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From Ross Gardler <>
Subject Re: future of Forrest Friday get togethers
Date Mon, 26 Jun 2006 14:41:10 GMT
Gav.... wrote:
> Replying to the original post, but I'll try and reply to other comments
> also.

Thanks for your comments Gav. Very useful. I'm pulling a couple out for 
further observations:

>>-----Original Message-----
>>From: David Crossley []


>>Is it successful for us at Apache Forrest?
> So far I think yes. 

This is an important observation. Gav mentions earlier in his reply that 
one reason FF works for him is that he can get immediate feedback on his 
thoughts. As a relative newcomer to Forrest Gav has a different take on 
things to those of us who are comfortable with how Forrest works.

Gav has reminded us that Forrest Friday is about enabling newcomers to 
participate in development too.

Having said that. There is, IMHO, no substitute for siting down with the 
code and working things out the "hard" way. That is, working through the 
code to see how it works. Only then can one get a full understanding of 
how something operates.

Will my proposal for a shorter session with a tighter focus will limit 
our ability to help newcomers to the code base? Or will it mean we can 
provide a deeper understanding of a specific part of Forrest?

> I agree with some of what Ross says re:XHTML2. In other
> words maybe we should not try to make major decisions on the future of some
> aspects of forrest via IRC

Yes. IRC is not good for design unless everyone who cares is present. It 
is excellent though if eeryone is present. This is my intention with the 
shorter sessions. Discussion moves fast on IRC and so designs can be 
completed more quickly.

>>Does it enable the whole community to be involved?
> I don't see why not.

Using myself as an example:

I cannot attend on *any* Friday morning (GMT) with 100% focus, Friday 
afternoons are difficult and I refuse to work into a Friday evening 
(family time).

Therefore, I am excluded from much of Forrest Friday.  Others are in a 
similar posisiton.

>>Should we let it continue?

> Ross has suggested and others have already given their thumbs up to trialing
> an alternative approach. 
> 1. - Have shorter sessions, say 2 hours. With a much tighter set of
> objectives, for example, one or two related issues that need resolving or
> preparing for a release.


> So, the problem here then is, if the objectives are set tighter, then it
> will appeal to a lesser audience, god knows that there are few enough
> attending the IRC sessions currently, we should encourage more participation
> not less. Hmm, a catch 22, as I agree that more focused objectives will be
> needed for shorted IRC sessions and also that probably more success will be
> the result.

I do not feel the objective is to have more particpation. I think the 
objective is to ensure everyone has the opportunity to particpate when 
they have an interest in the topic of dicussion. Read on...

> 2. - One week before the session call a vote as to whether we will run the
> session. To proceed a session would need a minimum of three +1, meaning the
> voters will attend for the full 2 hours, and no -1, meaning the voter wants
> to attend that session but cannot.
> Ok, so what time of day will the 2 hour session occur? 

That is an implementation detail, I'm sure there are two hours somewhere 
in the day that are reasonable for everyone.

> I liked the 24 hour sessions because I could nip out, do
> a job, come back carry on etc. With a 2 hour session I could also ensure I
> would available for the whole time.

Nipping in and out is not good if you want to get any real work done. 
It's great if you just want to build your background on Forrest, but to 
achieve a specific aim may require the input of one or more specific 
developers. Hence the idea of a more limited time.

> Is 2 hours enough ? Sometimes in takes me that long to get into the swing of
> things, but that's me. I'd be happier with say 4 hours. 

I picked two hours as it is long enough to do soething useful, but short 
enough that people will find it fairly easy to create a slot sometime 
during the day.

> Also, why the no on a -1. Everyone who will not attend is automatically a -1
> I'd assume.

Not being present means one does not feel the need to have input on that 
issue. -1 means one wants to participate but cannot at the alloted time. 
  For example, if a Locationmap issue which directly affects the Daisy 
plugin were on the agenda then I would want to be present as nobody else 
here uses the Daisy plugin and therefore cannot consider the effects of 
a change in the locationmap on that plugin. On the other hand, if the 
issues are to improve the CSS for a theme/skin then I would be 
comfortable letting it proceed without me. This later case is a +/-0

> 5. - We can keep a list of topics we want to tackle on an FF and vote for
> more than one each month, the one with the highest attendance will be the
> one to go ahead. This way we ensure maximum community involvement.
> Yep, that's cool. If someone has a Eureka moment I don't think it should be
> held back though.

Eureka moments have to be vetted by the whole community because, by 
definition, they are not fully thought out.

For my justification lets consider the XHTML2 situation again. I still 
feel that my approach to the XHTML2 problem is the most appropriate, but 
in starting the work in Forrest Friday where only a couple of people 
were present I stepped on too many toes. As a result people took their 
positions in the argument and stuck to them without listening properly 
to the other side. As a result, we still havent moved past basic proof 
of concept work for either of the approaches.


Given Gavins responses I'm starting to wonder if we should have, in 
addition to the focussed session, a 2 hour "open session" where 
developers are available to assist in any work that is a problem for 
another developer, and where undeveloped ideas can be bounced around for 
comment before being taken to the list for discussion.


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