Re: Discussing issues

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On Tue, Apr 15, 2003 at 06:07:39PM -0400, Mark Vojkovich wrote:
> > When I say "working" I mean in terms of results. One metric is how
> > efficiently the technical aspects of the project are moving; are all
> > submodules covered; is there steady progress; do bugs/patches get
> > handled in a timely fashion. Another metric is whether the project is
> > able to handle personality conflicts or issues such as company
> > involvement without creating technical problems or endless
> > distraction. Does the organization have confidence that it is fair,
> > and that a company can't override the fairness? Another metric is
> > whether non-code contributors such as docs, i18n, bugzilla triagers,
> > web site maintainers, etc. are effectively used. Another is ability to
> > make and execute shared decisions such as releases. A key
> > XFree86-specific metric for me is whether it's driving much-needed new
> > library APIs and extensions in a convincing fashion, as that's my pet
> > agenda. And so on, you can think of lots of stuff, much of it has been
> > brought up. XFree86 is good on some metrics and bad on others.
> 
>    While I hope you don't mean it as such, this does sound like
> you expecting XFree86 to take up your agenda and then you being
> disappointed that it didn't happen.
> 
>    You do agree that people don't have a right to expect XFree86
> to do that don't you?  If so, then why is it a key metric for
> you that they do?

Well, earlier I wrote up my little "ethics of free software
maintenance" if you want to know how I view my own obligations and
those of others.

See this mail:

   http://www.xfree86.org/pipermail/forum/2003-March/000451.html

Specifically this excerpt:

   If XFree86 covers the community interest "Foo," then we (entire
   free software community) have a right to expect XFree86 to make
   certain efforts in that area. XFree86 "owns" that area and has
   responsibilities there to do certain maintainer duties, or step
   aside and let someone else do them. If XFree86 does not cover
   "Foo," then XFree86 has every right to say "screw off, do that
   yourself" - but the community also has every right to in fact do it
   themselves. ;-)

   In short, maintainers have an obligation not to complain about
   forks anytime they stand in the way. Standing in the way can be
   active ("no, I won't take patches for that") and also inactive ("I
   don't have time to review patches/discuss this issue/whatever").

If you guys want to be the community resource that "owns" X11 and
surrounding technology, then I think you have to accept some
obligation to do it well - which doesn't just mean everyone writing
good code in isolation, but also taking responsibility for the overall
results. For better or worse, the overall results include nontechnical
issues.

If you own X11 and surrounding technology, I think it's fair game
for people to comment on how you're doing. (Especially since you asked
- http://www.xfree86.org/pipermail/forum/2003-March/000001.html)

If you think about it, the alternative to commenting on how you're
doing, and saying what agenda I have, would be to silently get fed up
and look at a different project to provide what I'm looking for (which
is something like "a standard X platform for general-purpose graphical
workstations").

In my view, it's a fairer course of action to go ahead and say you
guys could do better in area XYZ, here's why, etc., and discuss that,
than to silently drop my support with no warning.

Havoc

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