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

Posted by Jamie Ross on
I wasn’t going to step into this but reading Don’s last few posts disturb me as this is way too much of a distraction to this team.

Here are my thoughts for what they are worth:

  • The current leadership group of Don, Ben, Dan and Roberto started this project and have brought it a long way. They earned the right to lead it as they see fit. Others will rise into leadership roles by taking on the the tasks that need to be done and earning that right. While everyone can contribute their ideas, someone has to make the final decision and at this point in time, these are the guys. Stop whining. When the organization needs to change, I trust they will make that decision. You can choose to contribute directly to the core project under their guidance or pursue parallel or complementary projects as fits your needs. Thats the beauty of open source. You are always free to pursue your own vision. (Xemacs as a branch from emacs comes to mind). We don’t all have to agree on everything as we all have different areas of interest and concern.
  • OpenACS is not a commercial venture and it should not be one. The demands of a commercial venture are much different that a community software effort even though you can build a sustainable business around it. I have no wish to see “investors” control OpenACS in any way.
  • To help all those trying to build a business around OpenACS, I think it might be worth considering a separate organization or association of developer companies which can address needs of the commercial community. Things like education (maybe update some boot camp problem sets for OpenACS) and even certification or central job registry etc.. The objective being to promote what we find to be good practices and code, provide some means of confidence to clients what we know what we are doing etc and to promote a larger presence that a single small company can’t provide by itself (ie if you go out of business the client can feel confident that there are other companies in the association or whatever who can pick it up). This should be separate from the OpenACS effort which is focused on develooping the core toolkit. This would be focused on supporting consulting practices centered around the OpenACS toolkiit.
  • Right now we have enough work cleaning up OpenACS 3.X and getting 4.X to work the way it needs to. Working on the intranet in 3.2.5, I am still finding bugs and overhauling the current structure which I hope to fold back into the release when it gets a bit farther.
  • I totally disagree with the idea of padding resumes with big OpenACS titles. If you are consulting with OpenACS, then make your site be a showcase of what it can do. I disagree that the current openacs site is that bad. It is not designed to be a commercial showcase but a community site and does that reasonably well. I would like to go to at least ONE site that isn’t loaded with FLASH and javascript and eye candy, but lets me do what I need to do on the browser of my choice. Musea may do great work, but it concerns me when the graphic designer’s site demands that you use IE to view her site.

Ok..said my peace and hope we can move on to more productive stuff

Cheers, Jamie