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To: "Christian Faulhammer" <opfer@g.o>
From: "Jan Bilek" <clonolu@...>
Subject: Re: Re: How to improve the trustees
Date: Mon, 4 Feb 2008 02:19:56 +0100
Hi again,

I want to write some kind of 'a summary answer' addressed to all of
you who reacted to my posts - thank you very much for your answers.

Obviously there were many things that I was not informed properly
about and you have explained many of them to me - thanx.

Please forgive me for being so sceptical about those 'formal and
instititutionalized' ways of doing things (regular
meetings/summaries/named positions). I do realize now that I saw only
a small part of a picture when I wrote about it and I hope nobody took
it personally (if someone did - I am so sorry about it).
BTW - this might be some kind of a cultural issue; seeing your names I
guess none of you is from eastern Europe... we used to live in this
centrally and formally organized society based on regular meetings,
summaries and people assigned to every task possible - and it was not
efficient, it sucked and everybody hated it.
It might be useful to know about this issue - seeing this
(http://www.google.com/trends?q=gentoo) I would guess great deal of
people interested in Gentoo are from eastern Europe.

My goal is not to criticize, my goal is to get closer to the truth
about current state and possible future of Gentoo.

As an user I had almost no first-hand experience. I had to rely on
second-hand conveyed information:
Daniel Robbins claiming that there is a crisis in Gentoo (he is some
kind of an authority to many users - when he says something I have to
take it seriously). Some of his arguments seem to be very logical and
insightful and some things seem to support his opinions:
- so many people obviously supporting him
(http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-644321-highlight-robbins.html).
- Gentoo used to be 'bleeding edge' - it's not anymore.
- I remember the last big crisis 'Robbins vs. McCreesh', valuable
developers leaving Gentoo as a result... and in my opinion
Council/devrel were not able to handle it, the only outcome I noticed
was toothless CoC - that didn't seem like viable management to me.
- complaining users - I have read so many complaints, many of them are
very similar and frequent (let me paraphrase): 'Gendoo developers are
arrogant'. 'Gentoo is a club for elitists'. 'They do Gentoo just for
yourselves, they don't care about users'. 'I wanted to help Gentoo but
it's too difficult to get in'. 'It takes too long for ebuilds to get
to the official tree and I miss important apps'. 'Gentoo's structure
is not flexible enough - Arch is also great and it's much easier to
contibute', 'I sent patch but no one carred', 'dev told me in response
to a bug report I filed 'get over it and move on'.

On the other end:
- developers claiming that technically Gentoo works better then ever.
And as for me Gentoo really works well.
- my personal experience with Gentoo developers is great - you have
been very nice to me. And I have read many posts from people like
Grant Goodyear and the others - to me they seem to be very smart,
communicative and constructive people.
- some of these complaining users seem to me to be just people who
like to follow the strong leader no matter where he leads them.
- some of these complaining users seem to me to be just whiners who
want everything, don't understand anything, don't even bother to do
anything and just call developers 'arrogant bastards' when they are
not able to give them what they want - of course for free.
- many of users (talking about myself right now?) don't understand
what is going on, trying to figure it out, confused by inconsistent
news, misleading information and sometimes lack of information (some
want missing apps but don't know about overlays, some are talking
about Arch and it's openness (AUR) but maybe don't know about details
of Gentoo's QA and security/quality issues related to the openness,
some are talking about bad communication but don't know all the
channels of communication, don't have time to follow up...etc. etc.).

We all know that communication is crucial. Someone could say users are
responsible to find the information they need. But it's useful (for
Gentoo, even for developers) to make it as easy as possible for them.
I think this "A more "in your face" approach" idea you came up with is
great and as an user I can say "yes, that's what I need everywhere
where it's possible".

Generally... I think that it's better to suppose that the complainers
might be right and look into it (and maybe find out that they are
not). If they are right you can fix things. If they are not you can
explain it to them and you are not going to lose them. That's why I
have written those posts - trying to express my actual thoughts and
see if they can be helpful or they will be just put right.

At least by giving you an opportunity to correct my misperceptions of
some things related to Gentoo I also gave you an opportunity to
communicate to users who google "gentoo crisis":-)

Thanks for all the work you do for us,
Jan.


P.S. - I am sorry about that formatting issue - my fault.
-- 
gentoo-nfp@g.o mailing list


Replies:
Re: Re: How to improve the trustees
-- Roy Bamford
Re: How to improve the trustees
-- Christian Faulhammer
Re: Re: How to improve the trustees
-- Alec Warner
References:
Re: How to improve the trustees
-- Jan Bilek
Re: How to improve the trustees
-- Christian Faulhammer
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