Somebody with the necessary skills only needs a few hours for the task, and somebody with the will to learn them maybe a couple of (part time) days more. I offered to coach whoever steps up to the challenge, but I refused to do it myself because I believe in proper succession planning and in the need to groom the next generation of contributors.
Succession planning means making provisions for the future. For what will happens after we’ve left. Because we all leave, sooner or later.
For an Open Source project to survive beyond the current generation of contributors, the project needs two things: know-how transfer and a pool of new potential contributors to step up to the task.
Know-how transfer comes from the people who currently hold the know-how. It comes in the form of documentation. In Hugin’s case, I’ve made a push over the past year and with the help of many community contributors we got the build process documented, also for Windows. And for the installer, I’ve committed the instructions into SVN. We are ready for know how transfer. Are you ready?
Potential contributors… that’s you! Yes you, don’t turn your head the other way. The tools required are available as a free download, and the instructions are simple enough for any literate person that can type on a keyboard, click on a mouse, and has access to a PC with 2GB RAM – about what it takes to stitch a full spherical panorama. There are no excuses. If you feel the windows installer was delayed, look in the mirror.
In the end, two people that were already contributing to the project stepped up to the task. I could transfer the know-how to Tom Sharpless and Guido Kohlmeyer. Eventually Guido’s installer made it to the official repository.
I am disappointed. Of more than 35.000 Windows users who have downloaded and installed my hugin installers from this site over the past ten months nobody had the decency to step in and contribute something back to the project?