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From Bryan Bende <bbe...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: Lowering the barrier of entry
Date Fri, 25 Jan 2019 14:59:10 GMT
I think we have a lot more documentation than most projects, but I
think an issue is that content is scattered in many different
locations, and some of the docs are huge reference guides where it can
be hard to find all the pieces of what you are trying to do.

The first thing a new contributor wants to do is get the code and run
a build, and we do have a quick-start guide linked to on the site, but
I think there is a lot of extra information in there that is not
really relevant to someone just wanting get the code and build. We
could have separate guides per OS like "Build NiFi on Linux", "Build
NiFi on Windows", etc, where each guide was 4-5 steps like:

- Clone repo
- checkout master
- run maven
- cd to assembly
- ./bin/nifi.sh

The next thing they want to do is contribute a change, and we have a
great contributor guide, but again I think there could be a very short
tutorial for the most common steps:

- fork repo
- clone fork
- create branch
- make changes
- push branch
- submit pr

and then say something like "for a more detailed description of the
contribution process, please reference the Contributor Guide".

If we then make these getting started guides more prominent right in
the middle of the NiFi homepage, then maybe they will be easier to
find for new community members.

We can keep extending this idea to other common tasks beyond just
building and contributing.


On Thu, Jan 24, 2019 at 8:03 PM Andy LoPresto <alopresto@apache.org> wrote:
>
> Hi folks,
>
> Based on some recent (and long-term) experiences, I wanted to discuss with the community
what we could do to lower the barrier of entry to using & contributing to NiFi. I hope
to get some good feedback from both long-time and newer members, and determine some immediate
concrete steps we can take.
>
> Problems identified:
> * NiFi has a number of custom profiles, so a simple “mvn clean install” in project
root doesn’t get a new developer up and running immediately
> * The API is very well defined, but for new contributors, it can be a challenge to know
where to put functionality, and building a custom processor + NAR and deploying isn’t a
one-step process
> * Project size (and build size/time) is large. This can restrict the minimum hardware
necessary, elongate the development cycle, etc.
> * Some new users do not receive mailing list replies
>
> Possible solutions:
> * On a clean git clone, “mvn clean install” should build a working instance. Maybe
we provide a quickstart.sh script to handle the default maven build, change to the target
directory, and start NiFi?
> * Individual contributors have written excellent blogs, and documentation exists, but
making it more prominent or more easily accessed could help?
> * Extension registry will solve all the world’s problems (related to bundling and build
time)
> * Not sure about this one — I don’t know if it’s because they’re not subscribed,
their mail client is blocking them, etc.
>
> I’ve said my bit, now I am eager to hear from other community members on their experiences,
steps that helped them, and suggestions for the future to continue to make the NiFi community
welcoming to new users. Thanks.
>
>
> Andy LoPresto
> alopresto@apache.org
> alopresto.apache@gmail.com
> PGP Fingerprint: 70EC B3E5 98A6 5A3F D3C4  BACE 3C6E F65B 2F7D EF69
>

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