Taking control of parts of Squeak

Andreas Raab andreas.raab at gmx.de
Sun Feb 23 22:57:43 UTC 2003

Hi Martin,

I don't know how far your experience in the Open Source community reaches
but I think that your views are somewhat naive here. First of all, when we
refer to "dictatorship" then what we mean is an entity that ultimately
decides what is part of the "core release" and what isn't. Such an entity is
present in pretty much every Open Source project I know about and currently,
it's called "the Guides" in Squeak. You may not see them as a dictatorship
but the Guides "hold the keys" and as such are executing the ultimate power.
SqC merely didn't delude itself about this fact. And there is no problem
with it - at some point either an individual or a group of people has to
make the ultimate call on deciding some issue.

Secondly, it is _always_ the case that people have 'special opinions' about
the way 'how things go' (as you put it). In the small, it's when you decide
to write your own code instead of using someone else's, in the large it's
the maintainer of a package at SqueakMap who may or may not decide what
enhancements he or she will ship with the next version. Yet, typically
there's no problem here either. Quite to the contrary. Literally all people
I know who manage some part of a system are VERY responsible people who will
rather go over code again to make it fit their expections (and by doing so,
often fix some more bugs ;) than blaming someone else or blindly reject it.
How comes?! If they don't then (one or more) possible contributors will get
so pissed off that they start rolling their own (effectively, this is what
happened with "the Guides vs. SqC"). And it is that competition that will
ultimately decide the issue - because if the community by the large is feels
that some person is being unable to handle things it will switch to the
competition. With the advent of SqueakMap this is really easy. So that the
only place where this can become a problem is when licensing issues prevent
you from making up a competitive package - which is one of the reasons why
everything going into the "core release" absolutely has to have an open
license in order to prevent permanent lock-ins of the community.

Thirdly, many (all?) of the ideas that evolved and changed Squeak started
out as private discussions. You will never (well, assuming you're not a
total nut ;) send - for example - a radical proposal to the entire community
right away. You will first check out people who you think have a good
judgement about how the community may react, if that is something that might
be worthwhile, a Good Idea. Many of those ideas die after the first
mentioning. Others don't. They will get relayed (for example to the SqF
list) further relayed (for example to Squeak-Dev) and give a larger part of
the community the ability to voice their opinions. Such as yours. Again,
none of this is a problem for the community unless final actions happen
based on those private communications.

In this concrete case, I completely disagree with your point of view. I
think it is way about time for the Squeak community to actively hand out
responsibilities for those parts of Squeak which are currently "unmanaged".
In effect, this means nothing but handing some person or group the
responsibility to "take care" of some currently unmanaged aspect of Squeak.
If it happens to be the case (such as here) that this group of people has
both the need for an actively managed part of Squeak as well as the ability
to evolve it towards new and better ways that's an added bonus.

  - Andreas

> -----Original Message-----
> From: squeak-dev-bounces at lists.squeakfoundation.org 
> [mailto:squeak-dev-bounces at lists.squeakfoundation.org] On 
> Behalf Of Martin Wirblat
> Sent: Friday, February 21, 2003 5:07 PM
> To: squeak-dev at lists.squeakfoundation.org
> Subject: Re: Taking control of parts of Squeak
> > Hi Roel and you all down there in Bern!
> >
> > Roel Wuyts <roel.wuyts at iam.unibe.ch> wrote:
> > > Hi Goran,
> > > before mentioning anything on the list I'd like to 
> discuss some views
> > > we have here on how the decentralization of 
> responsibility of Squeak
> > > could be done.
> ..... 
> > > - all changes to the part that you are responsible for, 
> can only be
> > > approved by you.
> >
> > Yes, that is the idea with responsibility! :-)
> Not a good idea for the core release. For everyone who had 
> problems with
> the way Squeak Central behaved ( I read something like 
> 'dictatorship' on this
> list ), this will be an even worse repetition of the past. 
> Imagine that there
> is someone on the 'approval-trigger' who has a 'special' 
> opinion of how things
> have to go, or who is more and more considered by the 
> community of being not
> able to make the right decisions.
> How to change it and even how to say it?
> IMHO this is not 'community'. I would like to add that mails 
> regarding this
> should be sent to the main list and not privately. 
> regards,
> Martin

More information about the Squeak-dev mailing list