Wednesday, February 07, 2007

rubinius Interview: rue and IRC Summaries

Recently, rue has been posting summaries of important discussions from the #rubinius irc channel to the rubinius mailing list. This is a great way to catch up the discussions you might have missed.


What made you decide to start writing these irc summaries?

rue: I got back into looking at rubinius a month or so ago after finally getting some free time and did the normal signing up for the ML and idling on IRC routine. After a while I noticed that there is very little public communication despite the yelps of interest from all over Rubyworld and beyond. On IRC, it is usually just the knowledgeable regulars talking.

A good part of it has to do with the subject matter; people are apprehensive about diving in to a compiler project. The catalyst for any thriving newsgroup or ML and thereby the community are questions which yield answers and reciprocal information about the project and with people afraid to ask, the information flow just is not getting established.

So I decided to try to both keep the casual public informed and to try to encourage people to participate whether in discourse or committing code. It is a lot easier to get into rubinius than one would think.

Plus, as you can tell, I like to write.

How do you decide what to keep and what to drop from the summaries?

rue: The summaries are largely the result of personal bias and assumptions I make. Any news about the overall progress and new features and so on are automatically in but aside from that I tend to pick anything that was new or unclear to me or someone else on the channel.

The IRC conversation flow actually makes it fairly easy to highlight the important bits (after some signal to noise reduction practise.)

And some of the stuff in the summaries has nothing to do with IRC except that something there sparked an interest in me to write about it.

Do you have any plans to start putting your summaries into a blog or web format?

rue: Yes, as soon as possible. It is unlikely that I would at this point create any sort of a dedicated structure for these but once some technical problems are resolved, I will add these to my modest journal.

Which threads have you summarized that you think have the most value?

rue: It is hard to ascribe value that way; I like the chats that taught me something and I believe others feel the same way.

Anything that yields follow-ups and gets people involved is the most valuable for the project but it is hard to say which ones do that ahead of time.

Which threads do you remember from before you started summarizing them that you wish you could go back and capture?

rue: Mainly the architectural issues. The project often seems daunting and it will certainly take some time to get one's head fully around it. Anything that sheds light to how and why things are done is excellent material.

1 comment:

Dalach said...

This is a great idea! I'd love to follow rubinius progress. Though I'm on IRC, it's still hard for me to filter through the discussions. It would be nice if the summaries can be placed on rubini.us - some sort of simliar to Perl6 http://dev.perl.org/perl6/list-summaries/