On 5/22/17 6:53 PM, cym13 wrote:
On Monday, 22 May 2017 at 15:05:24 UTC, Andrei Alexandrescu wrote:
http://dlang.org/blog/2017/05/22/introspection-introspection-everywhere/ -- Andrei

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 slower progress.

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 successfully.

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.


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