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

Posted by Talli Somekh on
As perhaps the first person who suggested that a foundation or a steering committee be installed, I feel somewhat responsible for these discussions.

I understand Jerry's proposition because I advocated it originally. I no longer feel that way for a few reasons:

* I had some private exchanges with Ben and others that made me convinced me reasonably otherwise.

* I saw some of the ugly fights that were taking place on the Jabber mailing list, ones that made these discussions seem civil.

* I studied some of the other open source projects and realized that what drove these applications probably weren't their beuracracy but the money companies hoped to make off of them.

* Ben, Don, Roberto and Dan admitted their leadership positions.

I am personally comfortable with these four guys as the leaders of the community. They have invested more time and energy in making sure that the software worked, there was a space for people to discuss how to use it and organized a massive effort to port a few hundred thousand lines of code to another DB. Also, they built and rolled out new applications to make OpenACS a much better product than what aD abandoned.

For the foreseeable future, I think these guys will continue to do a great job. Ben has evangelized the OpenACS longer and better than anyone else, Roberto has done yeoman's work building the docs, Dan fixes bugs within an hour of their submission and Don has led a tremendous technical effort, one that probably rivals anything else in the OSS field. I commend their leadership and I accept their positions delightfully.

I admit that my initial advocation for structure was due in part to my desire for seeing myself and Musea be recognized as leaders in the community. But I also just wanted to see *someone* established as the leaders so we would now at least where the decisions were being made. Like I said, I'm comfortable with that stuff.

I volunteered Musea to rebuild for the similar reasons. We want to be recognized as another leader in the community and in order to convince clients of how OpenACS works we can't send them to the current embarrassment (I think it's fair to call what we have pretty embarrassing considering the power of our software). I think that if and when we fulfill our promise it will be reasonable for us to ask for more decision making power in the direction of the community (not that we don't have it now) since we're willing to sacrifice significant time, energy and money to not just benefit ourselves but everyone who currently and in the future use OpenACS.

If there is anyone who should feel similarly, I think it's Jerry. I do believe that Jerry deserves some recognition for his work as well. He has done a great deal of work integrating search into OpenACS. I don't think it matters whether he did it with 3 or 4. 3 is still a living application and he must have learned a great deal about htdig that will be applicable to when it's made available for 4.

I personally find OpenFTS pretty intimidating. I don't know what the hell a lexum is and it doesn't help that a site it's only used for Russian sites right now. I have implemented htdig on a project and it works great. So I like to see the work he's doing.

Don also has a point since Jerry hasn't made his work totally official and has kept all the demos of his work on his site. That's probably not such a big deal considering he's made it obvious that his site exists, that his work is not done and eventually it will all be folded back.

So I'm kinda neutral in this argument. I think we're currently fine how we are, but that the critical mass for a True Community may come soon. In the meantime, these arguments are distracting and potentially divisive. Also, I don't like new or potential members of the community getting scared off by community heavy weights taking swings at each other. It's healthy behavior, IMO, but only if it's just some steam that has to be blown off.

Also, it's not worth saying the community sucks because there's nothing can be found on the website. Everybody's admitted that and we're going to fix it. So that should be a dead issue.