[Incubator] New Application: GeoToolkit

Daniel Morissette dmorissette at mapgears.com
Tue May 26 05:51:24 EDT 2009

Adrian Custer wrote:
> How does an authoritarian central committee empower new comers more than
> an assembly of authoritarian maintainers would? 

In a well balanced committee, there should be participants from 
different roots and interests, a mix of developers and power users, 
ranging from private business, academic, government, to hobbyists. With 
such a mix, legitimate requests from newcomers should be of importance 
to at least one or two members of the committee who will take the issue 
and ensure it is addressed.

In the benevolent dictatorship model, if a newcomer's issue isn't in the 
current scope of priorities then the newcomer is out of luck, period.

Simply put, a well balanced committee of N members gives N times more 
chances for newcomer requests to be heard and addressed. Of course, not 
all committee members have the openness of some successful dictators, 
but still, at the end of the day, the chances to be heard by a balanced 
committee are higher than by a single dictator.

> Yes, I am discovering that none of you have yet struggled to understand
> the workflow, organizational, or social issues around this new
> technology. That is surprising since every large scale free software
> project of which I am aware is adopting one of these systems---I would
> have expected your natural curiosity to lead you to think about this new
> wave and its consequences.

"...every large scale free software project...", Really?

Perhaps some concrete examples of well-known large scale projects based 
on DVCS could help us see the light.

Finally, Paul raised an important *practical* question yesterday that is 
not clear to me either. Since what matters to the users of a project is 
the official release posted on the website and the binaries derived from 
it, how does a DVCS-driven project work with respect to official 
releases? If the official release ends up being what the dictator chose 
to approve then how is that different from a centralized SVN/CVS server? 
We just end up with a person as a central point of control instead of a 
server, don't we?

Daniel Morissette

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