Just received this morning's digest. Thanks for your note. Answers to your questions below:
Date: Sat, 04 Jun 2005 17:03:22 +0200
From: Leonard den Ottolander <leonard den ottolander nl>
Subject: Re: New Maintainer for MC Project??
To: MC Devel <mc-devel gnome org>
Message-ID: <1117897402 5757 11 camel athlon localdomain>
On Sat, 2005-06-04 at 15:05, Fudoki Wilkinson wrote:
>> I have also been talking to our
>> leadership, and to Pavel Roskin, about offering to
>> become the new Maintainer of the Midnight Commander
>> Project, and Pavel has encouraged me to do so.
>> Would the developers of MC like to have a
>> conversation about joining the Krusader family, as
>> your own unit, so you can do your work in a
>> supportive, positive, environment with good resources
>> and good leadership?
>How do you see this task of maintainership?
One way to put it would be: "[A maintainer] oversees the
project development, formulate[s] sensible milestone targets and
communicate[s] with the Developers[, Docs Team, Web Support
Team, Marketing Team, and Project Leadership, as appropriate]
about these targets and if they are [not] being met [to recommend,
and if necessary take, appropriate steps to either readjust the targets
or eliminate the cause of the failure to timely meet the targets],
and [successfully complete regular] release[s as appropriate due to
Developer progress, technological demands, or User demands or needs]."
Our Leadership asked me to be the Project Manager for the MC Project, should the Developers of MC so choose, because I am NOT a C programmer (even though I know and have used, taught, and developed applications in 14 other programming languages) so I will [not
necessarily do a lot of ] the [development] my[self]. That will be up to the MC Developers and the Leadership of the Krusader Project, who are advanced, expert, C Programmers with some pretty incredible credentials (they are the Lead Programmers for Zend, the makers of the PHP language, for example). Our research indicated that the Maintainer being saddled with programming duties had actually not been helpful in the MC Project. Pavel confirmed this in our conversations. I have been asked to help set reasonable and attainable goals and use my skills to help the Developers meet those goals.
Because of my extensive technology management experience, Project Management experience, product design experience, interface design research and coding experience, and a comprehensive understanding of the International software market, together with the fact that I am semi-retired and have the time to be available, our Leadership felt that I would be best able to work with the MC Development Team to make sure their needs were met and to act as a liaison between the MC Project and the Krusader Project, scheduling and deploying the support personnel to make sure both Development Teams have the resources they need in a timely manner.
In other words, I'm an old guy who knows how to do all the different jobs and appreciates how hard it is for developers to do a good job when they are being annoyed by all kinds of other problems and pressures. I can make those problems go away.
I can also guarantee that the MC Team, should they accept our offer, will be able to enjoy the excellent, fun, production environment that the Krew calls "home".
> I feel the midnight
>commander is very much it's own project, and I don't feel very
>comfortable about becoming a "unit" of anything.
We agree, this is why the fact that the MC Project would remain a discreet, unique, entity is specifically mentioned. What the MC Developers choose to call it: unit, division, department, platoon, whatever - you decide - you will not be absorbed into the Krusader Krew automatically. Some of the MC Developers may wind up being asked to be members of the "Krew", but if they are it will be because they have "made the grade", just like all the current Krew members. It's not easy. It's not a right. But that is an entirely different issue and has no bearing on your status as a part of the MC Development [insert name here] - for now we'll just call it "Team". The MC Development Team will be separate from the Krew, yet will have the benefit of the Krew's services, in the different units mentioned above.
>I don't think we need a new infrastructure for the development process,
>just some fine tuning of the existing would suffice.
Well Leonard, we just have an honest difference of opinion here. Simply put, we are not interested in maintaining two sets of standards, two different "looks", two of everything when it comes to websites, documentation, etc. The MC Development Team will have the benefit of the Krew's infrastructure, and that comes in one flavor - the best we can possibly produce. If this is more than you are used to, sorry! As I said above, we are proud of our standards in every area of our Project, and think if given a chance, you would be proud of them as well.
We are interested in helping the MC Team for two reasons: 1) We are all MC users and "fans", have been for years. On my SUSE 9.2 workstation MC loads second, Krusader loads fifth. We want to see MC come out with a new version, and then another, and so on..., 2) We are in the File Management business. File Management is what we are about. Even though Krusader and MC are very different products, for very different usages in many cases, for different working environments; they are both "Twin-Panel File Managers". Did I mention that this is what we do? We believe that there is considerable synergy between the two products now, and given the right environment and some time, that there could be a great deal of synergy between the two products. We cannot help but believe that if we get an additional development team of file management experts working with us, even in "different parts of the house", that this will lead to breakthroughs in file management technology AND make both products better and more desirable - even if all the two different teams do is talk and compare "war stories'. How many other file management developers do you guys know who are not on your team? We think having the two premier file management application development teams under the same roof creates a unique and powerful technology situation; and given the current strife and problems your team has been having (the rumors of the product dying, etc.) and our ability to make what we believe is a very attractive offer, on several levels, to help out and take over as Maintainer for MC from Pavel; we would be out of our heads not to at least ask. To at least see if anyone wanted to have a conversation about the possibility. After discussing the matter with Pavel over the past two weeks, we are more sure than ever that such an arrangement can have great potential, and great payoffs, for both teams. Pavel urged me to make contact with you developers and if you were willing, move forward. Given the situation, what would do? I wrote a note asking if anyone wanted to discuss making a change. It was the only choice.
One of your developers seemed to be upset because what we are proposing is not gradual enough. The fact is, if the MC Developers want to accept our offer, then Pavel will transfer the Maintainership to me and we will move forward, and the MC Project will get a fresh start and be able to leave all the trouble of the past three years in the past, and we believe, move forward to a rewarding and gratifying future where all of us can break new technology ground and do what we like to do most - design and write killer software that users all over the world love! Any member of the MC Development Team that is not into that idea will not be happy around the Krew, and may want to think about some other hobby than writing free software..... But there is really no gradual, incremental way to do this kind of thing. This is a chance that rarely comes up, we could never live with ourselves if we never even tried to see if it could work...
>What the project needs is a maintainer (or maintainers) that not
>necessarily does a lot of development himself, but one that oversees the
>project development, can formulate sensible milestone targets and
>communicate with the developers about these targets and if they are
>being met, and do an occasional release.
I hope I have covered these concerns.
>I'm not sure this is what you are suggesting.
Be sure. This is exactly what we are suggesting! If you would like to discuss this, or any other File Management related issues, Skype me (Skype ID = fudoki) and we'll chat. I'm a fellow programmer, and a fellow lover of good software that people don't have to buy from the evil empire and sacrifice their firstborn to obtain and use!
We like being the best at what we do. Not so long ago the MC
Team was the best at what they do. It can be that way again.
Where will you find a Maintainer that understands you better than
You guys deserve, IOHO, a chance to shine again. We offer you that chance under the best conditions we can come up with. It the same as we have, which is the very best we can do - and believe me, it ain't bad!
Thanks for your note and please don't hesitate to write or Skype
if you have any more questions, concerns, etc. If you and some
of the other Developers want to arrange a conference call with me and
one or more of our Developers to get a feel for our programming
standards and what we expect in terms of professional competence; I
will be happy to facilitate this. That's what I am here for -
to be a facilitator and liaison. Just let me know.
With warm regards,