Ah a new year, a new PostgreSQL release in the works. Beware -- this post is a bit sappy as we are going to highlight those that have made our lives and lives of many a little easier.
These are people we consider the most important because they provide the first impression that newcomers get
when first starting off with PostgreSQL. The newcomer that quickly walks out the door unimpressed, is the easy sale you've lost. Make your pitch short and sweet.
As always Hubert does a really good job of taste testing the new treats
in the oven and detailing how cool they are. I highly suggest his posts if people have not read them already or are
looking at PostgreSQL for the first time.
You can catch his Waiting for PostgreSQL 8.5 series which is in progress.
Surely gives us a list of things to test drive.
Then there are those that document, the volumes of PostgreSQL documentation which are just great, up to date and rich with content. Probably too many of these
people to call out, and sadly we don't know them by name.
Of course its not just enough to announce releases, document them and talk about them, you must make it really easy for people to try them out.
If people have to compile stuff, especially windows users, forget about it.
You won't hear complaints, you won't hear whispers, you'll hear dust blowing. The biggest audience you have is the one you just lost
because you didn't make it easy for them to try your stuff. The apple hit me on the head one day when a very dear friend said to me
and here is a slight paraphrase.
You don't actually expect me to compile this myself do you? How much time do you think I have? It is not about you, it is about me..
This was especially surprising coming from a guy I always thought of as selfless.
This I realized is the biggest problem with many open source projects, that they are lost in the flawed mentality that its about scratching
their own itch and the rest will come. It is not. Always concentrating on your own itch and scratching it is a sure way of guaranteeing that no one will scratch your itch for you.
Think of it like a pool game. Do you target the aim at the ball you are trying to hit, or balls near by that will knock down the others.
So in short don't be a complete wuss that people can walk all over, but look past your nose and choose your balls wisely; make sure all your balls are not
focused on software development.