[Nitro] Retrospective and future direction.

Dylan Bruzenak dylanb at digitalvalence.com
Wed Apr 19 10:55:13 EDT 2006

Ahh, Nitrohq.org.  Is the .com site completely lost then ?  And who can 
get into Rubyforge to update the home page link ?  That is probably the 
source of many of the curious after new releases.
> One of the directions I'd like to see the project go is making it easier 
> for new people to get into the code base and contribute.  The success of 
> a project like this depends entirely on its community.  There is a great 
> group of people here already, and making the party bigger (along with 
> improved docs to provide direction) can only help accelerate growth and 
> adoption.  Although the necessity of 'competing' with a project like 
> rails is dubious since NitrOg seems to follow a different set of 
> principles, the success of that project cannot be ignored as a model.  
> And it is dominant in large part because of its massive contributor 
> community, both in the form of direct committers and plugin developers.
> Toward this end I have a couple of questions:
> Why does Nitro use a non-standard source control system ?  I was able to 
> get it up and running fine, and it seems very nice, but everyone already 
> has CVS (and many have Subversion).  They don't need to download or 
> learn anything new to use it.  Using a non-standard system hinders 
> adoption and contribution.
> As for documention, I've been distracted with other things - is the wiki 
> fixed yet ?  Or is Nitro moving to oxyliquit as the primary 
> documentation repository ?  With NitroHQ gone and oxyliquit off the 
> beaten path and therefore difficult to find, many people would probably 
> be excused for thinking this project was dead, rather than heating up.  
> Perhaps someone can take charge of the minor administravia in order to 
> take the weight off of George's overburdened shoulders ? 
> Diagrams that cover the overall architecture would be very nice to 
> have.  And a good philosophy statement, preferably delineating what the 
> Nitro/Og projects are and are not very clearly. 
> I hear George is going to Athens or something to give a presentation.  
> That kind of profile expanding behaviour would be very helpful once the 
> website details are sorted out.  If you get people interested and they 
> come in and have no site to go to, you are going to lose most of those 
> new people. 
> How much native code does Nitro use ?  The JRuby geniuses almost have 
> rails running on the VM; it would be nice to have 'something doing' in 
> that regard.  Not terribly important, but nice.
> As to the speed of patch application, is there a way to speed this up ?  
> Is this a time constraint issue; a patch review time issue, or what ?  
> How do other projects handle these details ?  Also, is there a policy of 
> having to have a test for new features so that they can be easily 
> demonstrated and verified by the patch 'applicator' ?  What with the 
> flurry of submitted patches lately, there has to be some standard way of 
> checking for conflicts and notifying the competing contributors so that 
> a solution can be worked out.
> Dylan
>> Over the past two months, I think we've made good progress in taming
>> glycerin. :)
>> We've fixed lots of bugs, added test cases, were gifted with Oxyliquit
>> and our little community is growing. Good work all!
>> I hope people are finding Nitro and Og more stable than ever before.
>> And if you aren't, please let us know so we can fix it. :)
>> Overall, I'm pleased with our progress. I do have to note that patches
>> aren't being applied very quickly, so that's definitely a sticking
>> point in our process that is solely on me. If anyone has anything else
>> to add, good or bad, please do. Especially suggestions that can
>> improve things for us.
>> Now, for future direction, let's start charting our course for 0.31.0.
>> Community participation is especially encouraged here. :)
>> A few of my ideas are below. Please note, I'm merely making
>> suggestions, not defining a course. I think the community as a whole
>> should decide that.
>> I think we should start easing the learning curve. So I suggest we
>> concentrate on writing docs and asking and answering questions on
>> Oxyliquit. This would benefit everyone obviously.
>> I also think we can do a few things to make writing apps easier. I'd
>> like to suggest my gen scaffold and gen model ideas as enhancements to
>> be worked on. Basically, the scaffolding would write everything out to
>> files for easy editing. The model would write out an Og model for an
>> existing database table. The basic idea is to make it really easy to
>> get an application up and running.
>> Anyway, those are my thoughts. I look forward to hearing from others.
>> --
>> "Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they
>> will surprise you with their ingenuity." —General George S. Patton
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