[ros-users] answers.ros.org is the hell

Thibault Kruse kruset at in.tum.de
Wed Feb 20 10:24:38 UTC 2013

On 18.02.2013 19:10, Yamokoski, JD (JSC-ER)[OCEANEERING SPACE SYSTEMS] 
> Software as complex and as large as ROS will have some bumps and 
> bruises at a major release - but from the outside looking in, it 
> appears as though too much was changed in this release (as evidenced 
> by the above plus the longer than normal release cycle).
After Tully's response I'll add some comment to this now. Please 
consider also the following facts. Up to fuerte, ROS releases were 
managed by Ken Conley, who left for Google as announced in April 2012. 
So release management switched hands (I am not implying Tully is less 
capable, but I do know he has had several other dominant assignments at 
Willow Garage).

Also, in 2012 employees also left Willow Garage for spin-offs like 
Industrial Perception, OpenPerception OSRF and HiDof, as well as other jobs.

So among the people that left ROS world in 2012 are: Ken Conley, Troy 
Straszheim, Radu B. Rusu, Eitan Marder-Eppstein, Wim Meeussen, E. Gil 
Jones, Stu Glaser, Bhaskara Marthi (in random order). I would also count 
Brian Gerkey as being absent from the ROS world 2012 as far as ROS 
engineering goes, because building up OSRF itself seems to have been a 
lot of work with also a strong focus on Gazebo. If you don't know those 
names, you'll find most of them in this list of all time ROS 
http://www.ohloh.net/p/ros-pkg/contributors?query=&sort=commits (though 
that list does not span all of ROS, and needs updating for the switch to 
github). This does not count non-Willow Garage staff that moved away 
from the ROS world, such as PhD students being now finished and taking 
up jobs outside the ROS world.

Also note many of the poeple I listed left ROS world without doing any of:
- Announcing their departure to the ROS community
- Nominating successors as maintainers for the packages they maintained, 
or declaring the packages unmaintained
- Handing over issues assigned to them in issue trackers

Those ROS contributors also held a lot of knowledge about their packages 
and the ROS toolchain that had in the past been useful to prepare and 
validate previous releases, this knowledge was not available for the 
Groovy release. I can only guess that hiring and training new talents 
with such high fluctuation of key members of the ROS team cannot be 
expected to go smoothly.

So the problems you noted as well as the release date slippage are not 
(only) due to too many changes in the Groovy release.

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