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From David Crossley <>
Subject Re: Tornados
Date Fri, 21 Mar 2003 08:16:34 GMT
Stefano Mazzocchi wrote:
> I usually don't read weblogs. But today I found this
<snip current eye of the storm/>

> I'm going to tell you what I think and what are my feelings.
> Hopefully this is going to be the tornado that will clear the skies 
> again. If not, well, at least I tried.

Thanks for doing this. The air does need clearing.
Over the last few weeks i, for one, have become stressed
by the Cocoon project. I feel frustrated that i am not
being productive and seem to be just going over old ground.
I am brewing an upcoming posting about the various reasons
for this frustration.

> I came back on the code after 12 months of development inactivities and 
> it looked fat.
> *FAT*

<snip = agree with fatness/>
It is the result of rapid growth on foundations that
were not quite right. But we knew it was fat and were
already working toward fixing it. You did come and give
it a sudden kick along. I am still not sure if that was
the right approach - there were too many things suddenly
happening at once.
> Read it again now:
> "My intention is to get committers like you out off their comfortable 
> seats and start doing something for Cocoon"
> All of us did something for Cocoon, this is nothing new, but we are all 
> seating in our confortable seats watching this like it was TV. *I* am 
> the first one to blame for letting things going like this. I am the 
> first one that sat on his comfortable chair and watch you guys do all 
> the programming.


> ...Too bad that *all* cocoon committers were staring at
> themselves in the mirror and not doing anything for the
> evolution of the foundation of the project.

Those are rather brash statements. I could see quite a
few people working on foundation things, and many people
*doing* not watching ...
e.g. Nicola Ken on the build and everywhere else.
e.g. People working on re-organising the documentation.
e.g. Carsten et al moving great stuff that we had developed
here over to Avalon for others to share and, i presume,
to give us a better foundation.

There were also decisions to do stuff in "micro-steps" so as
not to bring the whole project tumbling down.
> Oh, sure, new code, new features, book, wikis, bugfixes... all these are 
> great things and very needed... but useless if we continue to build 
> things on sand.
> So, how do we start building on rocks?
> Three things:
> 1) solidify contracts
> 2) solidity contracts
> 3) solidify contracts
> which mean:
> 1) SoC applied to everything: even to our build system -> blocks
> 2) get gump working
> 3) break things so that people get their hands dirty again

I take exception to item 3. There is plenty for people to
get involved in. There is no need to break stuff that was
already working. I do agree with the essence of what you are
saying - leave areas undeveloped to entice the interest of
others who will fix it.

Having just finished retrieving such a break, i can
say that there are plenty of other things that i would
have rather spent my time on.

> 4) define and document contracts
> 5) make it easier to publish our documents
> 6) better integration with the wiki/forrest/whatever-next
> and so on and on and on... there were tons of things to do.
> Solidity!
> And how do you know if something is solid?
> You shake it and see what happens.
> How solid is your ego against pressure? against the pressure that we'll 
> have to face when Cocoon will be the next big thing between J2EE and .NET?
> I shaked it!
> How much do you trust me? how much do you trust this community?
> People arrived years after I started this community and thought that 
> peacefulness around here is something you get automatically, you get for 
> free.
> Surprise: you're wrong!
> Peace is a dynamic equilibrium. It needs a lot of work to get people to 
> cooperate. To ease problems before they emerge. Lots of private emails. 
> I've been doing this for years and now I stopped and started going the 
> other way to see how people would react.

Crikeys. Do not stop and start. I see you as having good
community-building skills. Just use them in public rather
than (or as well as) in private.

> Evolution needs both life and death. OSS must be evolutionary. And 
> evolution breaks things, solves things, changes patterns, changes 
> people, goes places and comes back.
> Now: it's all about trust.
> If I make a comment like the above and you trust me, you start 
> questioning what I really mean. And if you can't, you ask.
> If you don't or you dislike my attitude, you get defensive and offended 
> and my ability to communicate with you is gone. potentially forever.
> I made a big mistake with several cocoon committers: I removed all 
> diplomatic filtering and went direct, direct as I am with friends. This 
> worked for some, didn't work for others.
> This percieved bad weather is a result of those mistakes.

And a result of general tension and frustration.

> I love to be proven wrong, I love to be criticized, I love to be talked 
> directly, even when it hurts. I love to crush my own ego and see what 
> remains. I love to learn and earn respect by learning and teaching and 
> doing stuff.
> But I expect others to do the same and this is my big mistake.
> Stefano.

Well if we all take the personal bits out of our email
conversations and just talk about generalities, then the
reader can take it however they like. They can choose to
get defensive or they can take it constructively (saying
"hey yeah, i do that, i will change").


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