<URL: http://bugs.freeciv.org/Ticket/Display.html?id=16811 >

On Tue, Dec 30, 2008 at 4:44 AM, Kevin Benton <kben...@bentonfam.org> wrote:
> My experience is that open source projects benefit from transparency
> with users and developers.  When it's easy for a wanna-be developer to
> look through issue lists, they can often pick something that'll be easy
> for them to "get their feet wet" in contributing.

Hi, I'm a developer, but not a wannabe.  That is to say, I'm an expert
coder and have used more than one bug tracker in more than one open
source project over the years.  I'm possibly interested in modifying
the Freeciv sources, I'm still evaluating that.  Your choice of bug
tracker has nothing whatsoever to do with my evaluation.  I think
perhaps you're assuming a particular target audience, a newbie or
intermediate level coder who doesn't quite know what they want to do,
that you as more senior developers want to structure and direct
somehow.  There are other kinds of potential project contributors out
there and perhaps considering their motivations and tastes would be of
greater benefit to your ongoing efforts.  I don't see any big deal
with RT because it's not my first instinct to look for someone else's
bug to work on.  My first instincts are to:

1) get the source code built.  If I can't build it, good chance the
project isn't mature and I move on.  I've been able to build Freeciv,
although on Windows it's less pleasurable than it could be.

2) evaluate the readability of the source code.  So far, I find it readable.

3) evaluate the modifiability of the source code.  So far, I'm not
sure the AI code conceptualizes anything the way I would.  My instinct
is to throw chunks of it out.  Either start from scratch, or determine
if a plugin architecture is reasonable.  But, I haven't finished
looking at it, so I will patiently evaluate what is reasonable to do.

4) evaluate the political tone and management of the project.  What do
people really spend their time on?  What do they stew and get to
loggerheads about?  What do they fail to get done?  What do they
actively obstruct?

To the last point: I went back and read the full history of this
ticket.  This has been all talk and no action for 2 years.  In an open
source community, if someone steps forward and provides the elbow
grease to get something done, just go for it.  Maybe RT vs. Bugzilla
isn't super valuable in the scheme of things, as you don't have that
many tickets, or developers willing to work on tickets.  Gosh, have
you ever looked through Mozilla's tickets and seen all the stuff
that's been sitting around for years and years, that again was all
talk and no action?  It's documentation and process for it's own sake,
it has no end result.  BUT, if you've got a gung ho volunteer who
actually will steward a new bug tracker, it's worth something just to
add that guy's ongoing manpower to the project.  I imagine Bugzilla
*is* better than RT in some fashion, that some kind of gain can be
made from changing, even if it is only a long term incremental gain.
The more important consideration is you get this guy working on the
project, stewarding something he considers Good.  That's how you build
project loyalty.

Resources, schmesources.  Don't any of you guys have a back pocket?
For cheapskates, I Googled a little.  What about these guys?

Brandon Van Every

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