GnuCash Dev teams

John Ralls jralls at
Tue Feb 1 11:37:22 EST 2011

On Feb 1, 2011, at 8:00 AM, Christian Stimming 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 because 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.

To soften Christian's comment a bit, you need to know that there are only 5 developers with commit privilege who have committed more than a few code changes in the last year, and a like number of people who regularly submit code patches. There are also a couple (yes, two) committers who work on documentation and another one or two who work on translations. The Gnucash codebase is fairly large, and each of us tends to specialize a bit because it's hard to keep the whole thing in one's head all at once.  It's too small a group to divide responsibilities along the lines you propose.

Another problem with your idea is that splitting coding responsibility into bug-creators (implementors of new features) and bug-fixers is very inefficient because the bug-fixers must devote substantial effort to learning what the bug-creators have done recently.

Now to get more harsh: Even the worst consultants spend some time learning about an organization before making recommendations. If you do have business management experience, imagine a consultant telling you as part of his pitch that your department needs to be reorganized. Think you'd bring him on? I sure wouldn't. (Yes, I have hired consultants. My career was in manufacturing management, not programming.)

John Ralls

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