OSS

A 12-post collection

The Drupal Support Gap

The Problem We lack a clear and inviting path from discovering Drupal and learning how to use it to becoming an active and productive contributor. As a result, our most active developers are plagued by the support demands of intermediate users who have outgrown the Drupal.org forums and don't know where to go. This effect is compounded both by our failure to attract and assimilate new highly qualified support-givers, and the myriad bad behaviors that newbies are learning in "newbie ghettos" such as the forums -- behaviors that make it difficult-to-impossible to adequately support them and bring them into the wider Drupal community. The Solution Phase out the Drupal.org forums in favor of a more straightforward Q&...

Learn this--hacker culture is not optional

In the past couple of weeks, I've become increasingly aware of how much conflict younger open source projects I'm involved in have compared to more mature projects and projects run by folks with an extreme number of years in open source. Then I had to explain to my housemate who Donald Knuth is... ...and tell a fellow Drupalista what the Jargon File is... ...and define "grok" for a colleague from the XMPP community... ...and stifle a laugh while my 7-year-old tried to describe the wumpus to someone who should know better... ...after which I read Eric Raymond's recent post on the social utility of hacker humor. Then I grokked. In the projects that have been around for a dozen or...

I usually don't write about feminism, but...

I rarely write about feminism. When I have, it has to point out the foolishness of pushing non-tech women into technology in the name of gender equality, and trying to obscure the ability gap by pressuring competent women to spend too much of their time with the incompetent ones. This time I'm writing about a brilliant article I came across on twitter (thanks @crell). The tech industry isn't closed to women, or girls for that matter. I was welcomed from the first day I wandered into the open source world, a self-conscious twelve-year-old farm girl with no feel for tech culture. The problem is that most 12yo girls don't feel like spending their nights in front of a computer screen...

The Anatomy and Habits Of the Common Support Leech

Support leeches are a fact of life in the open source world. Some people don't understand how to be worth supporting. Others are just so obsessed with their own short-term wants that they are willing to destroy the community they are trying to get support from in the process. Below are my observations, gleaned from years of actual support leech encounters. Anatomy There are two subspecies of support leech, however hybrids are not uncommon: The clueless support leech is uninitiated in the ways of open source support, and possibly in IRC, mailing list, or forum courtesy in general. With proper education, some clueless support leeches can be persuaded to morph into community members -- a completely different, non-parasitic, species. The...

Inside the Drupal toolbox.

Today's BoF for new Drupal contributors went better than I could have hoped. I've seen three of the participants in the issue queue already! One thing that came up at the BoF session was taht new contributors aren't always sure how to set up their dev environment and choose tools that will make playing in the issue queue easier chx* nano, komodo, bzr, kubuntu chx* lots and lots of good music is very important to get you in the groove (see my blog post on flow) wonder95* MAc Book Pro, AMP setup using MacPorts, Komodo IDE with xdebug and FF Xdebug Helper extensions, prefer Git jcfiala* komodo, mercurial. Either wamp or virtualbox to work in ubuntu. sepeck* notepad++ joshuarogers* Geany...