I want to address some of the things Paul said at a higher level. I found
the post tremendously useful, because it revealed some of the perceptions
people on this list might have. I have been fortunate enough to attend
the meetings in Menlo Park, and so I thought I'd share some of my thoughts
on where this project is heading, and some of the things we need to do.
I recognize that people are really impatient to see some things
happening. This is natural; the potential is enormous and
exciting. There are several reasons why the project has not taken off as
fast as people would like.
First, we had a community before we had any software. This is
backwards. Paul mentioned the Apache project. The Apache group was a
community that formed around an existing, mature codebase. The same is
true for all of the major open source projects, with the exception of
The reason GNOME worked as well as it has is that it had strong technical
leadership and a strong, united vision. They started with the GPL, and
that helped focus the array of software from which they could start
(i.e. GTK, ORBiT, etc.). They also had a very strong technical lead in
Miguel de Icaza.
We did not start at the same point as GNOME did, but I think we are
rapidly reaching that point. More on this in a second.
One of Doug's great strengths has been to bring together an amazing and
diverse community. However, this does not translate to writing code
quickly. Had Doug said from the start, "Okay, we're going to use this
license, this is the architecture, you write some code, we'll release it,
and go from there," we'd be well into the development process right now.
Doug's approach, on the other hand, has meant educating the members of
this community on what open source means, on what the vision is,
etc. This has been a slow process, but one that I think will make the
project stronger in the long run.
There has been some question about funding, and it has been discussed
quite a bit on this list. I think Doug has been concerned about it more
than anyone else, and rightfully so. He's been working on this stuff for
50 years, and lack of funding has killed the project many times.
However, Doug is also 100 percent committed to open source. This is an
important point to reiterate, because it sounds like people on the list
are dubious about whether or not this project will ever happen as open
source. There is no question that it will.
Others have been thinking about funding, sometimes out loud on this
list. My impression has been that they are doing this because they want
to contribute to this project as much as possible, but they need to figure
out how they're going to survive while doing this. I think that this is
totally legitimate, and I encourage that kind of thinking. But the one
alternative path that we will not take is making this project a
The group had a very slow start because it was so large and diverse, but
the diversity has helped us in the long run. Some very smart people have
helped educate the others on important issues and have exerted
leadership. Key examples are Eric, Lee, and Jack, but also people limited
to participating remotely like Paul and Henry have been immensely valuable
Unfortunately, communication has gone mostly in one direction up to this
point: from the list to the people attending the Menlo Park meetings, but
not the other way around. Posting minutes from these minutes will
hopefully help address this. The thing that will help the most, however,
will be some code.
I don't think we're far from this point. I think we're close to hammering
out the initial use cases, requirements, and architecture for this
project. Code will follow soon after that. We'll also have a license in
a few weeks, and a new development mailing list soon, which should also
help move this project along. This is a bottleneck right now, but a
necessary one, in order for this project to be successful.
If there are issues regarding this project that still concern you, please,
air them out. If you're just raring to write code, please, just be
patient. We're nearing that point, and when we reach it, I think things
will really take off.
-- +=== Eugene Eric Kim ===== email@example.com ===== http://www.eekim.com/ ===+ | "Writer's block is a fancy term made up by whiners so they | +===== can have an excuse to drink alcohol." --Steve Martin ===========+
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