[development] Drupal development maintenance teams

Steven Peck sepeck at gmail.com
Tue Apr 28 21:32:41 UTC 2009

There is actually a written statement that is quite old about what the
MAINTAINERS.txt file is for.  It has not been changed other then minor
edits for years Created 2005, but existed before then).  This page in
it's original form was part of a longer page that Puregin created when
we were breaking up the larger single pages that had existed previous
to 2005.


Maintainer. Though not directly making decisions, maintainers have
informal responsibility for a designated portion of the core (for
example, a particular core module). Individual areas of responsibility
are listed in the file MAINTAINERS.txt. Maintainers are appointed by
Dries. Core contributors who have made substantive contributions
(particularly to a core component not individually maintained) may
apply for Maintainer status by writing to Dries. Dries may also
individually invite them.

So, Larry, now you know what historically had been expected from those
listed in the Maintainers.txt.  If this changes of course it will need
to be updated to reflect those changes.  I just noticed that someone
changed the title recently.  The title doesn't accurately reflect the
contents and there is an issue regarding some other information on the
page I am looking at.


On Tue, Apr 28, 2009 at 11:55 AM, larry at garfieldtech.com
<larry at garfieldtech.com> wrote:
> Angela Byron wrote:
>> On 28-Apr-09, at 1:54 PM, Derek Wright wrote:
>>> On Apr 28, 2009, at 7:24 AM, Sam Boyer wrote:
>>>> We need to remain open to the energy and excitement of new people, but
>>>> we also REALLY need to not kneecap the energy and excitement of the
>>>> contributors we already have.
>>> Your whole message is right-on, but this is the "money quote".
>> Sure, I don't think anyone would disagree with that.
>> But can you help me understand how the community initiatives pages are
>> "kneecapping" existing contributors? As far as I'm concerned, they're simply
>> a public place to document all of the regular brainstorming/organization
>> that naturally happens over IRC, e-mail, and g.d.o anyway among people who
>> already make up the 'teams' that Nedjo is proposing that we formalize in
>> some way. If we add names to the pages, then we get the added benefit of
>> said people being publicly identified, which helps them recruit others who
>> share the same itch are looking for someone to collaborate with.
>> Seems win-win to me? Can you please enlighten me with a clue bat?
>> -Angie
> Sure, there's nothing wrong with clarifying who the "point people" are for a
> given initiative.  But that's not quite the point being raised.
> chx's original email raised the issue that for any given subsystem in
> Drupal, there's only a handful of people who REALLY know it well enough to
> support it long term and we've done a rather poor job of adding people to
> that list overall.  How many people besides chx and eaton *really* grok
> FAPI?  There's what, 2-3 people who have any idea how Field API works?  DB
> API is up to *gasp* 5 people who should know it well, if we assume that
> those in MAINTAINERS.txt know a system well, which is quite high.
> That means a very low "bus number", which is bad.
> I countered with "what incentive is there for someone to grok a core system
> to that level of detail unless they've written it themselves?" (which is how
> all of the current domain experts, myself included, ended up with that level
> of knowledge).  Aside from the ego trip of saying "*I* have my name in
> MAINTAINERS.txt", there's little incentive for anyone else to become, say, a
> total theme system innards ninja.  OK if they need it specifically for their
> job they'll learn just enough for what they need by running through it in a
> debugger, but then they are unlikely to become a leader in that realm unless
> there's something in it for them.
> To Sam's point, we focus on getting developers past the "I suck" threshold,
> but there's really not much encouragement to get people past the "I kick
> ass" threshold.  (See the chart below for what that means.)  And it's the
> people above that threshold who can act as leaders and teachers to increase
> our bus number.
> http://buytaert.net/drupal-learning-curve
> Your earlier email about the "bat phone to the branch maintainer" was
> actually the first semi-official statement of what being a submaintainer
> actually means that I've heard since I became one.  OK, cool, so part of the
> incentive to become a domain expert is a quasi-veto on major changes to that
> area, and the ability to cut in line when vying for webchick's time.  How
> many people not reading this thread know that?
> Are there other things we can do to encourage people to become domain
> experts besides give them a bat phone?  I'm not sure off hand, but that's
> the root of the problem that chx raised that has still not been addressed.
>  (Forks in the thread about moving things out of core to contrib are well
> and good but don't really address that problem.)
> --Larry Garfield

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