Changes to SproutCore

written by Charles Jolley

Today I am writing to announce three important changes to the SproutCore project to better accomodate the community who are using it.

Change 1: SproutCore 2.0 Is Now Amber

SproutCore 2.0 started out as a rebuild of SproutCore around a more modular and modern design. Since then, the project has evolved in a different direction that means it will never be a complete replacement for SproutCore 1.x.

Therefore, we have decided to rename SproutCore 2.0 and manage it as a separate project. The new project will take on the original code name – Amber. It will be run by Yehuda Katz, Tom Dale, and Peter Wagenet.

The Amber guys are working on a new website and complete update for the new project. When they are ready we will post a link to the blog here so you can find out more about it. In the meantime, work on this project is continuing in the sproutcore20 repository on Github.

Change 2: New Contributor Process

With the Amber change, SproutCore will now once again be the sole domain of those wanting to create fast, native style applications on the web based on the SproutCore 1.x code base.

There is a very active community of developers who have invested heavily in this area. But, due to the structure of our governance system (via a Core Team), we haven’t done a very good job at making it easy for members of the community to get actively involved.

As of today we are adopting a new contributor process that will change all of this. The new process is based on the Reviewer/Committer model used by WebKit and several other big projects. It is fully documented on the SproutCore wiki, but here are the highlights:

  • All SproutCore projects will have reviewers and committers. Reviewers have the authority to approve changes to the code, committers can commit code when it is approved by a reviewer.
  • Anyone can become a committer once they have had a few patches accepted and a reviewer is willing to sponsor them. Anyone can become a reviewer once they have experience as a committer and the majority of other reviewers votes to approve them.
  • There is no longer a “Core Team”. Instead, we expect reviewers and committers to agree as a group on directional changes to the project. All discussions will be held on the sproutcore-dev mailing list or in IRC. We will avoid private mailing lists.

The goal is to make it possible for anyone who is willing to put in the time and effort to contribute to SproutCore to become a leader in the community. You don’t need a secret handshake to get in – just contribute.

To get this process started, we have identified a group of people – both former Core Team members and others – who qualify as either Committers or Reviewers and reached out to them. You can see the list of those who have already accepted on the wiki. If you aren’t on the list and you want to be, please email Tyler Keating and he will help you out.

Change 3: New Leadership

Finally, I want to talk a bit about my own role in SproutCore. Over the last year, my job has evolved to include a lot less coding and more other activities. While I am still very passionate about seeing SproutCore grow, I am not able to provide the kind of detailed attention that the project needs on a day-to-day level.

Part of the solution to this is to move towards the community driven contributor process above so that no one person can be a bottleneck anymore. We also need someone who has shown dedication to the community to help lead the process.

Tyler Keating is an independent developer who has been contributing to SproutCore for the last four years. He has shown dedication to the project and a desire to get others involved that is just what SproutCore needs.

Therefore, Tyler has agreed to become the new administrator for SproutCore. He is the main guy you should now contact with questions about managing the project day to day. I am going to remain as an honorary project owner so I can chime in on directional things.  In general though, I hope SproutCore can become more community directed than it has been in the past.  Tyler is here to help facilitate that.

Open source is only as strong as the community around it. I have been proud to get to work with some of the best technical talent on the planet through SproutCore. Thank you everyone for your contributions over the last several years.

SproutCore exists to serve your needs. Get involved and make it your own!

PS. I am posting a similar version of this post to the SproutCore mailing list where we can discuss this in the open.  Please feel free to join in there.