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Project team needed? #2223

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JackDca opened this issue Jul 10, 2019 · 15 comments

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@JackDca
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commented Jul 10, 2019

In @BjarniRunar's blog post Burned Out and Happy? he says,
"I care deeply about this project, but it really is too big for one
person and I haven't successfully built a team to support me."

I too have spent some time on Mailpile (but nothing like
Bjarni's contribution!). I believe that it is an important
effort and want to see it continue. Can this community have a
discussion about action we can take to create the team as
suggested by Bjarni?

In the world of engineering management, it is recognized that
the most effective way to get a project done is often to have a
single person do everything from function definition to detailed
design and testing. No time is used up in communicating between
team members, debating interfaces and so on. But this only works
to the point where the project is small enough for one person.
Although Mailpile has had many contributors, Bjarni's share far
exceeds anyone else's so it is not far from being a one person
project, but it has grown past the point where that structure
works.

Creating a workable project team is not a trivial task, but it
seems desirable at this point. Here are some ideas. I'm sure
that they are not new, but it would be good to see some
discussion.

  1. Most important, will any of us make an ongoing commitment
    to write or modify code to fix specific issues? It might help if
    issues could be prioritized and contributors recruited for e.g.
    the five highest priority issues.

  2. Bjarni has so far kept Mailpile going in a consistent
    direction by personally reviewing all the code. Could we find
    some additional volunteers who are qualified to do some or all
    of the code reviews, so that Bjarni only has to do the actual
    commits? For this to work, there would need to be some high
    level discussion and agreement on the functions being
    implemented, and programming standards, to guide the reviewers
    and keep everyone consistent. If this works well, perhaps commit
    authority could eventually be delegated to some of the
    reviewers.

  3. Can we find volunteers who would take responsibility for
    responding to Github issues and to questions on the Community
    site? It would be best if there were a few of these, each with
    an area of expertise, so that more specialized questions could
    be handed off to an appropriate person.

  4. Could we find people in the community who could document some
    of the internals of Mailpile? I find that I spend more time
    figuring out how the code works than actually modifying it. More
    documentation would result in more efficient use of developer
    time and speed up code reviews.

One way to attract more developers is to engage more users and
contributors. This should only be done after the project team
has been created. There's no point in attracting more people if
their comments, requests for assistance and offers to help are
not answered in a timely way. For example, Mailpile's visibility
might be increased if it were submitted in its present state to
Debian Unstable. Within Debian, Mailpile might be a good
addition to the FreedomBox project.

I'm posting this as a Github issue, not a Community post,
because most of the possible volunteers are accessible through
Github handles. I've tried to mention most of the recent
contributors in the following list so they will get the post. If
I have missed anyone, my apologies.

@aviau
@AlexanderHaase
@JocelynDelalande
@smari
@peturingi
@loidor
@infinite-Joy
@grekko
@noahhaasis
@FlakyBit
@largestprime
@mgax
@kolibrik7
@futal
@dorumd
@comradekingu
@rgarrigue
@kenjones21
@hiteshramani
@balping
@MikeynJerry
@Epse
@DaLynX
@nkfarwell
@deepak21188
@balki
@philratcliffe
@lee7670
@karnation22
@mgax
@yegortimoshenko
@vezult
@nik1082
@wiktor-k
@foursixnine
@JackDca

@yegortimoshenko

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commented Jul 10, 2019

I personally would like to participate, with the most important short-term goals (for me personally) of porting Mailpile to Python 3 (see #2150) and implementing session key storage (see #2155). However, so far I don't have any contributions that have already landed in.

Also, I made a few user interface modifications locally that I would like to upstream.

@BjarniRunar

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commented Jul 10, 2019

Thanks for filing this @JackDca. And thanks (in advance) to anyone who would like to step up.

Just as a reminder, the IRC channel is still open (Freenode #mailpile) and I'm happy to discuss things informally there if I'm at the computer. The other venue is our Discourse forum, probably the Development category: https://community.mailpile.is/c/development - that would be the most appropriate place for this, really, but this is still a fine start. ❤️

@noahhaasis

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commented Jul 10, 2019

Since I don’t have a deep understanding of the Codename yet I would like to start in the first category and maybe transition later when I’m more familiar with the Codename and the project.

