Taking control of parts of Squeak

Martin Wirblat mw.projanynet at SoftHome.net
Mon Feb 24 11:26:15 UTC 2003

Hi Roel and Andreas,

I must admit my post sounds really somewhat naive. Perhaps I reacted to fast
and emotionally on a proposal which I misinterpreted as being a 'Taking
control' in the sense of having the power to decide without any previous
discussion. I fully agree that there must be a leadership and that those
leaders will be found naturally and automatically among experienced and
responsible people. So I were glad when Roel posted that he never thought of
bypassing any discussion and I feel sorry if I irritated anyone with my post.


"Andreas Raab" <andreas.raab at gmx.de> wrote on 23.02.2003 23:57:43:
>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

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