Re: Need Leadership

2008/6/21 Jason D. Clinton <me jasonclinton com>:
I know that a lot of discussion around this topic will be taking place (in smoke filled rooms) at GUADEC but for those of us who can't afford to make the trip, some of this conversation needs to be had here on this mailing list (and pointedly not on foundation-list on which many developers are not subscribed). This mail is born out of a combination of frustration over a lack of action taken from Decadence Thread and the continuing reality check that Linux Haters Blog is giving our collective community.

We need to tap in to the wave of energy generated by the The Thread on Planet Gnome. Already, it's apparent that the fervor that surrounded it has started to dwindle. A ton of interesting ideas were thrown out and lot of belly-aching about no one taking responsibility for making it happen was heard.

I'm going to keep this short because I know attention spans are, as well. Please keep the conversation here and NOT on P.G.O--this should be a conversation that everyone feels invited to participate in and which hopefully spans the length of GUADEC, itself.

It's clear from The Thread that we need to "Get Our House In Order". There's nearly universal agreement that Gnome lacks leadership in the sense that there's someone that sets release goals.

In my opinion, whatever "The Next-Gen Gnome" is, it isn't going to happen until we really, really have a deep maintenance cycle going on here. That means fixing a Handful of Giant Warts on our maintenance process:

1. DVCS needs to happen; now. It's time. The number of people using a DVCS frontend to circumvent the insanity of SVN continues to grow. In that vein, we need to a) debate the One True DVCS for Gnome, b) delinate the work that needs to be done to get there and set a timeframe, and c) find the man power to do it.

And there's a discussion about it already, there's even a BoF at GUADEC around the topic.
3. Marketing to developers must get ramped up; we agree that we need a new generation of awesome developers to bring new ideas and blood in to our process. A number of our Gnome modules are in "barely maintained" mode. With new blood, we can reinvigorate 2.x while looking to the future. And I've volunteer for this one in the form of 15 minute screen casts. However, it needs web hosting space. And that needs Gnome resources. What do we have to do to make this hosting happen? What else can we do to get more developers?

Is there anything preventing you to put the videos at your GNOME's home directory and serve it through http? I can't see why those screencasts should wait before the hipotetically needed bandwidth is there.

Actually, you can just put those videos at youtube and provide a secondary ogg link, that will solve the bandwidth problem and it will provide an "usable" way to watch the video for most people, and a freedom-compilant version of the video.
As a side note, if you want to drive leadership I will strongly encourage you to avoid any sentence that starts with "I hate", if you have something against some developers' decisions on the tools they want to use, just give your rationale behind your opinion and recognize the benefits of what they use as well. Don't assume people is just wrong since that will inevitably drive the discussion into a passionate argue instead of a constructive conversation. Remember, encouraging people to move forward is way more important than making your personal points clear.

Alberto Ruiz

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