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Old 12-03-2007, 03:28 PM
"Christofer C. Bell"
 
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On Dec 2, 2007 3:10 PM, (``-_-) -- Fernando <ubuntu@bugabundo.net> wrote:
> I agree that :
> On Tuesday 23 October 2007 05:25:56 Matthew Paul Thomas wrote:
> > This causes people to make useless comments of the form "This bug has X
> > votes, why is it only Medium importance!", which causes more e-mail
> > notifications and slows down the developers further.
>
> but still this is a Comunity project, or is it not?
> If what users and comunity desire is not the important for the "project", then what is?

I think allowing the developers of the distribution, those who have a
real stake in the success of the software in its entirety, to decide
where to focus their efforts is superior to allowing the mob to decide
what's important. I also think that using straw-man arguments to make
your point is a mistake.

--
Chris

"Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest."

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Old 12-06-2007, 12:59 AM
"Andrew Pollock"
 
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On Dec 3, 2007 8:28 AM, Christofer C. Bell <christofer.c.bell@gmail.com> wrote:

On Dec 2, 2007 3:10 PM, (``-_-) -- Fernando <ubuntu@bugabundo.net> wrote:
> I agree that :
> On Tuesday 23 October 2007 05:25:56 Matthew Paul Thomas wrote:

> > This causes people to make useless comments of the form "This bug has X
> > votes, why is it only Medium importance!", which causes more e-mail
> > notifications and slows down the developers further.

>
> but still this is a Comunity project, or is it not?
> If what users and comunity desire is not the important for the "project", then what is?

I think allowing the developers of the distribution, those who have a

real stake in the success of the software in its entirety, to decide
where to focus their efforts is superior to allowing the mob to decide
what's important. *I also think that using straw-man arguments to make

your point is a mistake.
I disagree.

There needs to be some compromise between the developers and the mob, presuming that the mob consists of end-users. The end-user decides how much of a success the software is in its entirety. The developers need to keep that in mind at all times.


regards

Andrew

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Old 12-06-2007, 01:16 AM
Onno Benschop
 
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On 04/12/07 01:28, Christofer C. Bell wrote:
> I think allowing the developers of the distribution, those who have a
> real stake in the success of the software in its entirety, to decide
> where to focus their efforts is superior to allowing the mob to decide
> what's important. I also think that using straw-man arguments to make
> your point is a mistake.

The end-user has just as much stake in the success of the software in
its entirety as a developer.

Some may even argue that they have more stake in its success because
ultimately they're using the distribution as a tool to get their job done.

--
Onno Benschop

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Old 12-06-2007, 02:13 AM
Scott Kitterman
 
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On Wednesday 05 December 2007 20:59, Andrew Pollock wrote:
> On Dec 3, 2007 8:28 AM, Christofer C. Bell <christofer.c.bell@gmail.com>
>
> wrote:
> > On Dec 2, 2007 3:10 PM, (``-_-) -- Fernando <ubuntu@bugabundo.net>
> >
> > wrote:
> > > I agree that :
> > >
> > > On Tuesday 23 October 2007 05:25:56 Matthew Paul Thomas wrote:
> > > > This causes people to make useless comments of the form "This bug has
> >
> > X
> >
> > > > votes, why is it only Medium importance!", which causes more e-mail
> > > > notifications and slows down the developers further.
> > >
> > > but still this is a Comunity project, or is it not?
> > > If what users and comunity desire is not the important for the
> >
> > "project", then what is?
> >
> > I think allowing the developers of the distribution, those who have a
> > real stake in the success of the software in its entirety, to decide
> > where to focus their efforts is superior to allowing the mob to decide
> > what's important. I also think that using straw-man arguments to make
> > your point is a mistake.
>
> I disagree.
>
> There needs to be some compromise between the developers and the mob,
> presuming that the mob consists of end-users. The end-user decides how much
> of a success the software is in its entirety. The developers need to keep
> that in mind at all times.
>
For those of us who are volunteers (most of us), the compromise is someone has
to convince me it's worth my time to bother. So I'd say the other way
around. The users who want volunteers to actually do free work for them need
to be convincing why I should be bothered (hint: threatening to switch back
to Windows doesn't motivate me at all).

