[sword-devel] Important things!

Jerry Hastings sword-devel@crosswire.org
Thu, 05 Oct 2000 17:13:13 -0700

>I would love new features, but I really don't get many submissions.

A lot of people have never worked with open source and may be intimidated 
by, for lack of a better word, the anarchy. I know I have never gotten over 
the hump. It would be hard for me to know what the requirements of 
submitted code would be for it to be useful to the Sword project. Does code 
need to be C++? Does it need to adhere to standards? Do I need to be 
compiler aware? Do I need a compiler, which one? What about pseudo-code? 
How do I coordinate with other coders?

My experience with volunteers is that you have most of them only briefly. 
If you can't get them up to speed quickly with clear goals, they will do 
you no good before you loose them. Others sit on the side lines for long 
periods waiting for something small, simple and clear enough for them to 
fit in their busy lives. Some features may be small and simple. Something a 
good coder could whip up quickly. But the task must be framed clearly.

More volunteer experience, is that they tend to be either neophytes or 
retired. Those in between tend to be too busy. For coders, you probably 
have a lot more neophytes than others with skill and time.  I know I have 
seen on this list people saying that they were just getting into java or VB 
or C++ and wanted to help and work on their skills at the same time. Where 
are these people now?  Did they find what they needed to get up to speed? 
Does anyone do follow up on these people?

Could there be something like a neophyte kit? Could somebody that knows 
this open source stuff but doesn't have time to code perhaps have time to 
follow up on the neophytes and see what they need and point them in the 
right direction, and in useful directions? Can somebody document the 
process of adding a feature or point to good documents? Perhaps giving a 
neophyte coder a simple feature to work on and documenting everything it 
takes for the neophyte to come up to speed would help.

Maybe I am way off. Does this ring a bell with any would be volunteer 
coders out there? If not, any would be volunteer coders, please state what 
could help to get more people coding.