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Re: Is Drizzle a developers-only project?

 

Baron Schwartz wrote:
Just to play devil's advocate.  Don't hate me :-)  Drizzle has a great
dev community, but I'm just writing to encourage everyone to reach out
more to users.  For example, at the upcoming MySQL conference, I see a
tutorial "Getting involved in Drizzle Development", and another
"Drizzle Storage Engine Development. Practical Example with BlitzDB".
Both sound wicked cool and interesting to about 10 possible attendees,
9 of whom are already active committers to Drizzle.

Hehe, yeah. There wasn't any coordination between any of the folks who submitted tutorials regarding Drizzle, and its funny how similarly dev-focused all three Drizzle tutorials were...

All three should be great tutorials, but you are correct, it will be unlikely that either tutorial you cite about will draw more than 20 or so people.

> Maybe I am
underestimating the interest in developing Drizzle or developing
plugins for it, I don't know.  But I feel that at some point, there
has to be an on-ramp for users, not just developers.

No, I don't think you are underestimating the interest in developing plugins. I think the issue, up until this point, has been that most of the interesting things about Drizzle have been in the arena of enabling more productive development of both plugins and the kernel.

You are absolutely correct that a focus on the user community is essential, particularly after the Bell milestone release at the end of January. It's not enough to open up the developer community. The user community must also be nourished. I hope we can keep the same strengths of the developer community (transparency, honest communication, enthusiasm, valuing open source libraries and willingness to try new things) alive in the user community as well.

So, what are the things that nourish a user community?  Here's my list:

* An open and embracing attitude towards "newbies" and folks who "just want to get things done"

* A strict policy of "no bashing, no blaming and no flaming"

* Establishing an infrastructure which *allows users to create sub-communities that reflect shared interests*. For Drizzle, with its emphasis on plugins, this is a critical piece of the community puzzle.

* Enable community-driven documentation. Drizzle is not able to use MySQL's documentation, and due to the many changes made to Drizzle, MySQL's documentation does not apply to many things in Drizzle. I believe one of the first things the Drizzle user community should do is focus on a wiki-based community documentation project to extend the existing documentation pages into a more solid and robust documentation that is entirely free of licensing issues (e.g. use a Creative Commons share-alike license)

* Share use case stories. When the first round of users begin to use Drizzle for production uses, the community should document their stories on the Drizzle wiki to encourage the adoption and growth of Drizzle.

* Continue work on integrating with as many other open source projects. Marcus Eriksson has been doing an amazing job integrating Drizzle with other projects via RabbitReplication, but our user community can and should focus on areas where Drizzle interacts with other open source projects.

* Nourish the relationship between the developer community and the user community. One of the mistakes many open source projects make is having a big wall between developers and users. Our developer community has tried hard to enable transparency in what we do, but we must find ways to give the user community a clear line of sight into what we do as developers and allow the user community to definitively and effectively influence the direction that Drizzle should go in the future. No more cathedrals.

Cheers,

jay



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