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From Patricia Shanahan <p...@acm.org>
Subject Re: Food for Thought
Date Mon, 15 Feb 2016 22:14:59 GMT
On 2/15/2016 1:15 PM, Dennis E. Hamilton wrote:
> <https://communitywiki.org/DoOcracy>
>
> The Apache OpenOffice project, and other Apache projects, are more
> like do-ocracies than any other form of project governance.  The
> distinct karma for committers and also PMC members is fundamentally
> related to the Foundation requirements concerning IP provenance of
> project code bases and other artifacts, although that is often
> referred to as a meritocracy arrangement.
>
> For example, no one on the Apache OpenOffice project has executive
> authority, although there are particular accountabilities for
> committers, PMC members, and the PMC Chair (who is an officer of the
> Foundation).
>
> For another example, there are no assignments to give out or ways
> other than suggestion and recommendation to direct effort.  This is
> probably what is most confusing to outsiders and also to the many
> advocates for AOO who would like to see particular expressed needs
> met.
>

I think this may be more confusing for AOO than for many projects 
because most users are not in a position to join the do-ocracy.

My other OO project, Apache River, is a system that is written in Java 
and primarily used by Java programmers. A user who wants a particular 
bug fixed has the option of checking out the source code and developing 
their own fix. Many other OO projects are written in Language X by and 
for X programmers.

The typical AOO user is a Windows-using non-programmer. I found just 
building AOO on Windows a challenging two week project, for which I 
needed a lot of help, despite prior familiarity with Subversion and 
Cygwin. As a practical matter, most people who need a bug fixed to make 
AOO useful to them simply do not have the option of taking it into their 
own hands.

Incidentally, that cultural difference may affect the severity of data 
loss bugs. I find someone working for an extended period on a document 
with no revision control or off-site backup a little shocking at first 
sight. Then I realized I learned about the importance of revision 
control and off-site backup on the job, not in my non-programming life.

Maybe it would be helpful for the PMC to select a very, very short "Most 
wanted" list, based on user requests, feedback at conferences etc. That 
would help new AOO recruits pick a focus.

Patricia



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