[jdev] Re: Re: The State of Our Code-bases

Will Kamishlian will at will-k.com
Thu Sep 2 02:34:14 CDT 2004

On Thu, 02 Sep 2004 01:03:27 -0500
Nolan Eakins <sneakin at semanticgap.com> wrote:

> Hash: SHA1
> Will Kamishlian wrote:
> > My inability to document the Jabberd 2 code base has been an continual
> > frustration for me.  When I started jabberdoc, I intended for it to be
> > half admin guide and half developer guide.  Thus, after the work I've
> > put in, I still see it as only half finished.
> Do your docs describe Jabberd 2's database structure? I haven't entirely
> made head or tails of how all the tables work together just from looking
> at them.

There's nothing about database structure in my doc's that couldn't be
achieved by spending a few minutes at a MySQL console.

> > Documenting the code base for a one-person project is difficult.  I
> > could document the Jabberd 2 code base; however, I would need someone
> > who could walk the code with me (because I cannot read C). Given the
> > scarcity of resources on the project, anyone who could do that would
> > need to devote limited time that could otherwise be spent writing code
> > or fixing bugs.
> Learn to read C. Good code documents itself.

I've actually started to do that; however, my efforts have been
half-hearted because I wonder if it's worth a huge time investment.  I
could learn to read C; however, the Jabberd 2 code base is not a starter

My primary concern is that if I wrote it, would they (developers) come? 
My second concern is that at the moment, it seems that I would be working
alone.  Even having a friend to bounce things off of would help; however,
none of my friends code C.  Lastly, I doubt that I will ever code C, nor
is it likely that I will need to document it professionally, so I'd need
to feel very confident that the time investment would pay off for Jabberd

> > In my mind, the question remains as to why these projects have been
> > one-person projects.  I feel that the implementation language is part
> > of the problem.  Lack of official sponsorship from the JSF may be
> > another. Lack of financial sponsorship may be a third issue, and from
> > what I read, financial support is not likely to change soon.
> One problem with financial sponsorship is who's going to pay for it? The
> JSF? Where's the JSF going to get money? Jabber, Inc.? They're not going
> to shoot themselves in the foot by paying for a free server. Other
> people around the JSF need to start making some money from Jabber. Only
> then will"we depend on jabberd, we better hire some one to work on it"
> become a reality.
> > Did the Apache, Mozilla, and RedHat project leaders have any other
> > advice on how to attract and retain contributors for collaborative OS
> > projects? I suspect there is a lot of accumulated wisdom among these
> > leaders -- it never ceases to amaze me how these large OS projects
> > have so many active contributors, each of which plays a specific role.
> I'm going to take a guess--money. I imagine major contributors to the
> large OS projects one way or another benefit from them enough that they
> invest in them.

Money never hurts; however, I have to believe that there are large-scale
collaborative OS projects that have limited funding.  Perhaps Apache,
Mozilla and Redhat are not good examples.


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