I think this is useful reading for those trying to get developers interested
in their problem:

http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html

Scott K

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Old 12-06-2007, 03:36 PM
Kevin Fries
 
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On Wed, 2007-12-05 at 22:13 -0500, Scott Kitterman wrote:
> For those of us who are volunteers (most of us), the compromise is
> someone has to convince me it's worth my time to bother. So I'd say
> the other way around. The users who want volunteers to actually do
> free work for them need to be convincing why I should be bothered
> (hint: threatening to switch back to Windows doesn't motivate me at
> all).

If you need motivation from external sources, then maybe you are
misdirecting your efforts. I am not trying to be mean here, but I use
and advocate Linux for many reasons. Nobody has to motivate me to do
so. I do so because I believe in the platform, and I want it to
succeed. I want it to succeed for selfish as well as altruistic
reasons. Many unpaid hours are spent helping someone get started, not
because I need to be convinced to do so. I do so because I want Ubuntu
to succeed, I want Linux to succeed. And I am not alone. Many of the
local Colorado Local Group, are looking for ways to provide help desks
to noobs, to get more CDs out, or even get cards out pointing the
uninitiated to online resources. None of them are paid either. Nor do
any of them need to be convinced to do so. They do so for the same
reason I do... Because it is what is needed to be done.

There seems to be this growing trend in the Ubuntu community lately, and
I am pretty sure that it is an all bad thing. The developers, not all
but a growing number, seem to think Ubuntu is their baby. The sweat of
their brow, and therefore, only successful because of what they do.
While I will be the first to say that these voices are still the great
minority, they are getting louder. And diminish the fantastic work done
by so many.

There are many ways to contribute to a project such as Ubuntu. I have
offered programming skills, and was treated quite rudely buy certain
members of the programming community. They were extremely territorial
and condescending towards my efforts. I have since decided to focus my
efforts elsewhere.

The comments above are exactly the attitude we need to guard against.
In my current day job, I design state of the art hand-held computerized
devices. Because of my advocacy here, fewer and fewer of those machines
are being considered for Windows Mobile. Because of my efforts here,
Windows Mobile is no longer mentioned when new projects come up. That
takes my faith in the project, and the developers ability to deliver
that project. Without the developers, my faith is misplaced. Without
my advocacy, the developers efforts are purely academic. I am no more,
or no less important than the developer, and I expect to be treated with
the same respect. Not looked down upon so some developer can find
motivation.

In addition to my day job, I am getting a business off the ground. This
business is designed to bring real, solid, Linux based networking
solutions to the small and medium-small based business. A market
segment that Linux has not had much success with in the past, and
Microsoft is pandering to. Bringing Linux to a brand new market segment
is not easy. However, I think by doing so, I can build a successful
business, allow small businesses to better compete, and advance the
Linux and Ubuntu cause. But I do not degrade the efforts of others to
justify why I do this. Eau contraire mon frer, I praise them. For if
it was not for all that they do, I could not concentrate on resolving
the businesses issues.

I know that not everybody on this board is American, but one thing that
every American child learns in history class is in regards to the
American Civil War. The north finally prevailed with a tactic of divide
and conquer. We learn the slogan "United we stand, divided we fall"
quoted by Thomas Jefferson (attributed as far back as Aesop). And
Abraham Lincoln's paraphrase of that statement "A house divided against
itself cannot stand" (one of the great speeches of all time). Ubuntu is
strong when we all listen to each other, give each other respect, and
stop trying to claim that my problems are more important than your
problems. EVERYONE, end user, advocate, consultant, developer, or even
the businessperson that uses Linux for his/her operating system of
choice, is in this together. Or else, we can tear each other apart.

