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From Ross Gardler <>
Subject Re: New Lead for BB
Date Mon, 06 Feb 2012 23:55:52 GMT
On 6 February 2012 23:02, Brian LeRoux <> wrote:
> No problem, understandable. The exact thing I communicated to Tim
> today is he is now the owner for the BB JIRA for Adobe.
> This isn't to say he has any more authority than anyone else in the
> project but rather the Adobe representative to that part of the
> Corodova project. This is more of a mechanism for Adobe than
> elsewhere; in the same spirit Tim's counterparts could be considered
> Gord, Tim and Ken from RIM and Drew from IBM.

I thought that would be the case.  Thanks for explaining.

Tim, my question was rooted in the fact that everyone here is an equal
and a volunteer. Words like "assigned" and "lead" belong in the
workplace. Here on the Apache Cordova project lists you are Tim Kim
the volunteer and nobody can "assign" you tasks any more than they can
assign me tasks.

It might sound like I'm playing with words since you have a day job
and clearly that day job relates to Cordova, However your
independence, and that of all other community members within this
project, is vital to the health of the project. To try and illustrate
here's the copy of an email I recently sent to another podling in
which a community member was concerned about the undue influence of an
employer with a great many committers on the books (by copying this
here I am not implying that the same perception exists here, it's just
intended to illustrate the reasoning behind my question):

I led a session at ApacheCon titled "Can I depend on Software
built By Volunteers?", the abstract is at [1] and the audio is at [2]
(no slides it was an off-the-cuff audience participation style

In this session we explore what it means to be a volunteer. We
challenge the mistaken opinion that volunteers cannot be paid. Having
established this we then look at whether volunteering in an ASF
project is usually driven by employment or "something else". What we
conclude is that it is "something else" in nearly all cases.

Consider that Jane is paid to deliver results for her employer. If
Jane finds that the best route to delivery is through community led
open source she ought to fight for the survival of that community at
all costs. It is in her interests to do so, both for her community
reputation (employability beyond her current role) and for her
employers satisfaction (employability in her current role). If Jane is
smart she will recognise that her personal reputation is more
important within the community than that of her employer. If she blows
her community reputation she loses her ability to deliver for her
employer as well as her ability to seek alternative employment
relating to that communities activities. A double whammy.

In ASF projects it is not possible for Jane's boss to say "make this
happen at any cost". If Jane thinks the move is inappropriate she can
simply say "that will not fly, it is not good for the community and we
cannot wield sufficient influence to force the community to comply".
Note, it is not Jane that is challenging her superiors, it is the
community she represents. At this point Jane's job is to figure out a
way forward that works for both the community and her employer.

Unfortunately, managing this balancing act is really hard to do. IMHO
this is why those who understand community led open source development
get paid more than most other developers.

The model is not perfect. It does break down if there is nobody to
represent alternative community views. However, as long as we have at
least one volunteer watching the "Bull Elephant" closely (nice analogy
Graham)  we will be fine (and historically this has been tested on
more than one occasion). It really doesn't matter who is paying for
our volunteers food, it only matters that they care about the

Thanks - and welcome


> On Mon, Feb 6, 2012 at 2:50 PM, Ross Gardler <> wrote:
>> On 6 February 2012 21:28, Tim Kim <> wrote:
>>> I've been assigned to become the new lead for the BB issue tracker. I look
>>> forward to working with you all.
>> Hi and welcome,
>> Can you please tell me what it means to be a "lead for the BB issue
>> tracker". I ask this because I'm a mentor to this project and I want
>> to try and understand the culture of the project community as it
>> stands today so that we can move towards an ASF culture.
>> A number of times I've seen language that doesn't really work in a
>> typical ASF project (like "lead"), but each time I've challenged it so
>> far my concerns have proven unfounded. I suspect that will be the case
>> here too.
>> Thanks in advance for helping me understand.
>> Ross

Ross Gardler (@rgardler)
Programme Leader (Open Development)

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