On Sat, May 31, 2008 at 9:11 AM, Chad
This community relies heavily on volunteer
and Brion asking for a patch is part of that.
I didn't see Brion's comment as a serious request for a patch. In
fact, I'm not even sure if he thinks the idea is a good one in the
first place (or that it's "an aesthetic change that would not have any
considerable benefit whatsoever").
That particular change is a good idea, but not a high-priority fix
(Wikipedia is broken, must be fixed immediately!) so I'm not necessarily
going to jump on it that second.
My role isn't to personally do all software development for Wikimedia;
it's to make sure that necessary things get done to keep us online.
While I do some programming myself, my primary responsibility is
increasingly as an architect, project manager, gatekeeper, and mentor.
Our own programming staff is still very small; throw in a couple
contract projects and a whole bunch of volunteers with their own
individual assignments and areas of interest, and it's really a lot bigger.
When some interesting project exists, I have several possibilities:
* do it myself
* assign it to a staff programmer (Tim :)
* find someone to assign it to as a contract project
* find someone interested in poking at it for the fun and experience
* wait for someone interested to poke at it and be there to help them
It might be tempting to try to take on every project myself, but that's
not a good use of Foundation resources! ;)
This is an open source project, and there's a lot of room for people to
"scratch an itch" on particular projects that interest them. Being open
about our issues, soliciting improvements, and being there to help new
programmers learn by doing is how we grow our developer team.