I was enjoying my day off with my family and my brother who was in town
visiting when I discovered this thread on my phone. It was fun reading
things go by, but there was no way that I was going to try and respond
via T9. But now that I’m back in the office let’s begin anew to address
some of the issues that were raised yesterday:
Are there development discussions happening on private lists,
say inside Microsoft within the IronRuby or DLR team? If so,
you should really think about moving as much of those discussions
as possible into the open.
When I first joined the company back in January, we had a regular set of
F2F meetings called the DLR Design Discussions. Culturally at Microsoft,
we do tend to do a lot of technical discussions F2F since, well, we all
work within about 50 feet or so of each other Almost all complex code
reviews and technical design are done in front of a computer/whiteboard
in someone’s office. Given a choice, like most people, we will take the
path of least resistance.
That said, I do think that there are a number of things that we can do
to improve how we communicate with y’all. So let’s address some of the
issues raised on the thread and then I’ll summarize with some proposals
at the end.
there doesn’t appear to be any discussion about the runtime and
Guilty as charged. Partly because of cultural things above, and partly
due to lack of bandwidth in driving these discussions in the open. I did
have the crazy idea of videotaping our design meetings, but I’m not
convinced that’s the best way of getting information out to folks - it’s
really unfiltered and if you lack context they’re really rather useless.
But wait until the end of this mail to see some ideas.
I think some of what we’re seeing is a result of IronRuby’s dependence
on the DLR – which appears to be far from finalized, and which is not
going to be driven by the community at all.
This is true in the sense that the implementation of the DLR will not
be driven by the community. However, the design of the DLR is
absolutely driven by community feedback. The IronRuby compiler is
technically ‘community’ insofar as the DLR itself is concerned, and
there’s been lots of design changes in DLR due to IronRuby.
I’m a little frustrated as well by this situation, and I’d like to
see more technical discussions between MS engineers on this list.
I heard five developers, but perhaps that was a couple testers/QA
I’m pretty sure that I talked about our org chart before, but here it is
Tomas M.: compiler dev
Haibo Luo: compiler test
John L.: program manager
John M. from our larger team contributes code as well, but only
between stints in his ‘real job’.
Most of our discussions happen on the whiteboard in 41/5612. I agree
that we need to fix this, see end of mail.
We hold a bi-weekly (soon to become weekly I think due to the # of
times that I cancel it) meeting for the IronRuby team. We can make this
available via a toll-free conference call # if folks want to dial into
it. We can’t do Skype etc. from inside of corpnet.
We can put together a weekly summary of changes to IronRuby/DLR so
that folks can see the changes. Right now due to the way we sync with
svn, we’re losing some information from checkin mails.
In the same weekly summary, we can post about what we’re planning on
working on next and folks outside can chime in with status reports on
what they’re working on and how it’s going.
I’d love to hear some more ideas about how we can improve our
communications / transparency.