Publishing of Contribution Statistics

In the last meeting, the MariaDB Foundation Board proposed the regular publishing of contribution statistics. This post is an update on our progress and the first report.

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Contribution Wish List

Would you like to contribute to the MariaDB Server code base, its feature set, its quality? Here’s what you can do to help – in other words, here’s our Contribution Wish List

Scratching your own itch

The assumption around code contributions is usually that the code contributor extends the product in a direction that corresponds to the contributor’s own needs, which in turn are close to the needs of other users. “Scratching your own itch” is the phrase commonly used.

Some itches are more for the common good

That said, we have also been approached by potential providers of contributions that would take a more general approach.

Contributions, our lifeblood

The lifeblood of MariaDB Foundation is contributions. Our trinity consists of the fundamental values of Adoption (of MariaDB Server), Openness (of the MariaDB Server codebase), and Continuity (of our operations and activities), all of which are centered around MariaDB Server. We rely on our financial sponsors to finance our activities, but the financial value of the code contributions we receive outshines the total sponsorship payments. That has been the case every year since MariaDB Server was launched.

Giving recognition to code contributions

The MariaDB Foundation has not given proper recognition to this fact, of the value of our contributions.

Shanghai MariaDB Unconference Nov 2019

In our quest to promote development of MariaDB Server, what we have come to call Unconferences form a key part. These developer meetings have traditionally been organised twice a year, and 2019 is no exception. After the North American Unconference in New York in February, Asia Pacific was in turn with Shanghai in November. And, no, we have not forgotten Europe; expect an EMEA Unconference next year.

Hosts and environment

Microsoft were our hosts, at their fabulous campus in the peaceful outskirts of Shanghai. “Where are all the Chinese?” was a common foreigner reaction;

Progress on Pull Request Processing

In his blog post “On Contributions, Pride and Cockiness ” in May, MariaDB Foundation CEO Kaj Arnö spoke of a renewed focus on MariaDB Server pull requests. Processing community pull requests in good time is a key part of our mission, but we’d been falling behind, and receiving justifiable criticism. At the time of that article, there were 167 open pull requests, with many open for far too long, and contributors were frustrated.

We set out two end goals:

  • Reduce backlog of open pull requests
  • Motivate contributors to make more contributions

There’s been no noticeable uptick in contributions since then, but we’ve made good progress in reducing the number of open pull requests. …

On Contributions, Pride and Cockiness

At MariaDB Foundation, we are proud of MariaDB Server getting plenty of contributions. But we don’t want to get cocky, so here is an update about where we stand, and what we want to make happen.

First, we have shown our contribution pride in several places. On 15 February 2019, I tweeted

Repeating: On code contributions, #MariaDB beats #MySQL 1009 to 247: We have over a thousand (1009) closed pull requests on GitHub (and 179 open), MySQL has 247 closed (1 open).

In our Annual Report 2018, we spent several pages, talking about pull requests and patches, showing code contribution statistics. …