[squeak-dev] Call For *Your* Opinion

Enrico Spinielli enrico.spinielli at googlemail.com
Sat Apr 24 10:14:50 UTC 2010

see below

On Mon, Apr 19, 2010 at 12:49, Ian Trudel <ian.trudel at gmail.com> wrote:

> Dear Squeakizen,
> I would like to call for your opinion(s) in regard to contributions. I
> am a firm believer in surveying the community in order to improve our
> sense of direction, our culture, and bonding as a community.
> 1. What are your biggest hurdles preventing you from contributing to
> Squeak?
I have very little time to devote to Squeak, so an easy and smooth
procedure to contribute to the Inbox will do.
What proposed in [1] is still too complicated IMHO: it would be great to
have the
possibility from current image to cherrypick the changes you want to


> 2. What would it take for you to contribute more?
I think the current process with Trunk/Inbox is a great improvement
compared to Mantis where potential fixes just stayed there in the limbo too
if not for ever. So Mantis is a DB of potential solutions to be harvested
it does create a vicious circle [2] for the contributor IMHO.
On the other hand the current approach is great (even if perfectable, see 1.
above) because
the occasional contributor get feedback (inclusion in Trunk or
comments/suggestions for improvements) in
a very short time and that creates a virtuous circle [2] where more and more
contributions are
posted. (this is even more true for the core submitter of course)

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtuous_circle_and_vicious_circle

3. What are your expectations in regard to contributions?
Given the current Inbox/Trunk approach I expect quick turnaround: assess for
include or reject.

4. What are the reasons behind the low level of contributions from
> other community members, according to you?
Power law in action [3,4, 5]: you can only have higher contribution by
making your community wider and/or by making it easy for the occasional
to contribute.

[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_law
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clay_Shirky
[5] see power law distribution in http://mymindonbooks.com/?page_id=562

> 5. What would you improve in order to increase the number of
> contributions and the number of contributors?
>From 4. above:
a. make community wider (i.e. more members): this mean make Squeak appealing
    so that applications can be easily developed and deployed.
    For example _*deploying*_ Squeak based applications in standalone mode
    is far far too difficult (or not well enough documented, i.e. unknown
but for a few gurus).
    *Documentation* is also critical: the current focus on HelpSystem is
certainly beneficial
    but it has to be said it is not the first attempt to improve
documentation, many failed before.
    Also great is the initiative on books: Squeak/Pharo by Example and the
OCRed ones made
    available on Stephane's site.
b. make it easy to contribute by anyone: I think here we have a leading
edge, probably due to
    the small size of the community, in that the current procedures provide
for the build up
    of a virtuous circle.

6. How would you rate your sense of social identification to the
> Squeak community, on a scale from 1 to 10. (1 is the lowest, 10 the
> highest)

> 7. What is your rating based on?
adfero ergo sum. -> I contribute so I am (part of).

8. Anything else?
Things are moving again in Squeak world since long. This is a very good
sign given the potentials associated with it, i.e. Croquet/Cobalt
(unfortunately still
in a very small niche after momentum from Andreas, David S. and David R.
has been directed to other shores), EToys, Scratch and tons of other unique
The late exercise in Squeak4.1 has been fantastic (I have to say thanks to
the drive
from Andreas) because it has pushed for image _and_ VMs to move in sync.

Bye and hope it helps
Enrico Spinielli
"Do Androids dream of electric sheep?"— Philip K. Dick
"Hear and forget; see and remember;do and understand."—Mitchel Resnick
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