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From Peter Donald <>
Subject Re: Whoa Bessie... Was -- Re: [Proposal] AntFarm
Date Tue, 19 Dec 2000 06:53:57 GMT
At 08:51  18/12/00 -0800, James Duncan Davidson wrote:
>On 12/18/00 5:28 AM, "Conor MacNeill" <> wrote:
>> I think that must have been difficult to write :-) (This may sound
cruel, but
>> as you say, what the hell). While you may have come up with the original
>> concept of ant, I think you also neglected it for a long time.
>Yep. That's fair. Like I've said, I was off doing good things elsewhere in
>Open Source land.

And while off doing other good things you abandoned ant. It was your choice
to do this and I am sure you gained a lot of brownie points in these other
projects but you sure lost a hell of a lot in ant. 

>>> I'm quite happy with competing against Mymidon -- and for the two of us to
>>> steal as many ideas as we can from each other. But if Mymidon succeeds, I
>>> really think that it should be as Mymidon. Not Ant.
>> So who gets to define what is Ant? Is that you?
>Bluntly, yes. With the help of a lot of people. But where there's
>disagreement... Who defined Cocoon. Stefano. Who defines Apache 2.0? Ryan.
>Who defines Perl? Larry Wall. There's a pattern there. Collaborative
>development still needs a lead.

But theres a difference between them and you. I don't know about the others
but Cocoon/Stefano was NOTHING like we have here. Stefano spent a lot of
time dedicated to Cocoon, had a great vision and listened to his
users/developers. Since returning you have not helped in any way
maintaining ant, you have only critcised current ant (many times not
constructively) and you have belittled the efforts of others who have spent
a lot of time dedicated to ant. 

I haven't really done a lot yet for ant (besides helping out on ant-user a
bit) but as soon as I hooked a dev-computer to the network I decided to
start reviewing/applying patches. The few days that I did this I suspect I
spent just over an hour a day patching/verfiying/running
unit-tests/replying. Even assuming it was taking me extra long because I
wasn't has intimately familiar with code as others it still is a while to
spend maintaining codebase. Now both Connor and Stefan have been doing it
for a long time - I can't imagine how much time they have put into ant thou
I suspect it may be a lot.

Compare this to Stefan/Cocoon situation. He was generally helpful (except
for the occasional outburst ;} ) and probably the main contributor (or at
least one of) to cocoon. He did not gain his position as pseudo head
because he invented cocoon - he gained it because he was respected and
because he had EARNED it. Apache being a meritocracy it was natural he
bubbled to the top. Now do you think you have the respect of ant-dev or
that you have earned the right to lead ? 

Personally I don't see it. If you try to ascend to any such position I will
block such a move with a -1. The only way it will be raised to +0/1 is if you
a> convince the PMC to invent a rule to kick out committers and do it
b> earn the privlidge

I doubt/hope a> would never occur so that leaves b.

>And would O'Reilly want a book about AntEater that wasn't Ant. Who knows. It
>would be a hell of a sell job.
>BTW. There is a chapter in the outline for external tasks. I don't see how
>that would put me in an interesting position. From an authorship
>perspective, I think that it's important that Ant act they way it should --
>and it doesn't matter how it's coded as long as it works.

The more I here about this the more concerned I get. Every time you need a
motivation for something you point to the fact that you are writing a book
about ant. I can not shake the feeling that the only reason you came back
to ant was because you were asked to write the book. I question "If that
book offer never came in would you be here now?" Is that a fair assesment -
maybe - maybe not but it is the opinion that seems to be gaining more
ground. I have no problem with you profiting from your idea but when you
abandoned the project you gave up your special status. You now have to earn
the right to lead just like any other committer.



| "Faced with the choice between changing one's mind, |
| and proving that there is no need to do so - almost |
| everyone gets busy on the proof."                   |
|              - John Kenneth Galbraith               |

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