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From Mahesh Paolini-Subramanya <mah...@aptela.com>
Subject Re: The Future
Date Sun, 08 Jan 2012 16:25:51 GMT
Part of the issue w/ couchDB in the recent past is that it got good enough, and that was, well,
good enough for a lot of people (I offer myself up as candidate A).  
To put this in Marketing-Speak, in the Technology Adoption Lifecycle, we got to the 'Early
Adopter' stage, but never managed to quite make it across the chasm to the 'Early Majority'
stage.  
To put this differently, we got to a place where the product was good enough to satisfy the
Visionaries - who 'got it', and worked around any pesky inconveniences that popped up because
they 'got it'.  However, it was never good enough to satisfy the Pragmatists (who, face it,
don't  want to have to work around stuff)

(Where am I going with this?  Hang on...)
So, to Mikeal's point about leadership - its not that there is any lack of leadership - there
is plenty of it. Its just that leadership comes in many forms, and in the growth of any kind
of disruptive product (which this was / is), the type of leadership necessary changes as it
moves along the Technology Adoption Curve.  

A quick perusal of users/dev shows that there tend to be many discussions about point-features,
and most of these tend to get resolved fairly easily.  So leadership in the technical/technological
sense - Yes.
But thats pretty much where things tend to stop - i really don't see any person (or group
of people) blasting through town with a banner saying Excelsior!  In short, Vision Leadership
does tend to be somewhat in short supply.

All that said, I don't think this is really any kind of major crisis.  To paraphrase Benoit,
its all noise, and not very interesting noise at that.  There is clearly a group of people
doing 'stuff', and quite happily doing it at that.  Get some releases out, talk about whats
in the releases, and just as importantly, what these features do and who is using them, and
a lot of the vision will pretty much make itself self-evident.

 Cheers


Mahesh Paolini-Subramanya
That Tall Bald Indian Guy...
Google+  | Blog   | Twitter


On Jan 7, 2012, at 2:55 AM, Mikeal Rogers wrote:

> Ok, we're on the same page on one thing, there is a problem. One release in a year with
this many great people contributing is not acceptable.
> 
> Sure, my experience makes me believe, and I guess Damien's frustrations echo, that part
of this problem is Apache process. You may not agree with that, but if you don't, and you
admit that there *is* a problem, then what is it?
> 
> The first step in CouchDB's 12 step program to get get it's mojo back has to be admitting
that it has a problem.
> 
> As much as it's a problem, I don't think that lack of leadership is the real problem,
I think it's a symptom. I'm glad to see you say that we should get up and do more.
> 
> If you're stepping up to take on more leadership, say it, scream it! Own it!
> 
> -Mikeal
> 
> On Jan 6, 2012, at January 6, 20121:13 PM, Noah Slater wrote:
> 
>> I have drafted a few responses to this.
>> 
>> At the core of all of them is one central point. This has nothing to do
>> with our consensus based approach. I find it frustrating that Damien
>> mentioned the Apache consensus based model as a concern, when to the best
>> of my knowledge he has not had any problems getting any feature he wants in
>> to CouchDB. I find it even more frustrating that you've used this as an
>> excuse to trot out your favorite hobby horse. Most people are aware of your
>> problems with Apache, but I don't think it's very helpful to bring them up
>> now, when they are tangental at best.
>> 
>> I do, however, agree that CouchDB could do with a bit more leadership. I
>> think we could do with being a bit more bold. Back in the old days, Jan
>> used to say it was easier to ask forgiveness than it was to ask permission.
>> I think that these days, we're too busy asking for permission most of the
>> time. I agree that there needs to be an attitude change within our ranks.
>> Be bold people! That's what I'll be doing with the website, shortly.
>> 
>> On Fri, Jan 6, 2012 at 8:08 PM, Mikeal Rogers <mikeal.rogers@gmail.com>wrote:
>> 
>>> The title of this reply is "Tough Love".
>>> 
>>> On Jan 6, 2012, at January 6, 20129:08 AM, Noah Slater wrote:
>>> 
>>>> Dear Community,
>>>> 
>>>> As some of you may have already read, Damien Katz, Apache CouchDB’s
>>>> original developer, has publicly announced that he intends to focus his
>>>> time exclusively on developing other products for his company. Damien has
>>>> had very little involvement in the CouchDB project for a year or more
>>> now,
>>>> so, for many people, this is confirmation of what they already knew.
>>> We’re
>>>> sorry to see him go, and wish him all the best in his new direction. We
>>> all
>>>> owe him a huge debt of thanks for all the hard work he has put in over
>>> the
>>>> years, and for his original vision of the project.
>>> 
>>> Yes, Damien has been pretty inactive for over a year, and has that gone
>>> unnoticed? How many releases in that time? How much new adoption?
>>> 
>>> For the last year CouchDB has suffered a vacuum of leadership. This is a
>>> thriving community, it can survive a loss like this, but only if people(s)
>>> step up and take responsibility. Having a lot of discussions and process
>>> around decisions leaves the flavor of meritocracy in everyones mouth but
>>> the viewable result of this has been a gigantic loss in momentum as the
>>> projects publicly viewable changes and advances have been close to zero.
>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> Our biggest strength has always been the breadth and depth of our
>>> community
>>>> of developers and users. In the very near future, we’ll be voting in a
>>> new
>>>> committer, appointing a new PMC member, sprucing up the website,
>>> 
>>> Sprucing up the website. *sigh* This is a great example, I've been hearing
>>> this for over a year with no noticeable change.
>>> 
>>> There have been countless false starts and arguments about direction
>>> ending in a stalemate. Maybe we all think this kind of discussion is just a
>>> healthy bi-product of a consensus based process but to the public it looks
>>> like it's output: nothing. Nothing piled upon nothing, and we've gotten
>>> comfortable with that.
>>> 
>>>> and making
>>>> a major new release. We’re happy to confirm that Cloudant has also
>>> publicly
>>>> made a commitment to help contribute BigCouch to the CouchDB project.
>>>> BigCouch, for those of you who have not had the pleasure of using it
>>>> already, is a fault-tolerant, horizontally scalable clustering framework
>>>> purpose-built for CouchDB.
>>> 
>>> I challenge the idea that this is a positive development. Not because
>>> BigCouch isn't awesome, it definitely is, but the Couch community is much
>>> larger and more diverse than Apache CouchDB and many of the fringe projects
>>> have thrived without the Apache process to hold them back while CouchDB
>>> struggles to move forward in spite of it.
>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> Here’s to our future!
>>> 
>>> I'm sure I'll get lots of upset emails and some of those people are still
>>> clinging to the idea that this process is more important that being
>>> productive while at the same time in their other projects see frequent
>>> releases and contributions because they take responsibility for them.
>>> 
>>> I rely on Apache CouchDB tremendously and the reason I picked it a long
>>> time ago over alternatives was because the community was so great. Other
>>> projects, and even some of my own, have thrived after the loss of their
>>> creator because people were clamoring to step up and take responsibility.
>>> But what's happened here is that the leader has become fed up with the
>>> process, publicly pronounced it and moved on, and not only is everyone
>>> sticking with business as usual and not challenging the process, nobody is
>>> wiling to take responsibility for the projects future either.
>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> Relax,
>>> 
>>> I'm trying, I really am.
>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> Noah Slater
>>> 
>>> 
> 



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