State of Pidgin: Attracting and Maintaining New Contributors

Gary Kramlich grim at
Tue Oct 3 12:32:01 EDT 2017

On Tue, Oct 3, 2017 at 11:26 AM, David Woodhouse <dwmw2 at> wrote:
> On Tue, 2017-10-03 at 10:11 -0500, Gary Kramlich wrote:
>> I'm not sure what you mean by adoption here.  I'll assume you mean
>> entry to contribute and leave it at that.
> Indeed. But let's set aside the VC discussion completely. I didn't want
> Matěj to get shouted down unanimously, but it doesn't look like there's
> actually much point in us tilting at that windmill.
>> 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.
> Those drive-by contributions are where *everyone* starts. Those are the
> seeds from which everything else grows.

Of course :) That's how I started, as a plugin developer that was
tired of hitting bugs.

> We need them, but we *also* need to focus on the "conversation rate" —
> where we convert the drive-by contributors who just wanted to scratch
> their own itch, into repeat contributors and members of the community.
> Maybe we're just saying the same thing in different words, but your
> focus seemed to be slightly disparaging towards the one-off
> contributor. We need to *encourage* those and then encourage them to
> stay, not say "you stick around and become a long-term maintainer, or
> we're not interested". Which is how I (perhaps mis-)interpret your
> choice of words.

Sure, but that's not our problem right now.  If this was a company,
I'm saying we need more full time regulars right now not
temps/interns.  In the long run, yes we need both, but the amount of
time and effort that needs to be put in to actually mentor and
encourage those new contributors is something we can only afford a
small amount of right now.


Gary Kramlich <grim at>

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