Our Achilles’ heel is a lack of human resources: there is not enough manpower to build what we want to achieve.
Let me explain myself.
We’ve been trying to solve this by offering bounties and openly inviting people to join. Thanks to a bounty opened for the Atomic Swap feature, we ended up with a RFC that should be reviewed: Atomic Swaps. Also 2 Pull Requests: Atomic swaps by GeneFerneau · Pull Request #618 · mimblewimble/grin-wallet · GitHub and Changes for Atomic Swaps by GeneFerneau · Pull Request #3643 · mimblewimble/grin · GitHub.
These RFCs and PRs should be discussed, audited, reviewed and tested, we can’t just merge them, it doesn’t work like that and in order to move forward with these changes we need people.
We also have few more pending RFCs:
These should be reviewed too, and then someone should write the code… but where?
One of our strengths is that we have two implementations of Grin, and I wish we could have more. But everything comes with a price tag attached and what is the price? simple: we need manpower. I hold the opinion that a RFC can be reviewed with no coding involved. However, it won’t be healthy for us right now to approve a RFC without having someone committed to implement the required changes, wallets should not be left behind RFCs. This is why we need more people involved.
Whether some people like it or not, no one owns Grin, no company, no person, no non-profit. That’s great, right? yes, but again, everything comes with a price tag attached. Since there is no ownership, there is no leadership, this is like the wild wild west of the open source projects. One of the greatest benefits of this is that this encourages true innovation by giving the opportunity to anyone of working on whatever the person feels it fits better for them. Anyone can just join, explore the project and work on things that they found themselves more productive.
How can then we have more contributors?
It is clear that we need manpower and some people will say: just pay them!, but I will respond: yes, but not yes. Yes, we should compensate our contributors, however, it doesn’t make any good to have a one-time contributor unless they’re working on specific things like security and/or cryptography. It is actually bad for Grin to keep promoting this idea that anyone will get paid for a few lines of code. Maybe this is not the explicit idea that we’re trying to transmit, but I think that’s the idea that people are understanding.
A Software is a living thing, you will never finish to write it, it changes, it evolves over time. There is always maintenance to do, little fixes here and there. Maintenance is one of the most boring and expensive things to do, and we’re not paying attention to that.
My opinion is that: yes we should offer bounties, but bounties shouldn’t be the only source of contributions. We need to build local communities and get involved in others. That’s the only way to solve this problem. There is no shortcut, and if we don’t start paying attention to this, this yellow project will just vanish when the last contributor leaves. At the end of the day, we are all human beings.
If you are reading this and asking yourself: how can I contribute? well, start doing stuff, if you’re a coder, fork the source code and get involved. If you’re a designer, just start designing stuff. If you’re a marketer, start creating content.
We discussed before about a Groundskeepers role. I am not sure if this request was approved, but I think we could benefit a lot from that work. If that role is finally approved, I suggest organizing the Post 5.0.0 wish list. Also, it would be nice if we find a way to get the RFCs reviewed, I guess this is something where the CC can help.
I suggest that we also start planning how are we going to do this and/or what we want to do from this list:
And finally… Let’s get involved.