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Subject Re: Front end needs some work
Date Thu, 01 Jul 1999 18:08:52 GMT
In a message dated 99-07-01 16:35:31 EDT, you write:

> Subj:	 Re: Front end needs some work
> Date: 99-07-01 16:35:31 EDT
> From: (Cliff Skolnick)
> To:
> Apache provides a unique opportunity for people to change 
> something if they think they know a better way. 

Yes, it does. So does any other GNU project. On a certain level
this 'our code and you are welcome to it' thing is great. You take 
the wheat with the chaffe and get out your sickle blade if you want. 
The choice is yours ( if you have the talent to mess with it ).

I 'change' Apache all the time. I make it do things it currently 
can't do. That's all well and good... but 'changing something' 
and then having it end back in an official 'release' of the software
is something else entirely. Apache is a 'meritocracy'... there
is a small core of people at the top who are 'in charge' and they
also are the ones who must 'approve' everything. Of course it
must be this way or there would be chaos... but if you have 
ever worked for a Fortune 500 company you would understand
that in this respect Apache is no different from any other
'company'. Ideas must float to 'the top' and just because an
idea is a 'good' one doesn't mean it will make an appearance
in the company's product line. I have seen many a 'good' idea
get rejected at Apache in the same way they do at the places
where I been employed. Sometimes it's just good 'ol politics.

>  If you are unhappy with the front end, why
>  not participate in answering user questions yourself?

I do. When I can and if I can. Sometimes on the forum... sometimes
at the news groups... sometimes in private email. I have sent
people patches... I have helped people compile the code on
other platforms. Is this not considered 'helping'?

What I was complaining about is that it looks like 'someone' (Slemko?)
is 'assigned' the duty of being the 'front end' for new messages
that arrive and more often than not the initial response is inappropriate
and sometimes even insulting.

I was suggesting that if the 'company' wanted to put a better foot
forward they should think about 'assigning' this 'first response'
duty to someone with less attitude and more patience, that's all. 

>  And if you have not noticed most of the core member really don't care if
>  microsoft "catches up".  We started this to build a great web server, not
>  take over the world or make a profit.
>  Cliff

I would submit that the core members care very much about 'protecting'
their 'product'... as they certainly should. Anyone who has 52% market
share of anything should care very much about their 'responsibility' to
that market. Witness the recent incorporation of Apache to the legal
entity known as 'ASF' in order to make it easier to 'raise capital' via
contributions and ( in Roy Fielding's own words ) 'go beat up on
people who are abusing our name'.

Whatever the motivations... these are NOT the actions of people who
take the future of 'the product' lightly.

I know the effort it requires to start 'a company' with a legal identity
and it takes a LOT of work. Most of it is often classfied as 'tedious' 
or even 'boring' to essentially non-business minded folks such as many
programmers and academics so it is commendable to see the effort
being made on behalf of 'the product'. For Brian and Roy and the other
upper-tier members to even undertake this effort is, I think, an indication 
of their true committment to the prolonged life of 'the product' in the face
of increased competition. It is a smart 'business' move for them to make
at this time and it proves their genuine care and concern for 'the product'.

As for whether or not upper-tier members care about 'Microsoft'
( or any other Server manufacturer ) 'catching up'... who can
really say for sure? The amount of M$, Microsad, etc bashing that
goes on may be just the usual 'nothing so unites a group as a common
enemy' sort of commentary that is common to UNIX bred programmers
and there probably is no point in reading too much into it... but even so
the most recent posting from Roy Fielding to the members at large
is worth another look...

Subj: Re: apr and 2.0
Date: 6/25/99 3:59:10 PM Central Standard Time
From: Roy Fielding

Okay, guys, cut the crap.  The next person who complains about how
long it has taken, or will take, to get 2.0 out the door had better
be promising their personal time towards actually working on it
instead of just talking about it.  Pissing in the wind is not a very
good strategy.

Roy Fielding 

'Strategy'? Interesting word choice. 

I have seen many a 'shape up or shut up' MEMO come
down from BOSS to EMPLOYEES and this looks pretty
classic to me.

It certainly implies a sense of 'urgency' with regards to
the future of 'the product' and certainly comes from someone
who cares very much about it's continuing viability.

So all I was saying was... if the concern is there ( as it
seems to be ) please consider there are other areas where
'putting a better foot forward' would contribute to the
hopefully continued longevity of 'the product'.

It's not just the code. It's what people think that counts as well
when it comes to maintaining market share.

As stated before... just a little 'free advice'. 

No charge.

Kevin Kiley
CTO, Remote Communications, Inc.

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