@aviau

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commented Jul 10, 2019

I just wanted to leave a small word of encouragement and state that I am coincidentally wearing my Mailpile shirt today ❤️!

image

On the subject of this issue, I intend to keep helping with packaging tasks if needed. I have been ready to upload Mailpile to official Debian repositories for a while but I felt like the project was not ready to be in the archive yet. You can definitely count me in for 1.0.

@Kabouik

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commented Jul 10, 2019

Please add me to the list. I'm in no way capable of coding anything, this is not my area of expertise, and unfortunately I don't have much time to invest in the project either because I'm not far from being burnt out with my own occupation. However, I care deeply about Mailpile too, have been using it for years, and would be happy to follow and participate in discussions, however minor my input might be. At least I'm curious and want to follow what is happening. This is also why I'm subscribed to all Mailpile issues (although I have zillions of unread email alerts for github issues).

@h3artbl33d

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commented Jul 10, 2019

Count me in, definitely. Though I am experienced with Python development, I'd like to start with support and auditing the code. I want to feel familiar with the code before starting to hack on it ;) If I had to pick, I'd like to hack on the core once I am confident enough with the existing codebase.

  • I am able and willing to contribute: time and effort, code, documentation, support and localization.
  • Aspects I'd pass on: packaging and containerization/docker/lxc.
@comradekingu

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commented Jul 10, 2019

Would still like to work on the language of Mailpile. I think the preferable solution is to have two different people working at it, and asking Bjarni to explain things if needed.
It would help greatly in that regard to move the translation effort onto https://weblate.org/hosting then I could help out there too, and even administrate things.

@h3artbl33d

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commented Jul 10, 2019

It would help greatly in that regard to move the translation effort onto https://weblate.org/hosting then I could help out there too, and even administrate things.

Just curious, what would Weblate add that Transifex doesn't have?

@BjarniRunar

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commented Jul 10, 2019

@comradekingu So as not to derail this thread, can you file a new issue to discuss your translation ideas? It would be absolutely great to have an i18n-manager, and I think you're experienced enough with the app and the tech that you could do a great job.

@JackDca

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commented Jul 11, 2019

Thank you for all the responses, everyone.

I am travelling today and will catch up tomorrow.

@BjarniRunar

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commented Jul 12, 2019

Just a quick reminder, folks! This project has a code of conduct, please be sure you are comfortable with it before investing too heavily here: https://github.com/mailpile/Mailpile/blob/master/CODE_OF_CONDUCT.md

(I know this matters to some people, so this is just to clarify that the CoC is not up for debate at this point in time. Please respect that. There are lots of projects out there, agree to disagree, move along...)

@JackDca

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commented Jul 12, 2019

Thanks again for the responses!

Mailpile uses Python, Javascript, HTML, CSS, PGP, i18n among other technologies. Also it's targeted at Linux, Windows, and macOS. Another need is for user and developer documentation - Docs. So it would help to hear from each person, what is your level of knowledge/experience in each of these areas - or other major areas if yours aren't listed?

For me, if 0 is none and 5 is a lot:
Python - 2
Javascript - 1
HTML - 1
CSS - 1
PGP - 2
i18n - 0
Docs - 4
Linux - 4
Windows - 4
macOS - 0
also C/C++ - 5

Here's what I've seen so far:
@yegortimoshenko - Python
@noahhaasis - Tell us!
@aviau - Linux packaging
@Kabouik - Python
@h3artbl33d - Python
@comradekingu - i18n

@h3artbl33d

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commented Jul 14, 2019

Could you clarify some points? For example, how is the scoring on the OS aspects interpreted (from which viewpoint). And with i18n, are you referring to the implementation of translation in the core, translating Mailpile into other languages, etc?

I have extensive knowledge of BSD, Linux and macOS, I'd rate these a 5. In Windows I definitely know my way around, but I fail miserably with PowerShell - I'd give myself a 2. I can code in Python (4 or 5), script in Bash (5) and build some fancy things with HTML and CSS (4). I am at ease with PGP/GPG (3), but not with implementing it properly in code. I value good documentation (5) and am able to write it as well.

@JackDca

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commented Jul 14, 2019

@h3artbl33d - at this point I was hoping to encourage those who were interested in participating to informally indicate their areas of expertise. I hadn't defined any precise scale. Your summary of your own capabilities more than answers my question. Thanks for your response!

@vezult

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commented Jul 15, 2019

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