To my utter shock, I’ve been working on beets for more than 10 years now. I’ve learned a ridiculous amount through developing beets and have deeply enjoyed meeting all of the people in the beets community. In fact, all these years later, I somehow still like working on beets—even fixing Unicode-related crashes!
I can’t ignore, however, that—as much as I enjoy doing it—I can’t devote as much time to the project as I once did. A couple of years ago, I took a job that is known for its tendency to occupy every second of spare time with its all-consuming and infinitely varying demands. This lack of time has led to some sad consequences—most proximately, I haven’t been able to find the time to push a new release out the door in months. And I haven’t been able to hang out on IRC almost at all.
So while I don’t want to leave the project at all, I also would love to stop being a “single point of failure” for the project’s progress. For the last five or so years, the beets community has done an incredible job contributing fixes, features, and documentation—far beyond what I’d be able to do myself. But there is a category of things that the community has not been able to help with, which I’d label as the “core” tasks of maintainership. Things like these:
- Releasing new versions!
- Providing timely code reviews on pull requests.
- Triaging new issues, even when they can’t be handled immediately.
- Answering questions that come in over the mailing list or Discourse, even when the answer is, “sorry, I don’t think that thing you want is currently possible!”
I propose to create a “core team” of beets maintainers who commit to cover these tasks. Without any specific notions quite yet, I’d like to write down a lightweight process for being designated as a member of this team and what responsibilities that entails. We would open some kind of communication channel for discussing the high-level steering of the project. There would be no compensation beyond the respect and admiration of the beets community.
For more on what I’m imagining here, check out this blog post by Nick Fitzgerald and the other posts it links to at the bottom.
I would love to hear anyone’s thoughts on this plan! If you think this is a good or bad idea, please weigh in and give me any recommendations you have for how to manage this process. That can be independent of actually wanting to serve on this team. I have a few ideas for people I think would be awesome team members, and if this seems like it’s becoming a thing I’ll invite them directly to consider joining up—but feel free to volunteer yourself immediately.
Thanks for everything, as always,