Forum OpenACS Q&A: Response to Priorities, Roles, and the future of OpenACS

Posted by Don Baccus on
<blockquote><i>I truly believe there are wonderful benefits in it for you and Ben</i></blockquote>
I gotta love comments of this sort.  There's something beautifully Stalinesque about the concept.
I've served on non-profit boards, steering committees, advisory committes.  I've run a biology project for a non-profit.  I've also run a software company with fifty employees, long, long ago.  So I'm very familiar with various forms of organization and the benefits and drawbacks associated with them.
<p>As far as OpenACS goes, I'm not personally interested in working within such a framework at this time.  I realize you're not suggesting  we start a foundation right now.  You're simply suggesting we start lugging around the baggage that comes with such formalism.
<p>That would be the end of our lean and mean project dream.
<p>We'll probably get there some day.  When faced with the inevitable need to do so, I may even participate with enthusiasm.  However, I do not think we're there yet.  If folks insist upon a fundamental change in the OpenACS project of this sort today, such change will take place in my absence.
<p>Let us be absolutely clear on that point, OK?  It will take place in my absence.

<P>Does this mean that Ben and Don imagine they can do everything the project needs?  Of course not.  We've both shown a willingness to delegate chunks of the overall project when folks step forward and say
"we want to help!"    I've delegated damn near the entire OpenACS 4.x project to other folks, with the exception of updating the status report.  I am about as far from "benevolent dictator" as you can imagine. I do a semi-competent job (by my standards) of organizing the project, I don't rule it. Ben's delegated the website design to Musea.
The fact that we don't respond positively to folks
who step forward and say "we want to take over!" shouldn't be read as read as an unwillingness to respond positively to folks who step forward and say "we want to help!".  And I'm tired of hearing folks claim "we want to take over because you won't let us help!".
<p>It is nice to have the fact that dilution of the amount of control Ben and I have over the OpenACS project is, indeed, one of the reasons you  wish to see the formation of a steering committee, answerable to a voting public, formed.  It's on the table, now.  This should help focus the discussion.
<p>I also suppose that, if asked, you'd be eager to serve on the steering committee?  You're not thinking, by any chance, that diluting  Don and Ben's role might be a way for you to take partial control over the project, are you?
<p>This is a time for absolute honesty, Jerry.  The community really deserves to know exactly why you're fighting so hard to force a structural change in a project that many seem to think has been progressing nicely, from technical and organizational points of view.
<p>I'll be honest with you, Jerry.  I don't believe you're trying to force change and to yank OpenACS away from us for my benefit or Ben's benefit, despite
the quotation with which I headed this response.  I think you're motivated by self-interest and a desire for some degree of personal control over the project.