Front page | perl.perl6.internals |
Postings from July 2002
Re: Parrot contribution
From: Nicholas Clark
July 13, 2002 08:01
Re: Parrot contribution
Message ID: 20020713144831.GA300@Bagpuss.unfortu.net
On Sat, Jul 13, 2002 at 06:41:22AM -0700, John Porter wrote:
> channel. For all I know, there are no frequently asked
> questions on the irc channel. For all I know, there are no
> newbie parrot developers on the channel.
Having read but deleted rather too much of this thread to respond to the
right bit, I'd like to say that I feel it unwise to rely on an IRC channel.
1: Would be developers have a permanent internet connection (or sufficiently
cheap that they can stay connected to IRC for long periods)
2: Would be developers are working in the same (or close) timezones to the
main core of developers. (Real timezones don't matter - who is awake on
what sleep cycle does)
Maybe there are now enough well spread developers to provide 24 hour cover
on IRC, so concern 2 isn't an issue. But number 1 could well be, as I presume
we're hoping to appeal to developers outside North America, South Korea and
the parts of north west Europe with broadband.
I appreciate that everyone is volunteering to work on it (and even Dan was
volunteering to work on it before this year) so there is no compulsion for
anyone to do what they don't want. However, if what you want is parrot
well written, then the "I'm too busy working on it so I don't have time to
document it" is not the best way to achieve it over the long term.
I was working somewhere where the chief technical architect, a very smart
guy, was far too busy doing stuff to write it down, and also didn't view it
as a priority as "I don't need to write it down, it's all in my head".
This was fine, but did not scale. *He* knew the answers to all his questions,
as he genuinely didn't forget technical things. (and still does not)
But it was no good to anyone else, and he soon got fed up with being asked
questions by people who wanted to know stuff documented in his head.
We all had the choice of "spend lots of time working out what something does"
or "ask XXX" and as we were being pressured to get stuff done fast each of us
individually would attempt to "ask XXX" whenever possible, falling back to
"work it out". And we were being paid, so we weren't the sort of people to
drift off and not contribute if we found this entry hurdle too high.
An IRC channel is good for discussions. But it doesn't archive them,
index them, collate them and provide them as reference for any new
would be recruits. I'm not saying that anyone has to write the docs, or
even the skeleton of the docs for their code - everyone and anyone can just
keep writing code if they so feel. But if they do just write code without
any form of overview documentation, then they're still going to be writing
code for a long time to come, because they won't recruit many helpers.
Even better than the real thing: http://nms-cgi.sourceforge.net/