|Re: [eigen] random thoughts -- we need more Gaels|
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On torsdag 23 september 2010, Benoit Jacob wrote:
> *** attracting more core contributors ***
> Right now we have 2 really-really-core-contributors (Gael and me) and
> 3 other sometimes-core-contributors (Hauke, Jitse, Thomas); and
> perhaps 20 occasional contributors. We need to find a way to move
> people from "occasional" to "core".
Afaik, the best way to raise the number of "core" is to raised the numbers of "occasional". And once in a while one of those "occasional" guy will become a "core" guy. In my opinion, you should see those "core" guys as maintainers, and to be honest, you don't need so many of them, if you can get good contributions from many "occasional" people. Then the maintainers just have to ensure the contributions reach API standard and don't break existing features. And "occasional" contributors will come when they have an itch to scratch, and Eigen is in a very confortable position in that respect, since its users are developers, they will be willing to provide patches for the features they need :)
But having a lot of "occasional" contributors is only worth it, if the experienced developers don't have to invest a lot of time in mentoring them.
Which leads us to...
> We need more developer documentation, developer
> tutorials, and we could even have a series of articles going through
> _expression_ templates and Eigen design, etc.
Yes ! Eigen has an excellent "user" documentation, at least the tutorials, the actual API dox suffers a bit of doxygen poor support of templates. But right now, there is almost nothing for potential contributors. And eigen's code is not exactly the easiest code to dive into, even for experienced c++ developers, reading and understanding is ok, but extending currently require a huge investment.
To take my personal example :) I have a big itch, it is the lack of a symetric matrix, what prevents me to contribute one, is the balance between lack of time and complexity of such addition. I will probably dive in, one day, in the mean time I try to survive with normal matrix. But I am quiet certain with good tutorials on how to contribute I would dive earlier, and I don't know how many people are like me.
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