It is time to come together, shut our mouths, and listen to the other
sides. It is time to do this so that all of our efforts can be
maximized, and focused on the common good. It time to stop using the
word me (also meant in the metamorphic sense such as end user, or
developer) and start using the word us.

Thats just my $0.02

--
Kevin Fries
Senior Linux Engineer
Computer and Communications Technology, Inc
A Division of Japan Communications Inc.

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Old 12-06-2007, 04:03 PM
Scott Kitterman
 
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On Thursday 06 December 2007 11:36, Kevin Fries wrote:
> On Wed, 2007-12-05 at 22:13 -0500, Scott Kitterman wrote:
> > For those of us who are volunteers (most of us), the compromise is
> > someone has to convince me it's worth my time to bother. So I'd say
> > the other way around. The users who want volunteers to actually do
> > free work for them need to be convincing why I should be bothered
> > (hint: threatening to switch back to Windows doesn't motivate me at
> > all).
>
> If you need motivation from external sources, then maybe you are
> misdirecting your efforts. I am not trying to be mean here, but I use
> and advocate Linux for many reasons. Nobody has to motivate me to do
> so. I do so because I believe in the platform, and I want it to
> succeed. I want it to succeed for selfish as well as altruistic
> reasons. Many unpaid hours are spent helping someone get started, not
> because I need to be convinced to do so. I do so because I want Ubuntu
> to succeed, I want Linux to succeed. And I am not alone. Many of the
> local Colorado Local Group, are looking for ways to provide help desks
> to noobs, to get more CDs out, or even get cards out pointing the
> uninitiated to online resources. None of them are paid either. Nor do
> any of them need to be convinced to do so. They do so for the same
> reason I do... Because it is what is needed to be done.
>
> There seems to be this growing trend in the Ubuntu community lately, and
> I am pretty sure that it is an all bad thing. The developers, not all
> but a growing number, seem to think Ubuntu is their baby. The sweat of
> their brow, and therefore, only successful because of what they do.
> While I will be the first to say that these voices are still the great
> minority, they are getting louder. And diminish the fantastic work done
> by so many.

I think you misunderstand my point.

I don't need external motivation to work on Linux. I have my own for my own
reasons. My point is that I have limited time for development work and that
if someone else wants me to spend that time on what they perceive as a
problem, they need to convince me it's a worthwhile investment of my time
(compared to what I would have otherwise done).

As you said, there are many ways to contribute and they are all needed.

My concern is the idea that "because a user said they want it" is a meaninful
metric in a largely volunteer project. In Free software projects, the
meaningful metric for what gets done is what the people doing the work think
needs doing (and this applies to all types of work, not just development, in
the project). Volunteers can't be ordered. They have to be convinced.

Scott K

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Old 12-06-2007, 05:55 PM
Kevin Fries
 
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On Thu, 2007-12-06 at 12:03 -0500, Scott Kitterman wrote:
> I think you misunderstand my point.

No I got it. And I think that that thinking is wrong and dangerous to
Linux in general, and Ubuntu in specific.

<snip>

> My concern is the idea that "because a user said they want it" is a meaninful
> metric in a largely volunteer project. In Free software projects, the
> meaningful metric for what gets done is what the people doing the work think
> needs doing (and this applies to all types of work, not just development, in
> the project). Volunteers can't be ordered. They have to be convinced.

If I don't get my steak the way I ordered it. I buy my steak from
elsewhere. Ubuntu with no users, is not anything but an exercise in
ego. What the customer wants is the only real metric. You need to
understand that as a developer, and I live with that every day as a
Consultant, Designer, and Implementer.

Which of those priorities you wish to work on, however, is completely
your own decision. But the customer MUST set the priorities of what
needs done in the bigger picture. And, the customer MUST set the list of
features that need to be implemented.

Rule #1 of Business: Its not about you.

If you do not make your customers wishes and desires #1 on your priority
list, your competition will.

Lets not forget, Ubuntu is a business product, distributed by a real
business. Therefore, its not about you... or me. Its about the
customer. Making the customer feel like they have to talk you into
something, is just not good business. This is why I spend so many hours
providing help to ANYONE who asks. Even people I would rather not. Its
not about me, its about Ubuntu, and what is best for the project.

