On 5/22/17 6:53 PM, cym13 wrote:
On Monday, 22 May 2017 at 15:05:24 UTC, Andrei Alexandrescu wrote:
Now that you are back and could take some time to think this over, would
you say your trip will influence how you see D's and the D community
evolution? In what way?
In several ways. To an extent it was a confirmation of things already
known: We do well on things we focus on (language core, standard
library, quality of implementation), and less so on things we focus less
on (soft skills, community building, leadership). I got a clearer notion
that the latter is an important ingredient.
One thing that several of those people emphasized is we need to improve
leadership and decision. "You are trying to do democracy and democracy
doesn't work here" (by a successful serial entrepreneur). Walter and I
have implicitly fostered a kind of meritocracy whereby it's the
point/argument that matters. It should be meritocracy of the person -
good proven contributors have more weight and new people must prove
themselves before aspiring to influence. Historically, anyone with any
level of involvement with D could hop on the forum and engage the
community and its leadership in debate. Subsequently, they'd be
frustrated with the ensuing disagreement and also get a sense of
cheapness - if I got to carry this unsatisfactory debate with the
language creator himself, what kind of an operation is this?
Since anything can be debated by anyone, everything gets debated by
everyone. Anyone can question any decision at any time and expect a
response. It's the moral equivalent of everyone in a 5000-person company
building can expect to stop the CEO on the way to his/her office and
engage them in a conversation of any length. The net consequence is
Where we need to be is fostering strong contributions and contributors.
The strength of one's say is multiplied by his/her contributions (and
that simply means pulled PRs, successful DIPs - not "won" debates). Many
successful OSS projects have been quoted as implementing this policy
Every person in the room took a significant fraction of the meeting time
to tear me a new one about dub and http://code.dlang.org. Each in a
different place :o). I got to the point where I consider every day spent
with code.lang.org just sitting there with no ranking, no statistics, no
voting, no notion of what are the good projects to look at - every such
day is a liability for us. We really need to improve on that, it is of
utmost importance and urgency. Martin said he'll be on that in June, but
we could really use more hands on deck there.
Documentation of vibe.d was also mentioned as an important problem. More
precisely, it's the contrast between the quality of the project and that
of the documentation - someone said his team ended up with a different
(and arguably inferior) product that was better documented. Literally
they had the same engineer try each for a day. Reportedly it was very
difficult to even figure whether vibe.d does some specific thing, let
alone tutorials and examples of how to do it.
Back to community: Successful OSS projects have a hierarchy and follow
formalized paths and processes for communicating up and down. People are
willing to work/wait for months on a proposal because they have a sense
of process and a confidence their proposal, if properly done, will get a
fair shake. These are good ideas to follow (and indeed I got more
confirmation that investing in our new DIP process is a good thing to do).
We need to improve the collaboration and tone in the forums and github.
(I was amazed at how well these business and community leaders knew
who's who in our community.) We can only assume in the future people
will peruse our forums/github to decide whether to use D in their
enterprise. We need to improve on the current disposition toward
fruitless debate not concluding in decision making. What hurts us the
most and stands like a sore thumb is the occasional use of abusive
language. We need to stop that.
Many of these things I had a good sense of before entering the meeting,
and was on the way toward improving on them. The meeting provided a
strong confirmation of the importance of these matters, and good ideas
toward doing better.