Beyond Code - Make Your Project More Successful
The life of an open source project depends on its community’s involvement.
If you feel your project could use a more streamlined workflow, this session is for you. Through a series of easily adaptable tips and best practices, we will show you how the Xtext team supercharged its contribution process.
Your project needs a lot to succeed:
- It must be easily accessible and highly visible to the outside world, especially to get feedback.
- The developer setup must be streamlined to give potential contributors a jumpstart.
- The build system should be simple to use, so developers can test their contributions before submitting them.
- The contribution process must be as painless as possible for the contributor and obviously for the reviewers and committers too.
To be honest, just a year ago Xtext was lacking in all of these areas. Although the source code was mirrored to Github, the primary repository wasn’t easily accessible at all. The lack of even a basic readme meant that potential contributors wouldn’t find a single clue. The developer setup was a painful manual process, documented in lengthy, outdated, and deeply buried wiki pages (aka, the place where information goes to die). Even the simplest documentation fixes required a multitude of manual steps and it was almost impossible to ensure everything was put into the right place.
Fast forward to today - and Xtext uses Github as the primary repository. Contributors can use the well-known Pull Request workflow to contribute changes. Jenkins test jobs can be started by just commenting on a Pull Request. An Oomph setup creates the development workspace in a few simple clicks. The documentation can even be edited online and is automatically synchronized to the website in seconds. Best of all, your project can use these techniques today!