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From Bart Busschots <>
Subject Re: I Apologize
Date Wed, 29 Mar 2006 13:19:06 GMT
Jonathan Revusky wrote:

> Bart Busschots wrote:
>> What IS the question? Does anyone actually KNOW anymore?
> Oh, people know what the question is. It's just that apparently the 
> question is taboo, and rather than answer it, they engage in personal 
> attacks. The question is:
> "Why did Struts development stagnate?"
> You see, what happened is that, though it still has more users because 
> of placement and visibility factors, Struts did, in fact, become less 
> and less competitive with other things in the same space.
> This whole thing has led to a so-called "merger" with one of the more 
> prominent competitors, Webwork. The term "merger" is (deliberately) 
> misleading actually. Struts Action 2, currently in the Apache 
> incubator, *is* Webwork. This means that the Struts developers have 
> recognized that the Struts 1.x codebase is obsolete. And, of course, 
> if they themselves recognize this, then the premise of the above 
> question, that Struts development did in fact stagnate, is not in 
> dispute by anybody.
> The problem is that, apparently, this is a taboo question. To create a 
> distraction, a lot of people start with a lot of nasty personal 
> attacks. And in an amazing twist, people then come in, as Henri 
> Yandell did recently, and insinuate that I, one of the people who 
> posed this question, was engaging in personal attacks.

Indeed .... and that is probably not a healthy thing, however, going on 
and on and on about it for weeks on end is not actually getting us 
anywhere. The question has been asked (and asked and asked .........) 
and it is clear that no answer is coming. There is no point in hammering 
on about it anymore IMO. All it is doing is annoying people and driving 
people away from Struts.

>> All I know is that the signal to noise ratio on this list has gone 
>> totally belly up. 
> This is because, rather than address this perfectly legitimate 
> question, people start the personal attacks. It is true that if one 
> group of people resorts to slinging mud everywhere, everybody ends up 
> with mud all over him, and a casual observer cannot distinguish the 
> real mud-slingers from anybody else. This is why it can be an 
> effective distraction tactic. This is used in political campaigns and 
> so forth.
>> There is now more noise than signal. I am a struts user and I find 
>> that this list has become a pure annoyance of late rather than being 
>> helpful like it used to be. 
> I wonder about this, frankly. Posts that have primarily political 
> content are very readily identifiable. They would not seem to impose 
> any more burden on somebody who is not interested than the many narrow 
> technical posts that don't interest you.
I spend more time deleting posts than I do reading posts and I'm sure 
I'm missing good stuff too that is accidently getting nuked along with 
the continued rantings and ravings on this one topic. This same topic 
has now been re-hashed over and over again under many titles. It's just 
pointless. The more email people get on this topic the LESS attention 
they will pay to it. Hence, the longer this keeps up the less anyone 
will care whether or not you ever get the answer you want.

> The personal attack stuff is really annoying and I can see why you and 
> others would want that to stop. But I think you should have a look at 
> which faction is doing that and understand why they do it. That's 
> quite illuminating.
>> This is not helping struts. This kind of conversation should not be 
>> on the main users list. 
> I'm not so sure of this. I think the discussion is legitimate. The 
> topic of a discussion does not absolutely need to be some narrow 
> technical point

> in order to be of interest to Struts users.

It may have BEEN legitimate traffic but it has become nothing more than 
an annoyance and a disstraction at this stage. It is not enlightening 
anyone anymore.

> Also, note that when you use a product like Struts, most of the narrow 
> technical threads that occur are not of interest to one anyway. Only a 
> few are.

This is true but those narrow threads tend to be short and to the point. 
Almost all signal and almost no noise. They also serve as a great 
resource for others in the future.

> What I have noticed here and on other ASF groups is that there are a 
> lot of people who don't quite understand what open source software is 
> about. I mean, they understand that it's free and they like that, but 
> they have a mental model of this that there are some hotshot coders 
> who write this stuff, they toss it over the fence and then you can go 
> pick it up and use it.
> The idea that there is a two-way communication process between the 
> developers and users is not something they quite grasp. Users who give 
> feedback are, to some (admittedly lesser) extent, collaborators as 
> well. There are people suggesting -- typically the same people who 
> initiate the mudslinging -- that users have no say, and that nobody 
> should be listening to mere users.
Well I'm not one of those people. I have a very clear understanding of 
what opensource is all about. And yes, it is important to listen to 
users but there has to be a balance. If the coders spend all their time 
replying ot users and changing their requirements mid-flow then no 
actual coding will get done and the project will go no where. There are 
times when developers need to be able to say "that's very interesting 
and we'll bear it in mind for the future but right now we need to just 
finish this first" and users need to accept that and let the developers 
get on with actually delivering something! I've personally witnessed 
projects die a death because users never let the coders actually code 
and in the end the coders just gave up because they couldn't win. If 
they got their heads down and tried to jsut DO something they were 
accused of not consulting, if they spent their time answering each 
query, question and suggestion then they got no code done because there 
was no time left and they got abuse for not delivering. It was a no win 
situation and they threw in the towel. And yes, I was one of the coders 
in the above example. There are times when you just need to let the guys 
build the damd bikeshed and leave them at it for a while. Perhaps this 
is one of those times, perhaps not, I don't know but it's something I 
think people should bear in mind.

> I think these kinds of attitudes have been a factor that led to the 
> stagnation.
And as I showed above, constantly demanding feedback and changes mid 
flow can also result in stagnation or termination.

> Bart, I have just checked one thing, I was curious about it. You have 
> written a total of 8 messages on this list. 2 of the 8 messages have 
> been dedicated to decrying the existence of this discussion.
> Of the remaining 6 posts, I don't see you helping anybody out. The one 
> exception *might* be this post.
> But that is not exactly an extensive record of extending yourself to 
> help anybody.

> But basically, aside from that one and the two other posts decrying 
> this thread, you simply ask some narrow technical question when you 
> need some help and some good samaritan helps you. Well, in short, 
> Bart, you seem to be one of the many people who takes and gives 
> nothing back. That's normal, that's most people in this open source 
> world.

You are indeed correct. Why have I not helped people on the list? 
Simple, I am still too much of a newbie to struts to feel confident 
giving out advice. The blind leading the blind and all that. Should a 
question come up that happens to fall within my range of experience you 
can rest assured you'll see me answer the question (assuming I haven't 
gotten so sick of the noise on this list that I've left that is)

> However, to be such a person and then be "threatening" to unsubscribe 
> is rather silly, I think.

I'm an average, run of the mill user. I am annoyed to the point of 
questioning the wisdom of the whole struts thing because of the carryone 
of apparent adults on this list. That is something that I think the 
people who run struts should be interested in hearing. I was not a 
threat, just a fact. Perhaps it is time for some moderation on this list 
to get things back to a more civilized and productive tone.

> Anyway, since you asked what the question was, I told you. Do you have 
> an opinion? If you have one, you certainly have every right to express 
> it.
I have indeed now formed an opinion. I now know that I don't care WHERE 
the code for Action 2 came from, I don't CARE whether it's called struts 
or webworks, I don't CARE whether or not the term merger is used instead 
of take over. What I care about is that struts keeps existing because it 
is a good system that I enjoy working with. It has made my life easier 
so it can't be all bad!

We are supposed to be techies not politicians, I'd love to see this list 
revert to being a place for technical discussions and see all the 
politics move away to some other list or to private email or what ever, 
just no on this users list.


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