On Thu, Aug 27, 2015 at 10:35 AM, Bryan Van de Ven firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
On Aug 27, 2015, at 10:22 AM, Matthew Brett email@example.com wrote:
In the case of the 'core' model, we have some compelling testimony from someone with a great deal of experience:
""" Much of this early structure (CVS, web site, cabal ["core" group], etc.) was copied verbatim by other open source (this term not being in wide use yet) projects -- even the form of the project name and the term "core". This later became a kind of standard template for starting up an open source project. [...] I'm sorry to say that I helped create this problem, and that most of the projects which modeled themselves after NetBSD (probably due to its high popularity in 1993 and 1994) have suffered similar problems. FreeBSD and XFree86, for example, have both forked successor projects (Dragonfly and X.org) for very similar reasons. """
Who goes on to propose:
- The "core" group must be replaced with people who are actually competent and dedicated enough to review proposals, accept feedback, and make good decisions. More to the point, though, the "core" group must only act when *needed* -- most technical decisions should be left to the community to hash out; it must not preempt the community from developing better solutions. (This is how the "core" group worked during most of the project's growth period.)
Sure. I think it's reasonable to give high weight to Hannum's assessment of the failure of the core group, but less weight to his proposal for a replacement, because at the time, I don't believe he was in a good position to assess whether his (apparent) alternative would run into the same trouble.
It's always tempting to blame the people rather than the system, but in this case, I strongly suspect that it was the system that was fundamentally flawed, therefore either promoting the wrong people or putting otherwise competent people into situations where they are no longer getting useful feedback.
It would be great, and very convenient, if the only management we needed was getting out of the way, but I doubt very much that that is the case.