Sculpin has been in on-again off-again development since December of 2011. In that time, Sculpin has seen two major versions (only one of which ever saw any real use) and it has seen its user base increase by an incredible (but not-yet-quantified) amount.
In that same time, I've grown both as a developer and as a member of the larger PHP community. Among other things, I'm attending and speaking at conferences, contributing to PHP-FIG by way of Sculpin's membership in that organization, and doing what I can to share knowledge on That Podcast.
Lately I've grown more aware of the reality that Sculpin, as a project, is simply coasting. That isn't to say it isn't working for people. Far from it! But it has been more or less running on autopilot for the last year and a half.
This is not how one responsibly runs an open-source project that is used by so many people.
I started to consider how horrible Sculpin's bus factor was (if you are new to this concept, essentially if I were to be hit by a bus Sculpin would cease to be). This is never a cheery topic, but one that becomes more important as a project becomes used by more people. At the very least it makes me a bottleneck to everything that happens in Sculpin. Bug reports. Responding to issues. Fixing bugs. Features. Building the phar. Deploying changes to the website. Everything.
There are features that I've started (like first class support for themes) that have stalled out as I've run into tough questions that require more time than I have in order to adequately address. Minor bug reports have been ignored as I haven't had time to respond in-the-moment resulting in an embarrassingly large issue queue. Sculpin, of all things, didn't even have a blog for the first three years of its existence.
I can do better.
Or rather, we can do better.
I came to the realization that I don't have to do this alone. There is a whole community of Sculpin users out there who are already helping people out in various ways. There are whole blog posts written about features that were never documented because they were never finished. Works in progress that people have reverse engineered because they needed it and other people wanted the knowledge to do it as well.
I didn't need to do better. I needed help.
I decided to reach out to a handful of people that have been participating in the Sculpin community to ask if they would like to take a more active role in the Sculpin community as official members of the Sculpin team.
They all said yes!
Their roles and responsibilities will be varied but they will all have the freedom and flexibility to help with the issue queue, be more active in support roles, help with design, and development of new features and fix bugs.
In no particular order, here are the new team members of the Sculpin organization!
Kevin Boyd (@beryllium9)
Kevin was one of Sculpin's earliest adopters. He has been a lot of help in #sculpin on IRC and maintains several Sculpin sites including Gibson Index and whateverthing.com.
Emma Jane (@emmajanehw)
I met Emma Jane at Lone Star PHP 2014. She had tried to use Sculpin previously and I wanted to try and work through some of the issues she ran into in person. It was not suprising to learn that her issues were mostly due to poor documentation. Fortunately, Emma will be helping to reshape the docs for Sculpin in 2015!
Cees-Jan Kiewiet (@WyriHaximus)
Cees-Jan Kiewiet (blog.wyrihaximus.net) contributed to one of the largest and most complicated patches to Sculpin outside of anything I've done myself. Always super help in IRC, WyriHaximus is a great asset to the Sculpin organization!
Kayla Daniels (@kayladnls)
Kayla's (kayladnls.com) involvement in the Sculpin organization was announced on an episode of #nocapes earlier this year. You can see the episode here. Kayla has been a great supporter of Sculpin over the last year or so and I'm excited to have her on the team!
Chris Tankersley (@dragonmantank)
Chris (ctankersley.com) is one of a handful of people who I have seen actively trying to speak about Sculpin at user groups and conferences. It was an easy decision to ask if he would like to be involved in helping keep Sculpin going! You can see his Nomad PHP talk on Sculpin here.
Dave Marshall (@davedevelopment)
My That Podcast co-host is one of a few people who have reverse engineered my WIP theme code to create the theme for davedevelopment.co.uk. He has been hearing me talk about the guts of Sculpin for almost as long as I've been working on it so he has great insight into my vision for Sculpin.
This is a big change for Sculpin and entirely new territory for me as a project maintainer. I'm looking forward to it, though, as I'm confident that the addition to the official Sculpin team will only bring positive change to the project.
I want to thank them all for agreeing to help with Sculpin and to thank the rest of the community for all of your help and support and patience over the years.