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From Gilles <>
Subject Re: [Numbers] Scope?
Date Thu, 02 Feb 2017 15:25:08 GMT
On Thu, 2 Feb 2017 13:15:00 +0000, sebb wrote:
> On 2 February 2017 at 12:35, Emmanuel Bourg <> 
> wrote:
>> Le 1/02/2017 à 20:11, Gilles a écrit :
>>> One aspect is that if we have separate components, they can target
>>> different versions (each time answering the above question).
>>> People in "Commons" pushing for a supposedly minimal mass for a
>>> component are at odds with offering more choices to contributors.
>>> We can't be expected to work with a hand tied behind the back for
>>> the sake of the "unknown" programmer.
>>> Removing the fun entails less opportunities to gather interest for
>>> the project, so that eventually there won't be any code at all,
>>> neither Java 8, nor Java 7.
>> Keep in mind that developers are users before becoming contributors. 
>> If
>> we target a narrower set of users we also limit our ability to 
>> recruit
>> new contributors. So we have to find a balance between not too old
>> technologies to avoid scaring potential contributors, and not too 
>> recent
>> to keep a decent user base that will provide new contributors.
>> As far as I'm concerned the 'scary' limit is anything < Java 5. I
>> wouldn't mind contributing to a Java 5, 6 or 7 project is it's
>> fulfilling an important need for me.
> +1

The reasoning is fine.

But concretely, we've seen more people leaving this project because
of a perceived "backwardness" than the opposite.
[At a presentation of Commons Math (FOSDEM 2013), a question was
asked about the Java version; the answer (that the we'd stick to
Java 5) elicited a perplexed look (and zero contributor).]

 From your argument above, we could conclude that any project that
is not attracting new contributors is useless.
Is that so?
If not, there must be something else, something other than the
contents, that should make people willing to volunteer here rather
than take the code and do their stuff somewhere else...


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