Re: [eigen] Bugs on bugzilla

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Am 04.06.2014 11:13, schrieb Gael Guennebaud:


so basically we are facing three interconnected problems:
- we have to better structure our community,
- attract more contributors,
- deal with the numerous bug entries.

Regarding the structuration of the community, we could try to lean towards something like: - a small steering committee taking the major decisions on the evolution of Eigen, - assign one person in charge for each module of Eigen, each platform, etc. (from regular Eigen's developers) - assign a release manager taking care of the progress of each feature planed for the next release. - a pool of reviewers to review novel features (do not need to be an Eigen's developer)

However, I'm not sure that currently we have enough man power to go to such a formal structure. As Christoph suggested, identifying active contributors with their domain of expertise would already be a good step. Here I'm thinking about "contributors" and "expertise" in a very general way, not only code!

This last remark leads me to the second item (attract more contributors) for which I'd like to emphasise that there are many way to contribute to Eigen without knowing its internal:
- documentation,
- support to other users,
- unit testing,
- fix compiler/platform specific issues,
- discuss API,
- etc.

What about adding a "How to contribute?" page developing these items on the web site? Any volunteers?

Then we need a way to keep track and easily spot these 'junior jobs" which could be addressed without requiring any knowledge on Eigen's internals. So instead of adding a voting system to the bug tracker, I'd rather add a such a field.


At this point of the discussion I can give you a view of the "other side" in this discussion. So far I have not contributed to Eigen at any point, but because I highly appreciate and intensively use Eigen I thought about it at various points in the past.

But exactly the hurdles you described below actually stopped me from doing so. Eigen is a pretty sophisticated and large-scale C++-project and even with a fair bit C++ experience the code is not very easy to understand.

My usual way of getting into such big projects has been: have a look at the bug tracker, try to find some manageable tasks or search for documentation about how to contribute.

When I saw the bugzilla tracker, it showed me hundreds of bugs, which most seem very specialized, outdated, or much to complex for being a good starting point. I spent an hour without making any progress and got more and more demotivated by the impression that none of the bug reports I stumbled up on where actually part of the current development. Adding categories like the below mentioned 'junior job' is a very good idea, that was basically what I was looking for back then.

Also a well-organized wiki page 'How-to-contribute' would help a lot in attracting contributors, it should be linked in prominent places like the Eigen starting page. I searched for such a thing and did not find it back then which lead to me giving up on the endeavor. If someone who has the necessary insight in Eigen is willing to set such a thing up, feel free to contact me, I will then review the effort from an outside perspective and help building it where I can.

While this discussion recently started to revolve more about bugzilla details and usage, I think the wiki page is way more important to make headway on this problem.


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