[development] encouraging bug fixers (was: Drupal 4.7.0 beta2 / rc?)

Syscrusher scott at 4th.com
Wed Dec 14 13:16:27 UTC 2005

On Wednesday 14 December 2005 05:36, Dries Buytaert wrote:
> How do we encourage more people to help fix bugs?  How do we help people
> fix bugs? 

Some comments from a module developer who doesn't do much with core:

* I'd love to fix core bugs, but I'm fully engaged with updating my own modules
  to the new API. I assume other module developers and themers are in the same
  position. That's not a complaint, just an observation that might help explain
  why there's a lack of available person-power. A solution for the future might
  be to stabilize and freeze the core API specification earlier in the release
  cycle, so that module developers can get their modules mostly done before the
  big core debugging crunch.

* Along those lines, we should have an easy way to notify the maintainer of each
  project that "Drupal core has just frozen the new API spec for version X.Y.
  Now is the time to update your modules A, B, and C." I have found, with
  volunteer-driven projects (outside the software arena) that sometimes all it
  takes to bring back a "lost sheep" is a simple reminder that they are missed.
  You don't get everyone back who has attrited away, but you get some, and
  since the effort is so small, it's a good reward-to-effort ratio.

* From the outside, the core development process is somewhat mysterious to me.
  I read the technical process for patch submission in the contributor handbook.
  But is there some other notification or coordination process in place to keep
  multiple people from working on the same problem redundantly, and to ensure
  that the patch is noticed by the person who can review and commit it? Or
  should one post to the issue and say "I'm working on this one" before

* There may (or may not, but it's worth asking) be a perception among new
  members of the developer community that your calls for patches are aimed only
  at the core team. I know that's not true, but I've been on this list for
  over a year. I'm not sure I would have realized this when I first subscribed.

I don't mean any of the above as criticism or complaints. In fact, there is a
good chance that some of my points are completely off-base, and with that in
mind, I present the above as a "case study in the misconceptions found in those
who are not informed about the core development process." :-)


Scott Courtney     Drupal user name: "syscrusher"   http://drupal.org/user/9184
scott at 4th dot com       Drupal projects: http://drupal.org/project/user/9184
Sandbox:  http://cvs.drupal.org/viewcvs/drupal/contributions/sandbox/syscrusher

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