[Networkit] Taking my leave

Raphael C drraph at gmail.com
Sat Apr 23 20:01:34 CEST 2016


On 22 April 2016 at 18:05, Christian Staudt <christian.staudt at kit.edu> wrote:
>
>> On 22 Apr 2016, at 13:56, Raphael C <drraph at gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>
>> In short, I think there is a strong need for a tool such as networkit
>> and I am very grateful it exists.
>
>
> A follow-up comment: If you rely on NetworKit (or any free software project) for your work, think about how you can involve yourself (like Raphael just did).
>
> Don’t rely too much on the idea that a small research group, however committed, will pull all the weight of this code base always (and play publish or perish on the side). The beauty of the open model we chose is that nobody really owns the code. Whoever can make collaboration happen “owns” it at that moment. This makes it safe for external collaborators to contribute: If you don’t like the direction this is going, permission has already been given to create a fork. However, since this divides resources for everyone, there is always an incentive to find consensus.
>
> Don’t think your contribution is too low-level. Designing algorithms requires specialists, but because they are specialists, they will overlook things that are also important. Most users have programming skills, and every user can evaluate whether the software does its job.
>

I hope this isn't too presumptuous but from my experience there are
some basic steps which increase the likelihood of community
participation in an open software project.

- I would move the whole project to github. A lot of people are
familiar with it and it presents an attractive and open interface for
people to report issues and to take part in development.  See
https://github.com/scikit-learn/scikit-learn/pulls for example.
- A very small change I would make is to make the mailing list
archives publicly viewable. At the moment you have to subscribe to see
them.
- Have an easily findable list of simple jobs that a beginner dev can
start with.  github makes this very easy via its tags.  Currently
https://networkit.iti.kit.edu/ doesn't obviously have a section on how
to contribute at all that I could see.   Basically, make it really
really easy for people to contribute code and make it clear what needs
to be done (also roadmaps etc are very helpful).


I am sure there are many more but this is just a start.

Raphael



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