Re: [Usability] Better look Re: (no subject)

On 12/17/05, Estradin Solaris <estradin gmail com> wrote:
> > All the community can do as a group of people is to point out that we
> > need a change, express what's been wrong and what is the range of
> > acceptable solutions and let some individual take the lead and make it
> > so.
> I can't agree with that. You seem to suggest that ultimately only an
> individual can take decisions.

I did say "an individual or a small team" earlier, and meant the same
here though I failed to mention it implicitly...

> I believe that a more community driven
> decision making process can be made: commissions.

This is basically what I said, a community can't make the decision so
a self-formed comission is needed to make the decision (sometimes it
just is a one-member comission).

> I will use
> parliaments as an example, and since I am spanish, I will use the
> parliament of Spain, although most parliaments in contintental Europe
> work in a similar way. There are 350 members of the parliament. The
> power ultimately resides in them, but the decision making very rarely
> lays upon the 350 MPs.

> Commissions are set up, so small groups can
> discuss and plan, and then they ask for the assent of the rest of the
> members. Thus, the decision is taken by all 350 MPs, but only 10 or 12
> actually worked in the decision.

Yes, and this is pretty much what I meant. The 350 MPs need to decide
yes or no, but it needs an individual or a small team to chew out what
is good.

> How does this apply to any open-source project, not just Gnome? Well,
> it's easy. There's a community, made up of users, programmers and
> 'group-members' such as us. The groups are open, and anyone who wants
> to become part of one can actually do it. That makes decision making
> within the groups rather difficult. If 10 members of the group would
> commit themselves to drafting the proposals, and then submit them to
> the group for approval, the decision would be legitimate, since it
> would have been approved by a majority (or a plurality) of group
> members, while it would be feasible, since the working group would be
> made up of 10 members. That is a quite workable group.

This is what happens in GNOME all the time. Someone comes up with
stuff, plans it (possibly with a bunch of guys), implements it and
brings it to discussion. If there is a consensus that it is good, it
gets in after the blessing of the maintainer.

The problems come when someone thinks about stuff, brings it to
discussion and everybody just talks about it without implementing
anything, usually with the excuse of not wanting to do work that might
be rejected. So there is nothing specific to decide on for the
community, it is all just chit-chat and a yes/no decision can not be
made (thus rendering the community unable to decide). After a while
people get furstrated and blame the project for lacking leadership
(which is a common feature of OSS communities, not really a bug in

So you want something decided, bring something to decide on (in yes/no
form) to the table.

Simple as that.

If you start formalizing the process, it loses interest for a lot of
people, will need workforce to maintain the byrocracy overhead and
will slow everything down. This is a big broblem in the corporate

Kalle Vahlman, zuh iki fi
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