State of Pidgin: Attracting and Maintaining New Contributors

Tim Murphy tnmurphy at
Tue Oct 3 13:21:00 EDT 2017

I tried (and failed) to fix an issue with 3.0 where lines of text pasted
into the IM window had all their newlines removed (actually not converted
to something equivalent in HTML).

I can say that the organisation and the documenation were 100% of the
problem for me. The VCS is just one of those arguments one should ignore
because it will waste a lot of energy on something that is utterly trivial.
I use git and merc and I would use bzr or darcs if I had to. What I
couldn't do was work out where I needed to look to make my change.



On 3 October 2017 at 17:51, Kyle Daniel <kylerdanielster at> wrote:

> So, having recently dove into pidgin/Libpurple I hope my perspective can
> help.
> The point was made that the vcs is far for the biggest issue for new
> contributors and I whole heartedly agree. I also think it is not as big a
> barrier to entry as one might expect/think.
> This basically got me going, nbd.
> mercurial-847359064.html
> Do I think it likely easier to grow pidgins development community using
> git/git*- yes. However, I also believe that a good community easily
> outweighs what vcs and host are used.
> Gary was awesome and helpful while I was trying to get going, even though
> I highjacked his stream a few times ; ) .So I didn’t mind learning a bit of
> mercurial to get involved.
> Now, I just couldn’t get any traction trying to overcome the obstacles I
> faced ones inside the code base.
> My 2 cents without getting too philosophical about one vcs or the other.
> On Tue, Oct 3, 2017 at 11:27 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.
>> 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._______________________________________________
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