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Re: [ba-ohs-talk] Re: Rethinking Licensing

cdent@burningchrome.com wrote:    (01)

> - I'm with Mike: given a pocket-guide spec I could and would
>   code.    (02)

I'd love to see one, too. The question "What is this thing, anyway"
has been asked repeatedly (mostly in meetings). The answers have
been uniform only in respect of being a vision that is unique to the
person responding.    (03)

It is, in fact, a "wicked problem". There is insufficient agreement
about what the nature of the problem is to begin a focused discussion
on solutions. I tend to focus on "collaboration" as the primary goal.
But no sooner do I utter that vision, than Rod or someone else
(equally rightly!) notes that "knowledge" is the important point.    (04)

The discussions have gone on at length, and we even tried to take
an IBIS approach, at one point. Being insufficiently versed in the
technique, however, and lacking any useful tools to expedite the
process, that effort aborted rather quickly.    (05)

> ....
> there is no consistent or clear vision of what
> is being attempted here, no leadership, no milestones and very
> little code. There are developers here and presentations of the
> things they are developing, but they aren't integrated into a
> starting point of any sort.    (06)

Guilty on all counts.    (07)

> ...the literature is so focussed on (the human-centered)
> aspect that little time is spent on questions such as "what
> are we trying to accomplish? what tasks are we attempting to
> augment or automate? why? how? is it necessary?"    (08)

These are the right questions to ask.
In my next message, I will begin a discussion of that very
question. Please watch closely to see how the discussion
ensues.    (09)

> ...Others have suggested that we
> focus on a particular use case (Jack has mentioned education, I
> think this is still too abstract); something like that may give us
> a place to hang something. I'm not sure.
> I've hesitated to say anything before now because I did not feel
> it was appropriate. Perhaps that's the key: there's a strong
> sense of insidership here, without much mentoring. I've been
> around long enough now to realize this is not intentional but it
> still represents a strong barrier to participation.    (010)

I'm sorry to hear that. Your thoughts are always well-considered,
valued, and constructive. I'm not sure what we can do to make it
more inviting. In fact, I note that is an extremely civil list, compared
to the norm.    (011)

That said, I have heard some "old timers" privately expressing their
grief that issues we discussed at length several years ago, and
reasoned carefully about, are constantly reopened. That was a large
part of the reason for wanting to purplize the archives, so we could
put together a consistent body of answers for such things, and
simply refer people to lines of thought that had already been considered.    (012)

(This notion represents what is possibly the 3rd main stream of "what
it is we're trying to accomplish, making:
  1. Online collobaration
  2. Knowledge base
  3. Accessing the huge volume of thoughts we've accumulated in
      the archive.    (013)

> We are, however, past the golden age of software volunteerism or
> nearing the end (to my eye the OpenSource(TM) movement killed it.    (014)

Interesting. I would like to hear your views on it.
As you and others have observed, though, the "open source" movement
is in many ways an activity that is funded by folks who have other
ways to derive income from the results (such as selling hardware).    (015)

> ...having a cool idea
> and enough cool code to show to potential helpers is no longer
> enough. There needs to be organization, focus, leadership, goals,
> distribution of tasks, etc etc etc. Infrastructure.    (016)

Yes. In other words, someone with enough time on their hands,
and a mandate. Any mandate that exists on this list must come
from the Doug.    (017)

> - Create a ba-ohs-devel list where specifications and code can be
>   discussed in a focussed fashion,    (018)

Actually, that's what ba-ohs-talk was originally designed for.
The wider discussions go to ba-unrev-talk, where issues of
energy, food, and what not are discussed.    (019)

I guess the licensing issue belongs here, though. I sure hope it's
settled sometime in this millenium.    (020)

Again, thank you for your very real contributions, and please don't
hesitate to post.
:_)    (021)