[squeak-dev] [Election] ...is soon upon us! Last day info

Ian Trudel ian.trudel at gmail.com
Sat Mar 13 02:44:45 UTC 2010

2010/3/12 keith <keith_hodges at yahoo.co.uk>:

> > Why didn't you run for the Board?

> Because it would not be ethical.

> The board is not a management committee, which you appoint in order to get
> things done within a specific remit, like putting on an event, or producing
> a release. Our board is there for oversight and co-ordination within the
> community. So you would expect them to co-ordinate and oversee, not to
> dictate.

Yes, you're right. I have simply not seen the board exceed the scope
of their mandate to the point of dictating. There are however “leading
by example” where some of them have produced work that you may not
agree with and pushed it in the trunk. While it may not represent
anything you want, it has inspired others.

My point is that I've heard many times that a given person was a
dictator, whether it is in a community or a company. Most often it is
out of frustration than factual. To my own experience, leading people
is difficult and even the soft-soft approach will turn employees to
dis a boss. Trying to please everybody? Undecided. Soft-soft approach?
Lack of leadership. Dedicated? Dictator. And so on.

> The fact that you suggest that I run for the board to represent my ideas,
> tells me several things. Firstly it tells me that the board is not doing its
> job, because apparently I now need to be elected to have a voice, and to get
> my way. When in actual fact the board is supposed to be there in order to
> give me a voice, since the board represents and liaises with the community
> and that includes me.

You do have a voice. You get a huge load of replies each time you
write an email here. I don't get that. It's even more interesting to
see you have so much attention on Squeak mailing list, on Squeak
related matter, when your interest is in Cuis. Perhaps, you feel
unheard because your way do not prevail? A voice and getting one's way
are two different things.

There is a fundamental social concept that one has to “sell” his or
her ideas to others in order to obtain some form of collaboration.
Whether a person is a member of a community or an employee in a
company, he or she has to convince others that his or her ideas are
the best suited for a given situation. Even a big boss in a big
company has to convince his or her employees if he or she wants full
collaboration (rather than coerced by authority); even the most
flexible employees can have a strong resistance to change.

Now, I don't make the social rules. You are not forced to follow any
of them. The outcome is however always the same: one becomes an
outcast. Is it fair? No. It's only human nature. In a nutshell, don't
expect anybody to drag you and put you up on a stadium because you've
had an idea and did a huge amount of work on it: you've got to
continuously work for peer approval.

> So I should be able to trust the board, that if an issue comes up that
> concerns me, I will not be excluded form the discussion, and I will be
> invited to participate. For example, when this release, "pharo is ahead of
> us" debate that panicked the board last year occurred, I was actually on
> holiday. (In actual fact we were way ahead of pharo in many respects at the
> time, but that is another issue) The fact that I didn't engage with this
> debate, because I felt it was irrelevant and I was on holiday and the board
> had already supported my positon, after giving my proposal due
> consideration, is something I should have been able to rely on. The board is
> supposed to provide more stability to the community not less.

The world does not revolve around you, Keith. An open source project
should keep going even though some people are busy, on holidays, not
interested in a certain subject, etc. That's how such projects keep
the momentum and become successful (or don't die forgotten in a

You may be offended that they did not wait for you but you've just
admitted you thought it was an irrelevant discussion. It appeared this
discussion was more important than you have anticipated and you've
made a mistake not being there. Don't blame others for this one, you
said that it was irrelevant. ;)

> You see if an issue comes up, such as how to sort out the next release, for
> example. It is the boards job to gather all that are concerned and to make
> sure that no voice is left unheard, and to make a considered decision to the
> satisfaction of all concerned.

I agree to some extent. It's sometimes absolutely impossible to bring
satisfaction to every party involved. Correct me if I am wrong, I
paraphrase, you say: “I presented an idea, worked hard on it, you must
agree to my satisfaction.” You leave absolutely no room for the
possibility that your satisfaction may be to the dissatisfaction of
others. Who's inflexible here?

Do you work at home? I believe you are self employed. Everything you
tell me makes me think that you don't work in an office nor have your
own team. You are idealizing what social interaction should be without
any consideration for the human factor. Humans are humans, true to
their nature. Working in group also means drama, unfairness, being not
heard, and the list goes on. It may also mean that if one idea of
yours does not work in a community, even a good one, it should be
readjusted, (or) should be keep to yourself or you should move on.

> So, if I was to get elected on the basis of wanting to represent my own
> interests, and my own ideas.I would not even vote for myself.

I respect your position and it's good that you don't go for something
that you believed to be unethical. My perception of you is that you
are passionate, devoted and a hard worker. I am sure that you could
have a major turn about in this community if you would want to change
your way a little bit. People are willing to communicate with you, to
hear you, to like you, but you are sometimes inflexible. You don't
need to be a rock star and overly charismatic to make people follow
your way. It's however ridiculous to think that no social effort is
required to make your ideas successful.

Thanks for your insight, Keith.


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