[Mapbender-dev] Telepathic or pathetic?

Arnulf Christl arnulf.christl at ccgis.de
Thu Oct 26 08:35:18 EDT 2006

Frank Warmerdam wrote:
> Arnulf Christl wrote:
>> Hello my Dearest,
>> please have a look at this:
>> http://communitymapbuilder.org/display/MAP/Strategic+Direction
>> Anybody feel like making such a report?
>> And can anybody tell me why this list is such a dead lump in the water -
>> face down, notabene. This is the *developer's* list. If I look into
>> commits then I can see that people are working on Mapbender?! I simply
>> don't get it. Whats wrong, why is the dev-list so completely dead? Are we
>> talking too much on the phone or did we go telepathic already?
>> Anybody any idea?
> Folks,
> To amplify Arnulf's subtle encouragement, I'd like to point out a couple
> things I've read recently which I have found helpful in recognising the
> value of hashing things out in public on the mailing list, for open source
> projects.

Hello All,
sorry for being subtle, this was not my intention. I was just alarmed at seeing mail traffic tending to zero(tm) [1] but have been rewarded by a burst of here-we-are mails. Thank you. Lets keep this up and try to be more open, inclusive and talkative on dev. We have a great many new things in the queue that could be done but nobody knows about it. 

It would really be helpful if you could at least skim through the link suggested by Frank as I plan to propose some changes in the steering committee. There are currently seven PSC members preventing us from doing anything. Every meeting until this day failed. I'd like to propose to reduce this group to maybe 3 or at maximum 5 people so that they can actually meet on IRC on a regular basis to get things done. 

As not-being-available is my main role I want to resign from PSC. Mapbender being my baby I will continue to follow things closely and help out where I can but we need to wean project steering from me. Now we are six. Anybody else resign? Five would be a good start, I'd say. 

Maybe we can get this done on the Mapbender IRC next week? Uli, please suggest a time and date, preferably in our late evening.

Best regards, 

[1] zero is a new trademark by the Coca Cola Company(r)

> The first comes from the excellent Producing Open Source Software book.  
> This
> subsection mostly is an exhortation to co-located teams to still try and 
> hash
> out discussions on the public mailing list, instead of face to face.
> http://producingoss.com/html-chunk/setting-tone.html#avoid-private-discussions 
> The whole book is great.  I've being reading it over the last week and 
> finding
> lots of great nuggets even if I don't agree with every specific suggestion.
> The second was something Brian Behlendorf (a founding member of Apache) 
> said
> this last week on the "Foundations" mailing list.  It was directed more at
> how to avoid making volunteers feel left out or marginalized in a project
> with paid developers - especially a paid development team.  But much of it
> comes down to the same encouragement - process in public.
> Brian writes:
>  > But the second, more implicit way in which funded work can cause a 
> two-class
>  > society is by the sheer weight that a funded developer can have over 
> a more > casual participant.  If there are two different paths to solve 
> a problem,
>  > and one path has a group of full-time developers pursuing it while 
> the other
>  > has one or two developers working in their spare time, the funded 
> path will
>  > be much more likely to win.  Ideally these two paths could be pursued in
>  > parallel, as separate modules or even a current/stable/experimental 
> version
>  > branching setup, but that's not always possible.  The funded developers
>  > might also, inadvertantly, use communication paths (like IRC, or even 
> phone
>  > calls) that make sense in the context of full-time work but set up a 
> barrier
>  > to the broader community, the project can feel hijacked, and suspicians
>  > about motives can breed. The only way to fight this is to tell the
>  > full-timers that important decisions, and their rationale, still need 
> to be
>  > hashed-out on the mailing list; that the validity of a technical 
> decision
>  > comes not from a three-person conference call but from a broader poll 
> and
>  > incorporation of feedback.  That doesn't mean every proposed patch or
>  > one-line fix needs consensus, but it does mean that changes shouldn't 
> come
>  > from nowhere, but nothing should arrive into the version control tree 
> as a
>  > surprise to the others who follow the development list.  The early
>  > Subversion team, despite all physically being located in the same 
> office in
>  > Chicago, knew that they had to make their decision-making and 
> development
>  > processes transparent if there was any chance to build a broader 
> contributor
>  > community.  So while there was plenty of brainstorming and debugging 
> over
>  > pizza and in front of white boards in that office, the real work was 
> done
>  > online, in front of an audience of peers.
> I hope this is helpful, and not just patronizing or lame.
> Best regards,

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