5.0 and or 4.8 (was Re: [development] Drupal x.x.0 freeze date)

Chris Johnson chris at tinpixel.com
Tue May 2 15:26:03 UTC 2006

Dries Buytaert wrote:

 >> Darrel wrote:
>>>   I'm going to develop what I want for Drupal regardless of the Roadmap
>>> other people have. I don't want my pet 'features' that are ready for
>>> release to have to wait on your pet feature. I want to see it in the
>>> mainline development version so people can test and comment on it. I
>>> think people who are actively developing drupal now days have a feel for
>>> where it is going.
> I was about to say the _exact_ same as Darrel.  People who hang out on 
> the mailing list, the forums or on IRC know what can be improved and 
> worked on.  Most of us have a feel of what is being worked on, and where 
> things are going.   We all know that work is being done on the install 
> system, the CCK, the views module, etc.   But wait ... how is that 
> possible without a roadmap?  ;)

Dries and Darrel are at least partially wrong on that final point -- that 
people who are actively developing have a [good] feel for where it is going. 
Dries enjoys an unparalleled position to know those things.  He started the 
project, and he is  the primary reviewer and committer.  He knows what he is 
interested in allowing to go in and what he is not, so he clearly has an 
obvious advantage over knowing which direction Drupal is going.

But even active developers can't know everything, and there is the question of 
just how much involvement some developers can have in the community.  Some 
people have busier lives than others and can't spend all day hanging out in 
IRC and reading innumerable mailing lists and forums.  Moreover, unless you 
know who the personalities are, and are on good terms with them, there will be 
some information that may slip by you.  Likewise with conferences -- not 
everybody can attend them.

Here's a good example:  how many of those "active developers" who "had a good 
feeling for where it was going" had a clue that the FAPI was going to be 
dropped in last fall, and that it would have such far reaching effects?  I'll 
wager that number was about 5, not the 338 contributors listed in the 4.7 release.

I'm not arguing for a roadmap here.  But I am arguing that "active developers 
already knowing where it's going" as a reason to not have a roadmap is faulty 
thinking.  It's just not true enough.  And the bigger the project gets, the 
less true it will be.


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