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From Kimbro Staken <ksta...@dbxmlgroup.com>
Subject Re: Volunteers needed: Reboot of the XML 'PMC'. re: Arved's comment
Date Sat, 03 Mar 2001 01:05:11 GMT
Ted Leung wrote:
> Now we're splitting hairs over the meaning of the term vendor.   In my eyes
> commercial software vendors are always trying to lock people into the
> software that they're selling.  It's standard business operating procedure.
> I don't
> think that we want to be viewed that way.   I know I don't want to be viewed
> that way.
> I want to build great software, without the fetters of some marketing
> person's release
> schedule.  I want the freedom to tear Xerces apart and rebuild it after
> learning some
> lessons.   I want a place where we can experiment with things like Cocoon.
> And
> yes, I want a place where a user having trouble can exchange e-mail with the
> person
> that wrote the code that's a problem.

I agree completely and no where did I suggest that it should be
otherwise. I think your anti-business defense mechanism is kicking in a
little more then I intended and I apologize. In no way was I suggesting
that you should "corporatize" the project overall (that would kill it) I
was merely suggesting that it might be a good idea for your PMC to
recognize the parallels and leverage them where it makes sense. My last
message was intended to simply to provoke thought on the parallels not
to suggest you should start measuring the bottom line and plotting lock
in strategies. I was having fun with the parallels and got carried away,
sorry. :-)

> Right.  And I don't want to think of myself or the project in the terms you
> just
> described. 

Indeed and the developers definitely shouldn't, but to a limited degree
it might be a good idea for the PMC do so. In no way was I suggesting
that people should start talking about things in terms of profit and
loss, that is silly. But part of management is to take those principals
into consideration regardless of the type of project. My point is simply
that these forces are there whether you choose to explicitly recognize
them or not. 

> I used to work on Xerces because IBM paid my salary to do it.
> I work on it now because I want to, because I appreciate the code that has
> been written and the code that we are talking about writing.   I work on it
> because I like the people that are hanging out in the ASF mailing lists.
> No
> amount of marketing is going to change those factors for me.
> Maybe it's just a matter of "positioning", since I agree that some more
> oversight
> and coordination of the project would be beneficial.  The are valid ways of
> getting things done besides turning everything into a "business".   The
> other
> ASF projects are doing a pretty good job of doing this.  Our problem is that
> we're not following the good example that they've set.

And I maintain that the other ASF projects are probably doing better
because they better recognize the principals that I have been
discussing. They almost certainly are not looking at it from an explicit
perspective like I stated in my last email. More likely they are working
from a gut perspective and recognizing that if I polish this project a
little here that project a little there and make sure that the web site
is orderly and doesn't contain confusing things then they will present a
much better presentation to their users and their users will be happier
for it. I admit I went a little too far with my business parallels but
hey it was fun to think about. Hopefully my point doesn't get lost in
the anti business defenses and will have a positive effect on the
project at some point in the future.

> Ted
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Kimbro Staken
Chief Technology Officer
dbXML Group L.L.C

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