July 19th, 2004

concerned, frustrated
  • mart

lj_dev is dying

It is official! Sourceforge confirms: lj_dev is dying.

One more crippling bombshell hit the already-beleaguered LiveJournal Development community when OSDN confirmed that LiveJournal Development interest has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all developers. Coming on the heels of a recent Microsoft survey which plainly states that lj_dev has lost more mindshare, this news serves to reinforce what we've known for many months: lj_dev is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplifed by the lack of activity on the official LiveJournal bug tracker.

You don't need to be Tatsuya Ishida to predict the future of the LiveJournal Open-source Developer community — it's plain to see: lj_dev faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for LiveJournal the open source project because lj_dev is dying. Things are looking very bad for the few remaining developers not on payroll. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

The translation system is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its core developers. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long-time translation system contributors only serve to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers: The LiveJournal stats system states that there are roughly 2000 users of the “Zilla” bugtracker. How much activity has there been on Zilla in the past few weeks? Five! This is a ratio of 400:1. Therefore there are about five active developers still monitoring and contributing to LiveJournal. Since seven of these are Danga's own staff, this means that there is a two-developer discrepancy — a clear pointer to the death of LiveJournal development as it was known only a year ago.

All major surveys show that LiveJournal has steadily declined in developer mindshare. LiveJournal's open source project is very sick and its long-term survival prospects are very dim. If it is to survive at all it will be among hard-core geeks with no life, and we all know how few of those there are on LiveJournal. lj_dev continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time.

The writing is on the wall: lj_dev is dying.

amused, happy
  • mart

Whiteboard Webcams

I have an idea which could go some way to putting poor non-office developers like myself back in touch with what's going on at HQ now that Zilla is no longer used as the main means of project tracking: whiteboard webcams.

Basically, just point webcams at as many of the whiteboards in the office as possible so that we can see what's going on in realtime. Of course, there will sometimes be stuff which the outside world can't know about, so just leave a few whiteboards or portions of whiteboards off-camera for discussion of hardcore, secret stuff.

Since the whiteboards seem to be an important part of work at Danga there's not much chance of forgetting to “update” them, and it'll end up being a more personal version of the .plan/finger stuff that big games developers do to be cute. With a way to see what's going on, it'll be much easier to work without in-house stuff conflicting and make picking projects to work on less like guesswork.