Padre continues to move forwards in leaps and bounds, with most of the recent progress made by the ever-enthusiastic Sebastian Willing.
However, over the last year I've noticed an interesting effect in the pattern of volunteering.
Padre seems to go through cycles with "Alpha" contributors. These are the people that are doing huge numbers of commits, and moving things forward rapidly. However, as an Alpha contributor picks up speed we seem to see other contributors start to fall back and go quiet.
It's almost as if people are happy as long as Padre keeps improving and don't feel like Padre needs their help, so they are just getting out the way of the person doing all the heavy lifting.
Of course, last Christmas/New Years when I was the Alpha contributor, this was also because I was breaking major APIs every week or so. Unless you had time to deal with the breakages, you more or less had to just stay out the way.
It's when the current Alpha runs out of steam or time or attention and their commits fall back to low levels that we see the other contributors come out of their shells and start to commit a bit more.
Sometimes it just seems like co-incidence. I've been horribly busy in November until today, and Stephen Mueller has been out and about doing his Physics thing, so we both haven't been able to do much until very recently.
From a productivity point of view, however, I do worry a little about the Alpha effect. From my time as Alpha, I know I was a little disconcerted that I seemed to be the only one doing anything and nobody else seemed to be committing.
Of course, within two weeks of my burning out and slowing, everyone else started to pick up again. But I wish we had a way to support the Alphas a bit more, so they didn't feel quite so alone during their sprints and had more encouragement (in the form of other people lifting their game as well)