[development] CVS HEAD, code freeze, zeitgeist

Dries Buytaert dries.buytaert at gmail.com
Sat Aug 19 08:42:10 UTC 2006

On 19 Aug 2006, at 00:28, Chris Johnson wrote:
> I think this is the crux of our difference in opinion, Dries.   
> While it would be great and noble for me to build such a team out  
> of desire to make my module successful and sustained, I might not  
> do that for any number of reasons (e.g. lack of time, lack of  
> diplomatic skills, lack of English language skills, people just  
> think I'm ugly, whatever).  The point then is that despite my  
> "neglect" my module has become important and now there is nobody to  
> maintain it.

If you created a module that thousands of people depend on, you  
created a successful Open Source project.  By now, I think we all  
agree that the community has a desire for successful projects to  
sustain.  It think we also agree on the fact that a successful  
project should not depend on a single person, especially if that  
person is a really busy person. :)

Now, my opinion is that _you_, the maintainer of the project, should  
create a team around your successful project in order to grow and  
maintain it.  Your opinion is that _we_, the community, should start  
caring about your successful project and that we call the squad team  
when you can't handle the work.

In my eyes, your opinion, is flawed.  If you "force" people  
(volunteers) to do something, they'll burn out or they'll go away.   
Open Source development is all about having fun.  It is very hard for  
us to make people passionate about your project.  It takes a lot more  
time and energy than blessing it with a golden star.  And unless  
developers are passionate about it, they are not going to have fun  
working on it.

If a successful project has problems, the maintainer can send an e- 
mail to the mailing list asking for help, ask for help raising funds,  
write about it in a forum topic, give a presentation about it, or  
what not.  It all creates visibility, and people will start to care.

Take the project.module, for example.  It's an important module, but  
only few people cared about it.  There was frustration, but no  
passion.  We publicly blessed it with a doze gold stars but at the  
end of the day, not many people cared about it.  So in the past,  
CivicSpace threw money at the project module to make it sustain.   
Money can fix short term problems quickly, but doesn't offer long  
time guarantees.

What Derek is doing with the project.module nowadays, is much more  
rewarking and much more sustainable.  He cares about the module, he  
improves it, and he writes about it.  By doing so, he is spreading  
the passion and slowly creating a team around it.  It takes him a lot  
of time and energy, but for god's sake, he converted Boris from a  
'hater' into a 'believer'.  ;-)

>   It just seemed that the door to any discussion was being closed.

No, we can discuss this.  :)

Dries Buytaert  ::  http://www.buytaert.net/

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