[OSM-dev] X-Prizes

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Wed Mar 19 12:38:13 GMT 2008


> But there are a few really big ones. These are reliant on our few
> developers being able to take a break from fire-fighting, which we're
> doing a lot of the time, and diving into them. It's great when this
> happens

Maybe it would be worthwile to try to get more capable people on  
board, instead of squeezing the last bit of juice out of those we  
already have.

If money is available, maybe it could be channeled towards setting up  
a true "dev" machine which has proper data (i.e. a fully loaded mysql  
with history tables and all), or even a few instances of that, so  
that people can put their ideas to test there. Maybe "testing" would  
be a better name than "dev"; I would still expect people to have  
their own machines available for development but working with massive  
amounts of data is one of the core things in our project and not  
everyone has the tools at home to do a real-world performance  
comparison between various ways of implementing an interface.

We also need to work on our culture. It is not enough to spot a  
problem and bury oneself into it, especially if you're one of the few  
people who happens to have those few more buttons that the others  
don't have. Every problem needs to be looked at from the angle: Is  
this something we need our core people to DO, or would it be  
sufficient for our core people to offer a few insights on how it  
could/should be done and then it can be done by someone else?

I don't have the magic recipe to end all problems but surely reaching  
out to new people is immensely important and we need to find more and  
better ways to do it. We must not desecend into cynicism vis-a-vis  
new people on the lists, yes there's a proportion of people who think  
they've been here for two days and know everything better and I don't  
like them either but maybe they really do, sometimes, or even if they  
don't know everything better we could perhaps use their help.

I started the "Things to do" page on the Wiki in May last year as a  
result from a similar "we need more developers" discussion. It may  
need a bit of an overhaul, the "export tab" thing for example is  
still listed as open and not being done by anybody, but I still think  
the main effort is really really identifying and documenting the  
tasks we want done, and putting developers that don't happen to be  
root at osm in a position to effectively work on them and give them the  
warm fuzzy feeling that their contribution is really sought after.  
These things will find us people to do the job - money may also be a  
factor but I'm sure it is further down the list.


Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"

More information about the dev mailing list