Even more so in an all volunteer endeavor, egos must be checked at the
door. Developer's egos, designer's egos, and consultant's egos. We as
the people trying to make this a success, need to listen to the customer
so that there will be more of them. Its the one true advantage we have
over Microsoft which is notorious for blowing off their customer to do
what is in their best interest (Can we say Windows Genuine Advantage, or
Digital Rights Management... I knew we could).

You allow the customers wishes to be the only real metric because you
place Ubuntu and Linux's needs before your own. Otherwise, are you
really helping?

--
Kevin Fries
Senior Linux Engineer
Computer and Communications Technology, Inc
A Division of Japan Communications Inc.

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Old 12-06-2007, 06:12 PM
"Cory K."
 
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Kevin Fries wrote:
> You allow the customers wishes to be the only real metric because you
> place Ubuntu and Linux's needs before your own. Otherwise, are you
> really helping?

*IF* I were paid I would agree. What it comes down to with many of us is
we find a niche we care about and work on that. That work benefits users
of those packages.

What this touches on for me is my long-time feeling that for Ubuntu to
continue to be sustainable many more of us need to be paid
maintainers/developers. There's a list of at least 10 people I know that
should be paid to maintain Universe. Until that or something like it
happens Kevin, you simple can't demand the types of things you suggest
from people.

Also this is a conversation (like many) that just doesn't work on a ML.


-Cory m/ (Ubuntu Studio lead)

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Old 12-06-2007, 06:30 PM
Patrick
 
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There are some really strong arguments being put forth in this thread. I
think I can understand how all the participates feel.

I think there is a developer-user disconnect and I tried to touch on
this in my long winded "best foot forward" thread. That being said I
have contributed absolutely nothing and I am in no position to complain.
Perhaps the problem here is that people should get paid and if they are
getting paid they should listen more closely to what the end user needs.

I don't have a lot of money. I just have a small business selling used
lab instruments but I have lots of opportunities on the horizon. However
I know there is a vast financial opportunity in front of me that I
cannot capitalize on fast enough. There are millions of dollars to be
made in instrument control software. I am so short on time with basic
survival stuff that I cannot reach my goal.

Would anyone be interested in creating an "Ubuntu entrepreneur list"??

If we could help each other out maybe we could actually make money and
pay people to make the modifications we want.

Just a thought-Patrick

Cory K. wrote:
> Kevin Fries wrote:
>
>> You allow the customers wishes to be the only real metric because you
>> place Ubuntu and Linux's needs before your own. Otherwise, are you
>> really helping?
>>
>
> *IF* I were paid I would agree. What it comes down to with many of us is
> we find a niche we care about and work on that. That work benefits users
> of those packages.
>
> What this touches on for me is my long-time feeling that for Ubuntu to
> continue to be sustainable many more of us need to be paid
> maintainers/developers. There's a list of at least 10 people I know that
> should be paid to maintain Universe. Until that or something like it
> happens Kevin, you simple can't demand the types of things you suggest
> from people.
>
> Also this is a conversation (like many) that just doesn't work on a ML.
>
>
> -Cory m/ (Ubuntu Studio lead)
>
>


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Old 12-06-2007, 07:13 PM
Neal McBurnett
 
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On Thu, Dec 06, 2007 at 11:55:40AM -0700, Kevin Fries wrote:
>
> On Thu, 2007-12-06 at 12:03 -0500, Scott Kitterman wrote:
> > I think you misunderstand my point.
>
> No I got it. And I think that that thinking is wrong and dangerous to
> Linux in general, and Ubuntu in specific.

Kevin - howdy! I know you're doing cool stuff for Ubuntu and the
market, and you bring some good business perspectives to Ubuntu as a
product. And I want Ubuntu to be a great product! But Ubuntu is more
than that. Please recognize that there are many different sorts of
people involved in Ubuntu, and respect everyone's right to do what
they feel called to do. Scott speaks for many of us who are not paid.
In fact seminal essays on Free Software sociology have demonstrated
that this is not an uncommon position - the old "scratching an itch"
motivation.

