[development] Drupal Enhancement Proposals (DEPs)

Gerhard Killesreiter gerhard at killesreiter.de
Sat Nov 12 20:32:03 UTC 2005

Adrian Rossouw wrote:

> Hash: SHA1
> I need to preface this by saying that I don't think our current  
> community processes are 'broken' per se, since they have
> obviously brought us this far, however I have noticed some areas in  
> which there could be improvement and I would like
> to make some suggestions towards getting a smoother development cycle  
> for all of us. My primary interest with this
> proposal is to foster co-operation, and allow us to better manage the  
> project in the future.

We could start by setting the number of characters per line to 80, or a 
bit less. :p

> I feel that one of the primary problems we have is that there is not  
> enough co-operation between different developers,
> and I feel that this problem stems from lack of communication. Up to  
> this point, communication has been strictly
> informal. This has the benefit of not tying up people doing ground  
> work, and is essentially an extension of our
> 'talk is silver, code is gold' mantra. And this is great. Good  
> working code is our primary goal, and it has suited
> our goals up to this point perfectly.
> The problem with this however is, that it does not scale. With one,  
> or even two people on the project it might work, but the
> moment you get more than that involved, communication becomes a lot  
> more work than it should be.

I don't find that the communication is a burden yet. The number of 
people to communicate with on a given topic is still small.

> The other problem is that communication on projects like these tend  
> to be on a personal level, and the only way
> to get more developers involved in the project is either through  
> direct requests, or constant badgering on the forums/irc.

That is true. And even then it mostly fails. Why? Because everybody has 
his pet issues with Drupal. That is not a bad thing, because it ensures 
that things get pushed by some individuals. To get other individuals to 
join them in their effort is a very difficult thing to do, as I can tell 
you from several years of experience. And frankly, I don't see this 

> Even if you do get someone else interested, getting that person up to  
> date on the goals and status of the project , and to become a  
> contributing
> member is still a lot of work. Also, the only way for an external  
> developer to become involved in such an on-going project is
> to search the forums, find people who might even be remotely  
> interested in the same thing, go talk to people on irc, see if anything
> is being done in whichever direction they intend to work in. It's a  
> lot of work, and most developers don't bother. They end up
> re-inventing the wheel, because it's really hard for them to get  
> accurate information about what's going on in the Drupal community.

I disagree. Once some code comes forward there usually is some issue 
created and all you need to do is read the contained information. People 
who are not willign to do that won't read lenghty proposals either.

> What I would like to suggest, is that we introduce a proposal system,  
> whereby we create an official proposal document for
> any large changes we undertake as a community. This process would be  
> modelled on the jabber.org JEP process, which
> in turn is modelled on the IETF process.
> What we would essentially do is create a document, that has an  
> official number, a status and an owner. This document
> would be modelled on JEPs (http://www.jabber.org/jeps/jep-0143.html),  
> and would explain the basic goals of the project,
> reasoning behind it, requirements, security considerations and so forth.

It would have helped to convince me if you had chosen an example of less 
intimidating length and complexity.

But I guess you didn't. :p


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