[Sugar-devel] community influence on development

Greg Smith gregsmithpm at gmail.com
Tue Jul 28 11:51:02 EDT 2009

Hi Guys,

I'm reluctant to dive in to a full blown process discussion but I'm
not opposed to others doing that :-)

Nonetheless, this is a recurring theme which is a barrier to developer
engagement so I'll put in my 2 cents.

A few weeks ago we exchanged some e-mails abut how to update the wiki
and get things on the roadmap (e.g.
As I got in to it, I realized that I don't have enough detail yet to
follow that process effectively.

Is the current roadmap building system working for other deployments
and/or developers?

In order to gather the data and prepare meaningful requests, I decided
to dig in to the details of a single deployment. My strategy there is
described in this e-mail:

Still working on that. End goal is a Trac query w/bug IDs relevant for
GPA. Each bug  tied to a lesson plan or class activity so designs and
details can be quickly validated against the use cases. With bug query
in hand, I plan to send it repeatedly to the list until I find
developers to work on them.

Will that strategy work for others? Dan and Bastien, do you have a
link to the list of things your deployments need?

I can work with a motivated volunteer to collect all incoming ideas
but I'm not in a position to do that myself right now.

If each deployment had a prioritized and detailed list we could
aggregate those and find things which solve problems for lots of
customers at once. Then we're ready to define a roadmap.

In my experience, its 5 - 10 interactions to nail down a feature/bug
fix for a specific customer. e.g. find a problem or need, communicate
it, respond to clarifying questions, try work arounds, go back to user
and validate source of the issue, gather design ideas, validate design
ideas, check them against original problem, etc.

Its also at least 6 months from feature/bug submission to deployed
software in the school. So its not easy! Hang in there and keep laser
focused on a few top items until you get them.

The key is to have all the gritty detail ready in advance so you can
move a feature/bug through the steps quickly once you get developer

I'm working on the GPA list (see:
http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Gardner_Pilot_Academy). If others have
lists of requirements, send them out. Then perhaps Simon, Tomeu et al
can link to them from some Roadmap creation page. We may be further
along than we think.

HTHs. Comments, corrections and additions welcome.


Greg S

Date: Tue, 28 Jul 2009 20:58:04 +0800
From: Bastien <bastienguerry at googlemail.com>
Subject: Re: [Sugar-devel] community influence on development
To: Tomeu Vizoso <tomeu at sugarlabs.org>
Cc: sugar-devel <sugar-devel at lists.sugarlabs.org>
Message-ID: <87zlap0xsz.fsf at bzg.ath.cx>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii

Tomeu Vizoso <tomeu at sugarlabs.org> writes:

> About having a person at every deployment, some months ago I started
> creating this list of contacts:
> http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Deployment_Team/Places

Thanks for the reminder.  My idea was more to have only *one* person in
Sugar responsible to get/filter/dispatch deployments feedback - just as
Greg was answering requests from various horizons (cc'ing Greg to this

> Maybe this time we'll have more luck having people listed there?

Yes - but I'm afraid having the role I mention above is the only way to
"activate" the list in Deployment_Team/Places

> Btw, why is this thread in sugar-devel instead of in IAEP?

(Well, I'm just a bit cautious about threads jumps...)


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