Telling people who you're not paying what to do using inflamatory
language is just not very helpful IMHO :-)

> > My concern is the idea that "because a user said they want it" is
> > a meaninful metric in a largely volunteer project. In Free
> > software projects, the meaningful metric for what gets done is
> > what the people doing the work think needs doing (and this applies
> > to all types of work, not just development, in the project).
> > Volunteers can't be ordered. They have to be convinced.

> If I don't get my steak the way I ordered it. I buy my steak from
> elsewhere. Ubuntu with no users, is not anything but an exercise in
> ego. What the customer wants is the only real metric. You need to
> understand that as a developer, and I live with that every day as a
> Consultant, Designer, and Implementer.

You can indeed pay someone to do work related to Ubuntu, just like in
the commercial software world. You can pay Canonical, or another
Ubuntu support firm, or folks that do upstream development, or vendors
that sell software or hardware that runs on Ubuntu. And then you get
to specify what you'll pay for.

But Ubuntu is MORE than a commercial project. It is also a rich,
diverse community of contributors. Some developers, some writers some
bug triagers, etc etc. They contribute in ways that are very
different from the way the business world works. And we benefit in
wonderful and unexpected ways from the diversity of their motivations.

I agree that excellent attention to customers is hugely important to
bug #1. But [gasp] not everyone is doing this because of bug #1.
Some are just having fun, and still contributing in excellent ways.
Free software projects flourish when everyone is respected for how
they want to contribute.

> Which of those priorities you wish to work on, however, is completely
> your own decision. But the customer MUST set the priorities of what
> needs done in the bigger picture. And, the customer MUST set the list of
> features that need to be implemented.
>
> Rule #1 of Business: Its not about you.
>
> If you do not make your customers wishes and desires #1 on your priority
> list, your competition will.

For the folks that are paid, right on. For the volunteers - maybe
that isn't what floats their boat. Let them choose how to contribute.
Remember, they're letting YOU choose how to leverage the result of
their work, after all. That is part of the magic of free software.

> Lets not forget, Ubuntu is a business product, distributed by a real
> business. Therefore, its not about you... or me. Its about the
> customer. Making the customer feel like they have to talk you into
> something, is just not good business. This is why I spend so many hours
> providing help to ANYONE who asks. Even people I would rather not. Its
> not about me, its about Ubuntu, and what is best for the project.
>
> Even more so in an all volunteer endeavor, egos must be checked at the
> door. Developer's egos, designer's egos, and consultant's egos. We as
> the people trying to make this a success, need to listen to the customer
> so that there will be more of them. Its the one true advantage we have
> over Microsoft which is notorious for blowing off their customer to do
> what is in their best interest (Can we say Windows Genuine Advantage, or
> Digital Rights Management... I knew we could).

Right on about checking egos at the door. And I think ego is all
about telling someone else how to do something. So I delight in your
energy and way of contributing to the Ubuntu ecosystem. But recognize
that there is more than one way, and that is to our benefit, and
please don't project your views onto others.

> You allow the customers wishes to be the only real metric because you
> place Ubuntu and Linux's needs before your own. Otherwise, are you
> really helping?

This conversation started off (in October!) with a non-developer
trying to find out if a post to the list about a "favorite bug" was
appropriate. Unfortunately we've now regressed into a non-so-pretty
internal argument. What an inappropriate waste!!

In summary I think we will make a lot more progress if we recognize
there are many ways of helping. Treating each other with respect is
one of the most important. And figuring out creative new ways to
contribute is another. My own suggestions for contributors, both
developers and non-developers, is in a talk I did last month for the
Boulder Linux Users Group:

http://mcburnett.org/neal/talks/contribute_to_ubuntu.html

Cheers,

Neal McBurnett http://mcburnett.org/neal/


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