Design by Community

On Wed, 2006-02-08 at 12:16 +1100, Jeff Waugh wrote:
> <quote who="Dan Winship">
> > Two words: "bike shed"[1]. Or actually, "stop energy"[2] works too. Your
> > pick.

Then Dan said a lot of stuff that I thought was Very Insightful and Wise.

> This is a very sorry state of affairs for GNOME. But it is not only Novell
> and its employees who have adopted this commons-sapping, community-tearing,
> morally and intellectually lazy approach to open design and development in
> But ultimately, this is *killing our community*.
> And it must be fought.

I take Jeff's point as well, although personally I would not have put it
in such emotive terms.

Would a compromise be to design and implement stuff like this out in the
open and send comments/stop energy/suggestions from people on crack
to /dev/null?  

Then, if someone wanted to actually help (addressing Elijah's point, I
think) they would at least know what was going on and how to get
involved with helping (as opposed to criticising)?

Dan and Jeff are both right: design by committee is sub-optimal, and
keeping things secret in the FOSS world is bad form.

Of course, if Novell is taking this course for purely commercial
reasons, the criticism from the FOSS viewpoint will fall on deaf ears (I

One more point that deserves to be emphasised: all (okay, "all" may be
an exaggeration) the really cool stuff the the GNOME "community" has
produced lately seems to be the result of hackers being paid to hack on
GNOME, rather than the traditional
hacker-scratching-personal-itch-in-spare-time stereotype (or myth?).  I
am thinking Evolution, DBUS, F-spot, XGL, Gstreamer, etc. here.

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