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From "Dennis E. Hamilton" <>
Subject RE: Java download link on AOO site
Date Sun, 15 Jul 2012 21:40:27 GMT
I think the situation would have been different if the web site were being created from scratch
at this time.  Instead it was a heavy migration job accomplished by a few people.  That means
there are very few people with hands-on experience maintaining the web pages.  There are many
folks who know how to handle static sites, but they then get to learn that this isn't one
of those.

Also, when the migration was happening, I don't think there was much of a CMS meme.  The challenge
was more about how the deployment mechanism worked from SVN through the robots to pending
and then published pages. Probably the folks such as Dave Fisher who dealt with the templates
a great deal learned more of it, and I know a few people understand how to use the bookmarklet
properly and understand what the effect will be.

I think this reveals some of the difficulties of toolcraft promulgation in a headless structure.
 Not many folks even know what the tools are and what the connection is between the ASF CMS
and what effect they want to have on pages.

So, there is self-interest, and there is scratching-an-itch, and there is overcoming whatever
friction/inertia that makes a diversion into learning a custom system appealing. ... Or not.

I know I don't get to decide for them.  I can only appreciate what comes up based on my own

 - Dennis

-----Original Message-----
From: Joe Schaefer [] 
Sent: Sunday, July 15, 2012 13:18
Subject: Re: Java download link on AOO site

There is an interesting dialectic here between acting with "enlightened
self-interest" and being entirely selfish.  All I have suggested throughout
this episode is that the project be egalitarian towards its website assets
and expect all committers to abide by the same set of expectations (which means
everyone is expected to at least TRY to follow the documentation others have
generously provided).  Remember, the prerequisite skills here are an ability
to follow instructions combined with a familiarity of how links are created in
html pages.  Nothing more is required, and as Hagar has figured out how to use
Roller, I'm guessing he has the requisite knowledge about html.

Only those who expect special treatment beyond the expected normsof the project
should be offended by what I'm saying.   Yeswe all have a DUTYto act in ways
that aligned with community expectations-no peeing in the communitypool please.

After all Apache operates these assets in the model of an intellectual commons
that everyone should treat with an appropriate amount of respect towards each other
and the org.

I haveoften described my role in this org as akin to being a park ranger, and we
all know how well the average citizen pays attention to the rules of the park.

I haverefrained from using any labels here other than to say that the behavior I
amquestioning is less than model behavior.  Yet I have received a lot of flak
and not a lot of rationale behind the defense of that behavior.  That people
unfamiliar with the documentation see nothing wrong with what Hagar offers here
is not surprising, those people aren't going to read and apply it either.  Oh
well, it's your community folks.

----- Original Message -----
> From: Dennis E. Hamilton <>
> To: 'Joe Schaefer' <>;
> Cc: 
> Sent: Sunday, July 15, 2012 4:00 PM
> Subject: RE: Java download link on AOO site
> <orcnote comment="below" />
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Joe Schaefer [] 
> Sent: Sunday, July 15, 2012 12:00
> To:;
> Subject: Re: Java download link on AOO site
> The thing is Dennis, it is self-defeating for the org to fund my work
> on the CMS to make it a more effective collaboration tool for Apache
> communities if projects don't start expecting committers and end users
> alike to take advantage of it.  If this is the new norm, where application
> of project documentation is no longer expected for Apachedev-list participation,
> then I'll adjust my plans accordingly.  I do know that Infra would never
> survive with only 3-4 staffers if we didn't expect committers to
> read/apply/critique/fixour documentation.
> Whether it is difficultto use the CMSor super easy makes no difference
> to anyoneif only a select few areexpectedto even try.
> [ ... ]
> <orcnote>
> I find this very strange in an open-source context.  The expectation that there 
> is an eager or required group of users seems odd.  How was that arrived at?
> I also find it strange to project a duty onto volunteers.  Most volunteers get 
> to choose what their duties are. 
> - Dennis
> Notes from my personal, narrow perspective on how I deal with finding 
> low-friction, high-payoff places to put my attention and energy:
> I am not adverse to "build-it-and-they-might-come" development 
> (because if I don't they definitely won't), but not with any expectation 
> that there are any people anxiously waiting to dog-food my efforts.  That means 
> I seek satisfaction in the effort itself, without much expectation beyond that 
> beyond a hope of being of some use to others.  I also don't expect anyone to 
> pay me for such self-indulgence on my part.
> With regard to the ASF CMS, the only thing I know about it is the on-list 
> encouragement of folks to use a bookmark that makes editing the web site 
> easier.  I know nothing more than that.  I don't even know what browser the 
> bookmark may be limited to (nor am I in a hurry to find out).  
> There are many more things that I know how to do that are where I will put my 
> attention more readily. 
> I've not learned MarkDown, for example, because I never needed to before, 
> although I can fake wikiText well enough, and learn little bits more as needed 
> in dealing with a particular wiki format.  Meanwhile, I have many ways to edit 
> (web) pages in an SVN Working Copy.  But the ASF site-publishing process and the 
> way pages are merged on the site is still something I haven't picked-up on.  
> I will eventually learn MarkDown more systematically because I want to pay 
> closer attention to Ward Cunningham's Smallest-Federated-Wiki, not because 
> it is used underneath anything at the ASF.  I may end up supporting SFW it on a 
> site of my own.  For that, MarkDown gets more of my attention.
> I only managed to write Apache OO(i) blog posts by finding out how to use 
> Windows LiveWriter to compose them off-line and publish them automatically.  
> Although I got the required use of drafts wrong, I have succeeded in making 
> posts the way I know best and that serve some personal requirements that I have 
> around blog authoring.
> I also refused to give up maintaining an AOO(i) roster and committer-intake 
> tracker in OpenOffice Calc when folks complained that there are no diffs for 
> commits to that binary-format document.  Instead, I make sure that the commit 
> messages describe what was changed or added for those who want to follow along 
> via reading commit messages. 
> In all cases, it is about finding ways to get the work done that I have taken 
> on, not on diversions into toolcraft.  It's different when everything's 
> new.  That's not where I find myself these days.
> </orcnote>  

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