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From Ralph Goers <>
Subject Re: Flume Graduation (was Re: June reports in two weeks)
Date Thu, 24 May 2012 05:36:23 GMT

On May 23, 2012, at 10:15 PM, Benson Margulies wrote:

> On Wed, May 23, 2012 at 10:09 PM, Ralph Goers
> <> wrote:
>> Right after I read Jukka's email that started this thread and I posted my reply and
discovered to my shock that they had started a graduation vote.  I am shocked because I have
pointed out repeatedly the project's complete lack of diversity.  Virtually all the active
PMC members and committers work for the same employer.  I have told them several times that
I would actually like to participate in the project but the way the project works is very
different then every other project I am involved with at the ASF and the barriers to figure
out what is actually going on is very high. Almost nothing is discussed directly on the dev
list - it is all done through Jira issues or the Review tool.  While all the Jira issue updates
and reviews are sent to the dev list most of that is just noise.  Feel free to review the
dev list archives to see what I am talking about.
> I don't follow flume, but I'd propose to soften your objection only
> slightly. I've met other groups of people who like a JIRA centric view
> of the world. I suspect that if they did a bunch of other good things
> called out below, you or others would find the JIRA business
> digestible. Also, on the other hand, I fear that the co-employed
> contributors are collaborating in the hallway, and the lack of the
> context in JIRA or on the list is contributing to the problem.

I have reason to doubt the collaboration in the hallway aspect and I certainly do not doubt
everyone's good intent.  I'm not objecting to the collaboration style as an issue preventing
graduation. I'm just saying I find it difficult to participate with that style and that simply
makes me wonder if that is making it harder to attract new committers.  I fully realize that
that issue might just be with me, but the fact remains that there is practically no diversity
in the project and I cannot in good conscience recommend graduation for a project in that


>> Needless to say, when the graduation proposal reaches this list, and I'm sure it
will, I will strongly endorse the IPMC to reject the proposal.
>> FWIW, I found the post below to be 100% on target.
>> Ralph
>> On May 23, 2012, at 7:31 PM, Marvin Humphrey wrote:
>>> On Wed, May 23, 2012 at 5:36 PM, Patrick Hunt <> wrote:
>>>> Perhaps someone will have some insight on how to gather new
>>>> contributors that hasn't been tried yet?
>>> Jukka's written on this subject multiple times in the past.  Here are two
>>> gems, one from a while back, the other recent:
>>>    Most of the cases I've been involved so far of podlings in the "hoping
>>>    some more people come along" have had symptoms of the project team not
>>>    paying enough attention on making it easy for new contributors to show up
>>>    and stick around. Things like complex and undocumented build steps,
>>>    missing "Getting started" or "Getting involved" guides, lack of quick and
>>>    positive feedback to newcomers, etc., are all too common. Fixing even just
>>>    some of such things will dramatically increase the odds of new people
>>>    showing up.
>>>    Those are things that are very easy to overlook when you're working on
>>>    your first open source projects (it took me years to learn those lessons),
>>>    but we here have a massive amount of collective experience on such things.
>>>    That's what we could and IMHO should be sharing with the podlings. That's
>>>    what "mentoring" to me is about and that's where our most precious "added
>>>    value" is. Otherwise incubation just boils down to an indoctrination
>>>    period on how to apply and conform to the various Apache rules and
>>>    policies.
>>>    I've been involved with quite a few podlings with similar problems in
>>>    attracting longer-term contributors. In my experience the best way to
>>>    solve that problem is to change your mindset of expecting most such people
>>>    to be just one-off contributors. If you instead treat them as your next
>>>    new committers and engage with them as peers, many (though of course not
>>>    all) will respond in kind and actually become more involved.
>>>    Many developers, especially from commercial backgrounds, tend to treat
>>>    such contributors as just users reporting a problem. A typical interaction
>>>    goes like "What's the problem? Do you have a test case? OK, let me fix it
>>>    (when I get around to it)." A better approach is something like "What's
>>>    the problem? OK, here are some pointers to the relevant bits in code. How
>>>    do you think this should be fixed?"
>>> Here's another tip I picked up from Joe Schaefer: when you're voting in a new
>>> committer and they have a big patch set sitting in the queue, hold off and let
>>> *them* commit it so that they get the satisfaction, the new experience, and the
>>> appreciation all at once.
>>> It would be nice if stuff like this was collected in "Steps to building a
>>> community" documentation somewhere, rather than scattered through the email
>>> archives.  I suggest "Steps" as a format because different approaches are
>>> required at different phases of the project and sizes of the community.
>>> Marvin Humphrey
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