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From Ross Gardler <rgard...@opendirective.com>
Subject Re: launch trajectories
Date Tue, 05 Jul 2011 13:49:29 GMT
On 5 July 2011 14:07, Benson Margulies <bimargulies@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Tue, Jul 5, 2011 at 9:01 AM, Bertrand Delacretaz
> <bdelacretaz@apache.org> wrote:
>> On Tue, Jul 5, 2011 at 2:52 PM, Upayavira <uv@odoko.co.uk> wrote:
>>> ...If a project, during an 18 month incubation, cannot draw in new blood,
>>> how can we believe that it will do so as a TLP?
>>>
>>> Marketing of the project, getting it known, getting people using it
>>> enough so as to draw in new blood, is clearly a part of the incubation
>>> process....
>>
>> I tend to agree, and maybe also lowering the bar for new committers (I
>> have no idea if that's a problem in your podling).
>
> At the risk of getting shoes thrown at my by my fellow mentors ...
>
> I know something about the field of endeavour of this podling --
> that's why I volunteered. I think that it is a very interesting
> question as to how many qualified, interested, potential committers
> are out there. Much of the work in the field is academic, and
> professors tend to keep their <del>slave labor</del> graduate students
> otherwise occupied. I'd be happy to be proved wrong, but, in a sense,
> that's the question posed by this podling: who's out there?
> Ironically, I might be writing a proposal this week for funding to
> assign people of mine to work on it, but there's no telling where that
> will go.

I have plenty of experience of projects born inthe academic space. I
would suggest that if the seven committers are all academic related
then more caution is required than if they are from 3 or more
independent commercial organisations. The problem is that once the
funded for a given project has finished the academics are no longer
interested and there is nobody to transition to a new development
team.

It can, of course, be argued that this is also true of companies
investing in projects. They might pull the plug at any time. However,
typically collaborating academics are all drawing from the same pot.
They might look independent of one another, but the common funding
makes them all prone to disappear at the same time.

A further problem is that in the case of academic projects the driving
force is, very often, not interested in the software as an output.
They are interested in the research questions being addressed. Often
longevity of the software is not important to their career paths.
Consequently community development work is often lacking.

These problems are not insurmountable nor are my observations always
true. We do have projects that have their roots in academic circles,
but I believe such projects need more active community development
work. In summary I would suggest that caution be observed.

Can you identify the project (offlist if you prefer). I'd like to take
a quick look to see if I am aware of any overlaps in my network).

Ross


>
>
>
>>
>> -Bertrand
>>
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-- 
Ross Gardler (@rgardler)
Programme Leader (Open Development)
OpenDirective http://opendirective.com

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