Re: Credit, Leadership and Vision [Was: Sorry State]

On Thu, 2006-02-09 at 04:01 +1100, Jeff Waugh wrote:
> <quote who="Havoc Pennington">
> > Jeff, you're right that Steve Jobs style "big press release" is
> > incompatible with community development (though I don't think it's a moral
> > issue perhaps, I think it's legitimate to make the tradeoff as long as one
> > is willing to eat the consequences).
> Hmm, so that wasn't a point that I was trying to make, and oddly enough, I
> also disagree! ;-) I definitely think there is room for the contributing
> companies to make sure they get credit for their contributions. Even with
> "in community" development (as opposed to "by community" development, thanks
> to Alan for an important clarification), I think it's doable and valuable.

Maybe it's my point and not yours ;-) but I don't think you can get the
giant media splash without secrecy (though this is relative; NLD10 got
the trade press, Steve Jobs got Time Magazine).

Credit with the community, sure, that's different. You get _more_ of
that working in the open.

Anyhow; I don't think the Apple/Google technique of hype-creation
through secrecy followed by splashy demo really works with the open
source development model, is all I'm saying. It can work with code that
happens to have an open source license.

> > But the larger problem right now is what I described above, the lack of
> > direction; if the community had that, they would just steamroll over the
> > cosmetics coming in from the Linux distributions.
> We are without coherent leadership. You emphasised having a vision/agenda in
> your email, where I tend to emphasise leadership or structure, to aid in the
> creation of that agenda.
> Is this a chicken / egg problem that we have to solve?

I don't really know the solution to be honest. It's not like I've solved

It might be interesting to try the "no net leap of faith" approach;
immediately make some technical/branding decisions that are so severe
and heretical for direction A that the direction A users and developers
bail out, then go hardcore in direction B because direction A has been
sealed off for good. GNOME 2 made a lot of people threaten to bail out,
but didn't really commit to tossing people overboard.

Number of people you toss out depends on the direction chosen ;-) it
might not be that many.

Either way, why not focus on changing the front page of where
it says "GNOME is a Unix and Linux desktop suite and development
platform." Make it say something someone could disagree with, or
something that implies a project direction. A good definition for a
project would not apply to competing projects as well. is pretty lame too, since it applies to almost
any software you can think of, in theory. It's like having the mission
statement "do stuff that's a good idea" or something.


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