GnuCash Dev teams

Donald Allen donaldcallen at
Tue Feb 1 11:36:07 EST 2011

On Tue, Feb 1, 2011 at 11:00 AM, Christian Stimming <stimming at>wrote:

> Zitat von Sebastien Daniel <sebastien.daniel at>:
>  I recently joined the GnuCash -devel list, hoping I could contribute in
>> some manner.
>> The experience I can give is related to business management, accounting
>> and my academics, which are in the field of business administration and
>> information technologies.
>> As a note, I am by no means a developper, I only know html/CSS (for now).
> Very good. Thanks for the introduction. (You might want to add a remark
> about the country you're located in.)
> I guess you have already read that wiki page should explain the different way of contribution. In
> case that page is not entirely clear, feel free to change the wording there
> to improve it even more.
>  This is also my first shot at contributing in an opensource project, so my
>> methods might not be the most appreciated, if so, simply point it out
>> (nicely pls :P ) and i'll adapt.
>> My first contribution would be to attempt a certain form of organisation,
>> this being on a voluntary basis, everyone should make their own decision on
>> which "team" they would want to be.
>> *The idea:
>> *Have two teams, each contributing in a different manner.
>> Team A would work on known issues, bugs and stability.
>> Team B would work on fonctionnality requests, general GnuCash improvement.
>> I believe this would help drive GnuCash efforts all in the same direction
>> (in sorts).
>> This is an idea, please give your feedback.
> I'm sorry, but I have some very blunt feedback: This idea is out of touch
> with reality and useless. Please keep watching this list for some time and
> you'll soon realize that each active developer is always working on both
> different goals that you've mentioned.
> Instead of splitting the contributor base artificially as a form of team
> structure, you should rather think of this community as a "centered set"
> with many different possible levels of involvement. People are joining for
> increased involvement and are leaving for lesser involvement all the time.
> If you have ideas that might help the structure of this existing kind of
> group, please let us know.

Daniel --

You have gotten some very wise feedback from Christian. While he
characterized it as "blunt", he was far kinder than what you would have
encountered in some other communities I'm familiar with (try writing to some
openbsd developers' list and tell them how to organize their project when
your self-admitted prior experience is writing some html).

Now retired, I have many, many years of experience in software development,
both as an individual contributor and as a manager of software projects
large and small. I have worked at places like BBN and MIT that are populated
by the kinds of unselfish people who contribute their time and talents to
open source projects. I can tell you that it is essentially impossible to
help manage such a project without having first gotten your hands dirty --
very dirty. Your desire to contribute to Gnucash is laudable, but if you
ever hope to contribute to how the development of this project is organized,
you need to first pay your dues as a developer. This not only builds your
credibility as a member of the community, but it will give you the essential
knowledge necessary to improving the development processes. Note that I said
"necessary", not "sufficient". Even if you spend two years working on this
project and make valuable contributions, you might not have the big-picture
ability, or the personality, to get a group of smart, opinionated developers
(who don't depend on you for their livelihood; in other words, there are no
paychecks involved here that can be used to force people to obey someone
with bad ideas) to buy into your organizational ideas.


> Best Regards,
> Christian
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> gnucash-devel at

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