[development] #drupal and #drupal-contribute split (Was: Re: Proposal: Move all dev support off this list to new StackExchange site)

Sam Tresler sam at treslerdesigns.com
Fri Mar 18 20:52:39 UTC 2011

I'm trying to think of the best way to put this.  When I got into Drupal, it was because I could dive right in, and get help.  I was a new web developer and the community literally changed my life.  The community was smaller then.

We didn't have thousands of contributed modules we had hundreds, and being acquainted with them all was possible.  Also, everyone in IRC and this list could kick around deep core issues, we all had common ground, and were fairly well acquainted with the codebase.  Then Drupal blew up.

Support requests didn't just double or triple, and the ratio of participators to 'takers' changed exponentially.

It's my belief that the answer to that problem should have been, "How do we handle the signal to noise ratio for everyone to get what they need in order to contribute to the project in turn?", and we treated it as "How do we reduce the signal to keep things as they were?"  The answer to the former isn't easy and takes multiple initiatives, and *can't please everyone*.  The answer to the latter is, you can't - it's impossible.

Things were tough in #drupal for the people on the smaller side of the above mentioned ratio.  I was not and am not against finding more and better support resources to relieve pressure from *everyone*.  By creating #drupal-contribute we relieved pressure from a select few, and that in my opinion injured the community.  We're all working on a large open source project and these are the problems that go with the territory of growth.  Walling the problems away isn't solving problems; it's ignoring them.

I hate calling people out, but one statement in this conversation I think cuts to a major cross-purposes issue in this conversation.

> Really, a way to translate what you're saying is that you'd rather *I*
> didn't have a place where I can participate, because I don't want to be
> inundated with support requests.

This isn't about you.  That thinking is part of the problem, in my opinion.  We're having a conversation here about what is best for Drupal, not what is best for the developers.  I'm not trying to be inflammatory, but making the project worse for the end users, the documenters, the forum posters, and various other people who bring good things to the table isn't a tenable solution.


Sam Tresler

On Fri, 18 Mar 2011, Earl Miles wrote:

> On 3/18/2011 12:49 PM, Angela Byron wrote:
>> We've relegated the architects, the builders, the collaborators, the
>> "doers"—the people who fundamentally make the Drupal project what it is
>> and are the heart and soul of our culture—to their own "sub" community
>> in a hidden silo off to the side. We've taught newcomers to the project
>> that IRC is the place to consume, to get help, to make demands, to
>> *take*. And we've created both a physical and psychological divide
>> between "us" and "them," where it used to be all "us". And, most
>> distressingly, there is no longer a pathway for going between "them" and
>> "us" because most of "us" have long since stopped going to #drupal due
>> to the volume of support that happens there now since there is no one
>> left to enforce the culture of getting involved.
> No, we have not. We were each doing this, individually. I had left
> #drupal long before #drupal-contribute was a reality, and others had
> done the same.
> At what point are you going to understand that the amount of information
> being processed in the main channels is now significantly beyond the
> ability for most people to process?
> Really, a way to translate what you're saying is that you'd rather *I*
> didn't have a place where I can participate, because I don't want to be
> inundated with support requests.
> If you want to damage the community, by all means, get rid of
> #drupal-contribute and try to lump everyone together at once. I
> guarantee you, the bulk of the architects will go somewhere else anyway.
> Maybe off of IRC entirely because #drupal had become a fundamentally
> unfriendly place to be.

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