"uhhh.......WAT?" - Introduction to the jQuery community
Posted on 28/9/07 by Felix Geisendörfer
the idea for this post came to me when I read a post called uhhh.......WAT? on the jQuery mailing list today. For me its a perfect illustration of one of the things that makes me like jQuery the most - the community around it. Don't get me wrong, I also love the CakePHP community - its a great and helpful crowd. But boy, when I see how friendly the people are over at jQuery I sometimes can't believe it. Take a couple of minutes and and think about how you would have re-acted to this post. Its obviously written by somebody who has either not invested more then half an hour to pick up a new technology or has been watching the latest youtube BS while doing so. He is obviously offending the jQuery project / community and provides little to no insight into what his actual problem is. Personally I've reached the point were I trained myself to simply hold on to the urge to start yelling at those people. Sometimes I find myself typing a somewhat sarcastic comment on some blog or mailing list but I can almost always keep myself from hitting submit at the end.
Of course I know a lot of open source communities are known for pretty aggressive behavior in their mailing lists (php / linux kernel come to my mind) and I'm also not saying that I wouldn't miss a refreshing grumpy post from Chris every once in a while. But again, looking over to what those folks working on and with jQuery have achieved with their community is nothing short of amazing.
So if I look at the speed the development the jQuery community is showing then I'm tempted to say a lot of this goes back to situations like this. I'm not sure if the guy who started this rant is going to contribute much to the jQuery project, he might. But the fact that the creator of the library (john) and some of the best folks in the community / dev team (karl, glen, etc.) jump into discussions like this with a positive attitude sends out a signal throughout the community. The message I hear is "this is more then just a piece of software, this is something we take pride in and an opportunity for friendship and collaboration for everybody involved". And this is a good message.
What do you think? How would your perfect OS look like and interact with each other?
-- Felix Geisendörfer aka the_undefined
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Alexey: jQuery has an incredibly good documentation and believe me there are lots of people on the list asking basic questions which are directly answered by the documentation, easy to find and demonstrate a lack of effort to find the answers.
Its really a special atmosphere around the jQuery project that I haven't come across elsewhere.
Oh and another fun fact I forgot to mention is that jQuery has a dedicated "evangelization" team which is lead by Rey Bango - they do an awesome job in monitoring blogs and making sure the spirit of the community is spread beyond the mailing list.
This is actually very true Felix. The friendliness on jquery community really surprises sometimes. Some time ago i was trying to make a menu using jquery (i has seen it originally on mootools website) and got stuck. Although i don't post regularly on jquery mailing list, John took his time out to make the menu himself and other members were also very helpful. These things do make you respect the creators of the library and the community around it.
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I think almost every mature developing community goes through aggressiveness at some point. When you discussed and explained beginning steps hundred times, you become tired and irritated. But every new user asks 'that stupid questions'! By my opinion, that mostly happens because of bad or very complicated documentation, and at least - when new user is actually nerd.