Tag Archives: DevZuz

DevZuz Global Get Together in Cebu

enzuziasm (en-zoo-zee-az-uhm), n., what results from getting a group of geographically challenged developers in one place for a week.

The DevZuz development team had the rare opportunity for a get together in the Philippines a couple of weeks back, flying in from all corners of the globe to meet in the Cebu offices of Exist Global.

Philip, Brett, Emmanuel at Treff

What a great time! It has really been a reminder of just what a fun and talented bunch of friends we get to work with every day. We were really successful in making the most out of the time we had together with some solid day time work sessions and, of course, frequent after-hours socialising.

We have a couple of teams, so we spent some time catching up on what each other has been working on recently, including some of the things happening in the Apache Maven community. One of the challenges of this type of meet for a company participating in an open source project is to not start fast tracking things from the community just because you have a period of high-bandwidth communication. I was happy to see us deal with this very well – we spent time discussing the current state of the nation and producing material that can be shared with the whole project, but also diverting decisions to the public forums (even when it seems a bit obtuse to email a mailing list to respond to the person sitting next to you!)


There’s been some particularly cool things going on. We saw that Archiva is getting very close to its first feature complete release, and the first Continuum feature complete beta was released while we were there. Emmanuel also shared with us some GWT work he started experimenting with for the trip (look for it on the Continuum developer list shortly). Shane got to tell us about what has been happening in NMaven (which is in incubation at Apache).

On the Eclipse front, we also saw the great progress that’s been happening in Q for Eclipse, which has turned out to be some very solid Eclipse integration for Maven (in fact, I’m using it all the time now). We also saw how the Kepler project proposal is progressing.

Finally, I spent a bit of time talking about our open source community involvement as I mentioned in my previous post, looking at how it is today and how we can always improve on it.

But the socialising was the best part, of course! It was great to have everyone together and get to know people a little better. For one, we discovered exactly who the karaoke stars in our midst are, and those of us who perhaps shouldn’t quit our day job.


As you can tell by some of the other blog posts here, food is pretty central to the experience of visiting the Philippines – particularly in Cebu. And we enjoyed plenty of it! I think I enjoyed it too much, as by the end of the week I couldn’t possibly fit another thing in – I even struggled to eat the halo-halo. It was all delicious, and our hosts were kind enough not to ask us to try the balut.

Statue of Lapu Lapu

We wrapped up with a great last day touring around Cebu to see some of the sights. We were blessed with beautiful weather (as we had been the whole week, really) – and it was quite a shock to the system after that last day to return home to winter.

Thanks to all of our friends at Exist for hosting us for the week – I hope we get to do it again soon! I’ve started to post some photos on flickr for those that want to see more.


Healthy Activity on the Maven Users List

With the entire DevZuz team together last week, we’ve been spending some time sharing our thoughts on the things that are important to us. For my part, I decided to put together a presentation on how community-style development works in the ASF and how DevZuz should be participating in it. (For those that are interested, I highly recommend taking a look at the Stefano’s ApacheCon slides on community building).

I was looking for an example to start with, and for me, a great example of a healthy community at Maven is the users list. Most questions are getting answers, and there’s great participation from both the project developers and other users. To get a better look at what exactly happens on there, I picked up the MBoxer Lab I started last year to see how list participation looked.

I looked at a few different properties, but the raw number of threads and number of posts by individuals was the most helpful. This was all done reasonably briefly, so the numbers are rough (very minimal de-duplication done, for example). For that reason, and to avoid individual comparisons between numbers of little difference, I’ve anonymised the list (with a couple of exceptions). I’m happy to share the actual data with anyone that asks.

Below are the top 20 posters for 2007 so far (out of the ~1485 people who have posted this year).

Contributors # Threads # Posts
Wayne Fay 490 636
Wendy Smoak 180 226
Franz See 148 192
4. 92 129
5. 88 118
6. 85 110
7. 85 109
8. 72 72
9. 70 96
10. 69 104
11. 64 90
12. 63 123
13. 63 64
14. 62 79
15. 60 73
16. 59 66
17. 54 64
18. 52 69
19. 52 69
20. 52 62

The main thing I noticed was that while there was a small number of people doing a large amount of work, there was still a large amount of people giving decent coverage. This is an important reason why the Maven user community is presently so healthy. My expectation would be that if someone needed to take a break, it’d be likely the others would step up (which we have seen happen in the past).

So, thanks to everyone that contributes – every small bit of help makes the list all the more effective. But particularly thanks to those near the top of this list for all the time they’ve spent helping out this year. I have to admit I was surprised by some of the names included, which goes to show it’s often a pretty thankless task.

I do want to specifically mention Wayne, Wendy and Franz, though, as they have remained the top 3 participants for the last 12 months or more. I didn’t see much point in anonymising their names, as I think it would be blatantly obvious anyway!

Finally, given that part of the reason for doing this was to look at our own involvement, I was proud to note a good number of the DevZuz team in that list. Participation such as this remains completely voluntary and is frequently done on their own time. So, special kudos goes out to Wendy, Franz, Deng, Carlos, and Emmanuel who are all keeping up a lot of good work there. And of course, they are not alone – plenty of other members of the team contribute from time to time as they can.

I’ve yet to take a look at the other lists at Maven, but it will be interesting to compare their development, and the differences in the developers list.

If anyone is interested in more information on how the numbers were derived or wants to take a closer look at MBoxer, feel free to drop me a line or a comment.