Gentoo Archives: gentoo-dev

From: Peter <sw98234@×××××××.com>
To: gentoo-dev@l.g.o
Subject: [gentoo-dev] Re: Delay in approval of new developers
Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2006 13:33:46
Message-Id: ef0o9k$aqj$
In Reply to: Re: [gentoo-dev] Re: Delay in approval of new developers by Seemant Kulleen
On Fri, 22 Sep 2006 08:55:14 -0400, Seemant Kulleen wrote:

> On Fri, 2006-09-22 at 12:29 +0000, Peter wrote: > > >> We can disagree on that point. All distros are businesses. Users are >> customers. No users, no distro. > > That is not strictly true. You can have a distro without users -- > nobody but you would be using it -- it's still a distro. It all depends > on what you expect out of the project. I think Sejo's got the right > idea this time -- this distro is just a community, and that's how it's > run (well, it's run more like a commune, but anyway). If it were run > like a business, the behaviour would be a lot different (and a lot more > closed). For starters, there would actually be a leadership situation > in place. You can argue that Gentoo *began* its life as a business, but > the past three years have been far removed from that paradigm. > >
And, IMHO, that's a problem. A business, per se, does not necessarily mean for profit or even to generate revenues. However, one may argue that a business should provide a service or manufacture something -- even if for free. That said, the community aspect of gentoo, while altruistic, has its problems when it comes to adjudicating disputes or greenlighting projects. Look at the chaos with Seeds! Some very vocal opponents, vocal supporters. People advocating a Glep, others against it. Problem is, no leader can or does say anything to squelch the dispute and allow the issue to either move on or go completely unofficial. That the dispute remains unresolved causes ill feelings to linger, allows the people on either side to dig in to their respective positions harder and looks plain dumb. Good points have been raised on either side, although there are some very strong voices that seem to dominate the discussion. However, those voices are NOT from the council. Do those voices have the authority to change policy? Make policy? No. Having a democratic organization is great. Having a community-run distro is great. However, it's a little utopian and unrealistic when situations like this arise. You need a group to lay down the law and establish control. Otherwise, you may find yourself in a situation where good people with differing points of view just get fed up and leave the fold. That would be a loss for everyone. Similarly, you cannot allow certain individuals with little or no standing to try and dictate what policy vis a vis a proposed project should be. Otherwise, you end up in a real mess. I once served on a board with 39 members. It was a national association charged with pr and marketing of it's core service. The 39 members came from important companies from around the nation each in this business. Despite the wonderful intentions of the board -- to promote our industry, lobby the government (state, local, and federal), assist smaller players -- agreement on even the most minor items took forever. Ultimately, after a few years, the board was reduced to 13 and became more productive. When new ideas are proposed and developed, gentoo's leadership must be involved from the beginning. This will head off these 100 thread flamefests, allow project originators to know where they stand, and allow those who disagree to know that there is authority. You cannot allow things to get out of hand like they do. Everyone here obviously wants to make gentoo better. However, NOT everyone has the right to do so. NOT everyone has veto power or authority to approve. That's what's missing from this process. I think the council has been far too quiet and policy far too vague which makes new ideas so difficult and controversial. You can't have a socialist model for a business. It simply does not work. A union cannot run an auto company. You need leadership. Gentoo cannot be run by 100 developers concurrently (yes, I know there are 300, but how many of those are actually contributing?). There has to be a chain of command. Otherwise, you are rudderless. JM$0.02 -- Peter -- gentoo-dev@g.o mailing list