[unrev-II] synergy -- next steps for OHS

From: Eugene Eric Kim (eekim@eekim.com)
Date: Tue Jun 13 2000 - 10:38:12 PDT

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    I want to address some of the things Paul said at a higher level. I found
    the post tremendously useful, because it revealed some of the perceptions
    people on this list might have. I have been fortunate enough to attend
    the meetings in Menlo Park, and so I thought I'd share some of my thoughts
    on where this project is heading, and some of the things we need to do.

    I recognize that people are really impatient to see some things
    happening. This is natural; the potential is enormous and
    exciting. There are several reasons why the project has not taken off as
    fast as people would like.

    First, we had a community before we had any software. This is
    backwards. Paul mentioned the Apache project. The Apache group was a
    community that formed around an existing, mature codebase. The same is
    true for all of the major open source projects, with the exception of
    one: GNOME.

    The reason GNOME worked as well as it has is that it had strong technical
    leadership and a strong, united vision. They started with the GPL, and
    that helped focus the array of software from which they could start
    (i.e. GTK, ORBiT, etc.). They also had a very strong technical lead in
    Miguel de Icaza.

    We did not start at the same point as GNOME did, but I think we are
    rapidly reaching that point. More on this in a second.

    One of Doug's great strengths has been to bring together an amazing and
    diverse community. However, this does not translate to writing code
    quickly. Had Doug said from the start, "Okay, we're going to use this
    license, this is the architecture, you write some code, we'll release it,
    and go from there," we'd be well into the development process right now.

    Doug's approach, on the other hand, has meant educating the members of
    this community on what open source means, on what the vision is,
    etc. This has been a slow process, but one that I think will make the
    project stronger in the long run.

    There has been some question about funding, and it has been discussed
    quite a bit on this list. I think Doug has been concerned about it more
    than anyone else, and rightfully so. He's been working on this stuff for
    50 years, and lack of funding has killed the project many times.

    However, Doug is also 100 percent committed to open source. This is an
    important point to reiterate, because it sounds like people on the list
    are dubious about whether or not this project will ever happen as open
    source. There is no question that it will.

    Others have been thinking about funding, sometimes out loud on this
    list. My impression has been that they are doing this because they want
    to contribute to this project as much as possible, but they need to figure
    out how they're going to survive while doing this. I think that this is
    totally legitimate, and I encourage that kind of thinking. But the one
    alternative path that we will not take is making this project a
    proprietary one.

    The group had a very slow start because it was so large and diverse, but
    the diversity has helped us in the long run. Some very smart people have
    helped educate the others on important issues and have exerted
    leadership. Key examples are Eric, Lee, and Jack, but also people limited
    to participating remotely like Paul and Henry have been immensely valuable
    as well.

    Unfortunately, communication has gone mostly in one direction up to this
    point: from the list to the people attending the Menlo Park meetings, but
    not the other way around. Posting minutes from these minutes will
    hopefully help address this. The thing that will help the most, however,
    will be some code.

    I don't think we're far from this point. I think we're close to hammering
    out the initial use cases, requirements, and architecture for this
    project. Code will follow soon after that. We'll also have a license in
    a few weeks, and a new development mailing list soon, which should also
    help move this project along. This is a bottleneck right now, but a
    necessary one, in order for this project to be successful.

    If there are issues regarding this project that still concern you, please,
    air them out. If you're just raring to write code, please, just be
    patient. We're nearing that point, and when we reach it, I think things
    will really take off.


    +=== Eugene Eric Kim ===== eekim@eekim.com ===== http://www.eekim.com/ ===+
    |       "Writer's block is a fancy term made up by whiners so they        |
    +=====  can have an excuse to drink alcohol."  --Steve Martin  ===========+

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