[maemo-developers] [maemo-developers] Too busy to accept help?

From: Carlos.Guerreiro at nokia.com Carlos.Guerreiro at nokia.com
Date: Wed Apr 19 20:42:24 EEST 2006
Hi Murray,

> The Maemo community is alive, but not thriving as much as it 
> could. This
> is because the Nokia developers are so busy and are often unable to
> respond to the simplest of requests for changes or information, and
> often unable to even acknowledge that contributions have been 
> accepted.
> It's OK to be busy, so this isn't a personal attack on those 
> developers.
> It's a suggestion for how to take the weight off them.

Yes, the Maemo community could be more thriving, and insufficiently
open development is a key limitation.
Developers are busy working on the next release and don't have as much
time as they would wish to interact with the community.
Things will not always be like this, but at the moment that is the focus
we have. There are many ways to disappoint, slow developer community
development is one of them, but there's also the product.

However, as Tommi pointed out, an equality important factor here is that
our product development processes and infrastructure are not yet fully
adapted to open platform development. Developing consumer electronics
products takes a lot more than platform software development. So those
processes take time to change. They touch a countless number of aspects
that constrain how development can be done, and often for good reasons,
even though from the outside one cannot see why.
To open up development in order to be more able to make good use of
the community's help, we are changing the way we do many things. As
Marius pointed out, a lot is actually happening there. It takes substantial
energy and time to make it happen. Some of this results in things you can see
(e.g.: bugzilla) but even more in things you cannot see, as it's about
fixing internal obstacles and bottlenecks and preparing the ground.
Things are moving, slowly but surely.

> I think Nokia needs to assign a dedicated community liaison, full time
> or part time, while still demanding that all developers are involved
> with the community as much as possible. This person would maintain the
> web site, and help the community to maintain it by extracting
> information from Nokia. This person would also do simple patch and bug
> triage and apply obvious changes without bothering the developers with
> trivial stuff.
> It must be politically acceptable for this person to be under less
> pressure than a regular developer. If the community liaison 
> ever has no
> problems to solve then that's good.
> If you need a more traditional job title, you could squeeze these
> responsibilities into "Documentation" or "Q & A".
> Nokia will get a lot of the advantages of open source if they don't do
> this, and the community will survive if they don't do this, 
> but I think
> the extra salary would be a good investment to get even more valuable
> advantages.

All of these tasks are important. Many of them are being done to the
extent possible by their available time by a number of hard working
people who (too modestly) "hide" under team at maemo.org.
They are more constrained by the current process and infrastructure
limitations than anybody else.
But it's the developers that are not involved enough. That's also
slowly improving.

Having a full-time community liason is one option, and athought provoking
suggestion to be taken seriously. It's not the only option however.

Definitely we could use more people.
You'll notice we are hiring, we currently have a couple of positions
open in nokia.com/careers, and we'll have more.


Best regards,

More information about the maemo-developers mailing list