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Re: Why not contribute? (to GCC)

Copying David Daney's response to contrast against it:

GCC is a mature piece of software that works really well and it is in a programming domain which is not as well understood and for people such as myself, I would be intimidated from the start, to delve in and expect any contributions I make to be valuable enough to bother the existing machine with. :-)

But yes, if I overcame that intimidation, I'm sure David Daney's comments would describe the *next* barrier to overcome...


On 04/23/2010 03:33 PM, David Daney wrote:
On 04/23/2010 11:39 AM, Manuel López-Ibáñez wrote:
This seems to be the question running around the blogosphere for
several projects. And I would like to ask all people that read this
list but hardly say or do anything.

What reasons keep you from contributing to GCC?

I am going to answer why I think it is, even though I like to think that I do do something.

GCC has high standards, so anybody attempting to make a contribution for the first time will likely be requested to go through several revisions of a patch before it can be accepted.

After having spent considerable effort developing a patch, there can be a sense that the merit of a patch is somehow related to the amount of effort expended creating it. Some people don't have a personality well suited to accepting criticism of something into which they have put a lot of effort. The result is that in a small number of cases, people Bad Mouth GCC saying things like: The GCC maintainers are a clique of elitist idiots that refuse to accept good work from outsiders.

Personally I don't agree with such a view, and I don't think there is much that can be done about it. There will always be Vocal Discontents, and trying to accommodate all of them would surly be determental to GCC.

I think that some potential contributors are discouraged from contributing because they have been frightened away (by the Vocal Discontents mentioned above) before they can get started.

David Daney

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