Hi all, Here are the minutes of the meeting we had this afternoon, written up by Raphael.
Feedback is welcome (even desirable), especially on this topic. The general topic was how to get more people working on the GIMP, and how to inform people better about what's going on. Anyway, here are the minutes of Raphael. Please take a few minutes to read them. I know these mails have been pretty long, but it's worthwhile reading them, and maybe letting us know when you think we have our heads up our bums. Thanks a lot, and happy GIMPing, Dave. Here are the minutes of Yet Another Big Meeting that took place this afternoon in the GimpTent. The meeting was chaired by Dave Neary and these minutes were written by Raphael Quinet. As I (Raphael) cannot post easily to the mailing lists from the Camp, Dave is posting this message for me. The title of this meeting was "Communication". The main topics were how to improve the communication between developers and users or potential new developers. We also discussed how to present the GIMP to the "outside" and how to make it easier for new users to try out the GIMP or get involved in GIMP development. Altough there was no pre-defined agenda for this meeting, the following topics were discussed: - How to get new developers? - De we need binary distributions? - Is Bugzilla too hard to use for new users? - List of open tasks - Mailing lists How to get new developers? -------------------------- Like in any Free Software project, developers are leaving from time to time to pursue other projects. And from time to time, new developers are joining the team and starting to contribute. However, it looks like the number of new developers joining the GIMP development has been decreasing in the recent years. This may be due in part to the fact that there haven't been any major changes in a stable release for a long time. Another reason may be that it is difficult to build the development version because it depends on released versions of some libraries that are not included yet in the major GNU/Linux distributions (e.g., GTK+ version 2.2.2). Also, the number of dependencies for GIMP 1.3.x is much higher than the number of dependencies for GIMP 1.2.x, so it is more difficult to have a working build environment for the 1.3.x version. This problem may be solved as time passes, because more and more distributions will include the required libraries. There should be a section on www.gimp.org or developer.gimp.org titled "How to contribute?" or "How to get involved?". It should be easy for potential new developers to see where to start and how they can help. More on that below. Do we need binary distributions? -------------------------------- There was a discussion about binary distributions. This may help people to try some versions of the GIMP (especially the development versions) without having to compile everything. However, maintaining binaries is a lot of work, even if we only maintain binaries supplied by others. In addition, this would bring some additional responsabilities that we do not want to have. For these reasons, it was decided that www.gimp.org would not host any binaries but would link to the pages of those who are providing binaries for various platforms. It would be very nice to have Windows binaries for the development version. Is Bugzilla too hard to use for new users? ------------------------------------------ It was suggested to make it easier for users to submit bug reports, for example by having an e-mail address to which bug reports can be sent without having to register to Bugzilla (we already have such an address, although it is not widely known). This proposal was rejected because most of the bug reports (especially from new users) are incomplete and require additional information. If the user does not have a Bugzilla account, it is not possible to rely on the automatic notification system to send messages to the user when a comment is added to their bug report or when the status of their bug report changes. Most developers consider Bugzilla to be a very valuable tool that works well. Instead of trying to hide Bugzilla from the users, we should try to make it as easy as possible for the new users to join. This is already done to some extent by the bug submission wizard available from http://bugs.gimp.org/. There is a small problem with the GNOME2 keyword that prevents the open GIMP bugs from being displayed to the user and we should try to get this fixed. List of open tasks ------------------ There are many open bug reports or proposals for enhancements that would be relatively easy to fix or implement. We should make it easier for potential contributors to see the list of easy tasks that are open. The "easy tasks" should include anything that can be done in one or two hours by an average developer or maybe a bit more if the contributor is not familiar with the code. The best way to keep the list of open tasks up-to-date is probably to base it on Bugzilla. We could for example use a Bugzilla keyword for all bugs that are easy to fix (there is already a keyword "easy-fix" reserved for that, although we could invent our own). It would then be easy to create a Bugzilla query showing the list of easy tasks. Another solution would be to have a page on www.gimp.org or developer.g.o containing a list of all these bugs, with direct links to the corresponding bug reports. The second solution may require a bit more work because it would have to be maintained by someone, but it might be a bit easier to use. Mailing lists ------------- Sometimes, there is a lack of communication between users and developers of the GIMP. After some discussion, it was decided that we should not merge the mailing lists gimp-user and gimp-developer because this could cause various problems: the combined amount of traffic may be too high for some subscribers, the discussions among developers may be confusing for some users, and in general we should let people subscribe to what they are interested in, instead of removing this option by merging the lists (we cannot force anybody to read what they do not want to read). But it would be very useful for the developers to get more feedback from the users, especially about UI and usability issues. For this reason, all developers are strongly encouraged to subscribe to the gimp-user list. The web site (www.gimp.org) should contain a list of the various sources of information about the GIMP: mailing lists, newsgroup, Yahoo group, GUG, other web sites such as linuxgraphic.org or gimp.de, etc. The description of the mailing lists should encourage people to subscribe to both the users and developers lists. Summary ------- We hope that the next stable release will attract new developers. This has been the case when 1.0 and 1.2 were released. The transition to the new web site will also help, especially if the navigation menu contains some useful items such as "Bugs", "FAQ", etc. The following items should be available in the web site: - "How to contribute?" / "Getting involved" - List of tasks - List of sources of information (mailing lists, newsgroup, ...) - FAQ As with the other documents summarizing what is happening here at GimpCon, comments are welcome... -Raphael -- Dave Neary Lyon, France _______________________________________________ Gimp-user mailing list [EMAIL PROTECTED] http://lists.xcf.berkeley.edu/mailman/listinfo/gimp-user