen, on our own.
> 
> --
> Will Green
> http://hotgazpacho.org/
> 
> 
> 
> On Aug 7, 2010, at 8:00 PM, Michael Letterle <michael.letterle at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
>> If Microsoft was simply sponsoring development and putting its stamp
>> on it, it wouldn't be a problem.. but the fact that MS "owns" it IS a
>> bottleneck, as been from the start.  "Sync to TFS" commits make me
>> cringe everytime I see them.
>> 
>> On Sat, Aug 7, 2010 at 7:07 PM, Jim Deville <jdeville at microsoft.com> wrote:
>>> I guess I never really sent the mail that I meant to send about my
>>> progression.
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> Similar to Jimmy, I’ve also made the incredibly hard decision to move on as
>>> well. I’ve been working on the JavaScript team now for about 2 weeks. I’ve
>>> made this decision for many of the same reasons as Jimmy, but for various
>>> personal reasons, I decided to remain with MS instead of leaving. I will
>>> still be working with IronRuby, it just won’t be my primary function
>>> anymore.  I also had a wonderful time on the team, and I will really miss
>>> working directly with them.
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> I agree that IronRuby is not a big community, but I don’t know that it is a
>>> problem unless we let it be one J. I also feel that MS owning the code isn’t
>>> a problem. It’s not like it really benefits anyone inside of MS, it benefits
>>> us, the users J. It also benefits the Ruby community at large if we continue
>>> to make IronRuby a great product that people want to use in their .NET
>>> applications, because it shows people Ruby J
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> I understand that this is sad, and for some, expected L, but I hope that
>>> people still continue doing the awesome things people have been doing J
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> JD
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> From: ironruby-core-bounces at rubyforge.org
>>> [mailto:ironruby-core-bounces at rubyforge.org] On Behalf Of Orion Edwards
>>> Sent: Sunday, August 08, 2010 2:43 PM
>>> 
>>> To: ironruby-core at rubyforge.org
>>> Subject: [Ironruby-core] "Start spreading the news"
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> I'm sure most of you have seen this already, but I hadn't seen Jimmy's
>>> "farewell Microsoft" blog post posted to the list, so here it is if anyone
>>> hasn't read it
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> http://blog.jimmy.schementi.com/2010/08/start-spreading-news-future-of-jimmy.html
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> I'd like to thank Jimmy for his work thus far on IronRuby, and certainly
>>> wish you the best of luck at your new job and living in NYC. From that point
>>> of view, it's happy days.
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> The news about Microsoft's internal handling of IronRuby however makes me
>>> rather sad, and frankly a bit worried about the future of IronRuby in
>>> general. If there's now only 2 part-time developers working on IR inside
>>> Microsoft, and they've been told not to develop any new features, then where
>>> does that leave us?
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> While IronRuby is open source (yay), It unfortunately hasn't seem to have
>>> become quite big enough (unlike JRuby) to be self sustaining.
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> I personally also perceive somewhat of a problem, in that (again, unlike
>>> with JRuby) Microsoft "owns" IronRuby. Last I knew, committers still had to
>>> sign a copyright assignment form to MS, and MS controls all the repositories
>>> and other assorted stuff. (AFAIK Charles has personally controlled all the
>>> JRuby repos since day one and still does).
>>> 
>>> This provides a LARGE (to me at least) disincentive to contribute to
>>> IronRuby in the future. Because MS owns IronRuby, I feel like if I were to
>>> commit code, it would not be for the benefit of a nice friendly
>>> community-driven open source group, it would be for the benefit of Microsoft
>>> Corporation.
>>> 
>>> I was happy to accept this when MS were putting a lot of work into IronRuby,
>>> but now that they're not, my feeling is "So Microsoft have bailed and left
>>> us hanging, why on earth would I want to do work on their behalf after
>>> they've just done that?"
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> At any rate, I've not committed any code to IronRuby (I've come close
>>> several times, but never just had the time) so my opinion is largely
>>> irrelevant, I just hope that other potential committers with more time and
>>> skill than I don't end up feeling this way too :-(
>>> 
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Ironruby-core mailing list
>>> Ironruby-core at rubyforge.org
>>> http://rubyforge.org/mailman/listinfo/ironruby-core
>>> 
>>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> --
>> Michael Letterle
>> IronRuby MVP
>> http://blog.prokrams.com
>> _______________________________________________
>> Ironruby-core mailing list
>> Ironruby-core at rubyforge.org
>> http://rubyforge.org/mailman/listinfo/ironruby-core
> _______________________________________________
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