Forum OpenACS Development: Let's see some actual LEADERSHIP

Posted by Andrew Piskorski on
Patrick, did you see me volunteer for anything? No you didn't, which you knew perfectly well - you're being disingenuous.

No, as I've stated previously elsewhere, I've hardly done any work using OpenACS in years. Web pages are perhaps 5% of my job at most. (Which is part of why the code I have contributed has been very modest, and it's been a long time since I did even that.)

But more importantly, that's all completely irrelevant.

The point is that the very existence of this thread is an illustration in slap-dash, half-assed, lackadaisical governance - not to mention leadership.

A competent Open Source software leader does not suddenly announce, as if after the fact, that the project is dropping all Oracle support, based on some sort of behind-closed-doors discussion and decision making that no one else in the community has ever heard of, and which is entirely absent from the public record.

Yes, PostgreSQL users have been whining about of having to "support" Oracle for years. Fine, but also largely irrelevant.

What a competent leader does, is come out of his private OCT meeting and say something along the lines of:

As many of you know, over the last several years we've had lots of complaints from PostgreSQL developers about the burden of porting to and testing their changes on Oracle, and we feel that these complaints are both justified and serious. Worse, the number of Oracle users stepping up to the plate to fund support and development just hasn't been enough to compensate for the added effort of supporting two RDBMSs.

Therefore, our draft plan - which will be posted to the TIP forum shortly, for further discussion and eventually a formal vote - is basically this:

If we're to keep Oracle support in the next major version of OpenACS, the following things must each happen within the next N months:

  1. X dollars of new funding specifically targetted to ongoing Oracle maintenance.

  2. Y additional developers demonstrating consistent active interest and support for Oracle.

  3. [Etc., whatever. I think you get the idea.]

If you want solid, robust support for OpenACS on Oracle, now is the time - step forward, and please put your money where your mouth is, because we need it.

Something like that, damn it. Not bullshit along the lines of, "Oh by the way, now that we've suddenly decided to completely drop Oracle support, after merely griping about it for years..."

In other words, if you feel an ultimatum is warranted, then issue a real ultimatum, don't just be lazy! You are the leaders of OpenACS - and for good reason - not me. So please act like leaders! Figure out what is needed for solid support of both Oracle and PostgreSQL, state those needs clearly, set a deadline, and state what the fallback plan and consequences are if those needs are not met.

Then at least no one can complain that you didn't try to keep Oracle support in the toolkit...

Posted by Don Baccus on
Yes, PostgreSQL users have been whining about of having to "support" Oracle for years. Fine, but also largely irrelevant.
It stops being irrelevant the day I stop saying "someday I will no longer support Oracle for you" and start saying "as of now I will no longer support Oracle for you". Pissing me off isn't going to do much to encourage me to support your platform for free in the future. Competent FOLLOWERS figure that out. Oh, financial support HAS been asked for, at the last .LRN conference, which is where the only Oracle users with money congegrate. One university has stepped forward to help out with testing and bug-fixing for .LRN 2.2 but it is not at all clear that THEY'LL be using Oracle a year from now, either...