State of Pidgin: Attracting and Maintaining New Contributors

Gary Kramlich grim at
Tue Oct 3 11:11:50 EDT 2017

On Tue, Oct 3, 2017 at 9:59 AM, David Woodhouse <dwmw2 at> wrote:
> On Tue, 2017-10-03 at 09:43 -0500, Gary Kramlich wrote:
>> I hear what you're saying, but honestly it's not much.  I went into
>> detail about the drive by contributions and similar topics in the
>> video, so I can only assume you missed it, didn't watch the video at
>> all, or just out right disregarded it.
> I haven't watched the video at all; I've tried to read the emails with
> due diligence but even that's a stretch today... :)
>>   Aside from that, I also
>> mention (at least I have previously) that open source software is
>> about providing choices, no one is providing a choice.  Everyone is
>> using the same tool for the same job creates a monopoly that stifles
>> innovation.  Look I'm sorry you don't feel like mercurial is worth
>> your time, but that is your issue.  We as a project are very happy
>> with it.
> That's fair enough. But it *is* a barrier to adoption, and you have
> decided that the *benefit* you get from it is worth having that
> barrier. I may go and look at the video, if I can find the time, to see
> the details of your pro/con analysis there.

I'm not sure what you mean by adoption here.  I'll assume you mean
entry to contribute and leave it at that.

That said we have much bigger problems than that right now.  We don't
need a million drive by contributions that people aren't going to see
all the way through.  We need people that are going to stick through
the entire pull request process and hopefully continue to be involved
in the project.

> And yes, it's about choices.
> In the *general* case, I find that there is a *massive* correlation
> between projects which make the choice to use esoteric version control
> systems, and projects which make all kind of other bizarre (no pun
> intended) decisions.

I've talked about this at length on my stream.  One day I'll just make
a video/clip of it.  But learning other tools usually leads to a
better understanding of our current tools.  Not doing so seems nothing
short of foolish to me.

> That correlation isn't really there for Pidgin, but it does mean that
> in general if a project is using a weird VCS it's just a hint that even
> if I *did* overcome that, I wasn't going to much like working on the
> project anyway. And I'm not the only one who's found that.

This seems like nothing more than speculation, and maybe FUD from the
"Git is the one true VCS" crowd ;)

> So when people look at a project in bzr or hg or arch or other random
> things, it isn't *just* the initial technical hurdle (I mean, how hard
> *is* it to do 'git clone hg::https://bitbucket…') that puts them off.
> It's just a generally bad "first impression".

That's okay.  As I mentioned earlier, we're not interested in drive by
contributions that aren't going to seem them through :)  We're having
a hard enough time keeping up with the contributions that we do have
where they have seen them through.


Gary Kramlich <grim at>

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