[development] Encouraging Collaboration

Allie Micka allie at pajunas.com
Fri Nov 18 18:18:14 UTC 2005

On Nov 18, 2005, at 9:46 AM, Earl Dunovant wrote:

> For the record, there will only be two Amazon modules in 4.7...I  
> have Amazon associate tools and Amazon search...the search will be  
> folded entirely into AAT. And back when I first released it, Ber  
> suggested I combine efforts with the author of the othe one. We  
> agreed, but I got zero input so I just wrote what I needed for myself.

I'm positive that you aren't the only who has gone this route

> I think I'm seen as one who doesn't play well with others...I've  
> noticed my comments only get responses when someone thinks they can  
> correct me. You got gatekeepers here like in any other group, and  
> I'm finally going to mention something that annoyed me. Before  
> becoming familiar with the cultural aspects of this group AAT  
> shipped with my associate code as the default. I figured anyone  
> that used it would change it. Lot of objections...we don't want  
> people to think we're hustling them. So fine, i change it...as I  
> said, I didn't feel it would have a significant impact one way or  
> the other. The comment said i changed it because community  
> sentiment ran against it. I got an email complaining that I said it  
> was "mere sentiment." My response was, relax...your project, so  
> your sentiment is enough reason to change it.

Please understand that I wasn't trying to single any person or  
project out.  I was relating my problem with Amazon because I had it  
in recent memory, and frankly, because it's on the top of the modules  
list page.  The issue is much broader and I'm sorry if it did not  
seem that way.

But your feedback is important, because it shows the cause/effect of   
group communications.  I know my own reasons for duplicating efforts,  
and I think it's helpful to hear others' experiences.

All communities/projects are implicitly defined by their most vocal  
members/contributors.  We don't have to discuss how to define  
Drupal's objectives, that definition occurs when core members choose  
to speak up.

For example, I adhere to Drupal's coding standards for my modules.   
Not because it's a requirement (I think it's just a recommendation).   
And not just because it's documented someplace.  I do it because I  
have seen other community members chastised for submitting non- 
conforming core and module code.  Since it's being brought up  
consistently, I've become aware that it's a core value of the Drupal  

I am on a number of technical mailing lists.  On some of these lists,  
it's acceptable to yack about the latest slashdot news, ask for  
Windows tech support, offer up a room for rent, or send silly  
pictures of your pets.  That rarely happens here.  Why?  There are OT  
guidelines on all of these lists, but they are community-enforced.   
On other lists, it would be acceptable for me to discuss my  
bellybutton lint as long as my subject line was "OT: My Bellybutton  
Lint"  But if I sent a similarly off-topic post here, I would get  
responses indicating that I should seek a more appropriate forum.   
Even if these suggestions were gentle and helpful, I would never ask  
that type of question here again, and I would send a similar  
recommendation to the next OT-poster, who would inform the next  
poster, and so-on.

This is why the development list is usually helpful and on-topic   
(well, except for SCM preferences), even without constant  
reminders.   There are some knee-jerk responses I would change ("code  
is gold!  "  "too many checkboxes!" ) but Drupal's culture of  
professionalism and consistency is the most important reason I use it.

Without assigning tasks or defining objectives or creating workflows,  
I hope we can inject some cultural mojo for duplicate work efforts.

But if there ARE tasks and work efforts, I +1 in advance any work  
towards categorizing and/or reviewing modules, or separating them out  
by some maturity threshold (code conformance, feature-complete,  
review ranking, peer review, etc.)

My standing policy is to avoid installing any module whose author I  
don't recognize from this list or irc.  That's hardly a system that  
works for new Drupal users!

Allie Micka
pajunas interactive, inc.

scalable web hosting and open source strategies

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