[Dextrose] [Sugar-devel] Sugar UI Dictator

Michael Stone michael at laptop.org
Wed Nov 24 01:37:16 EST 2010


Thanks for your thoughts! 

> 3) I see a little bit of buck-passing going on, as a third-party
> observer. It seems like the real reason for a 3-person committee is
> that no one wants to actually step up and take on the responsibility
> of UX lead. 

Here's the chain of reasoning that leads me to the "3-person committee" design:

0. We want help getting UX decisions made and reviving the HIG. We think that
    the "benevolent dictator" model might work well. However, we're having
    trouble finding the right person to be "dictator".
1. To be a good UX dictator, you need competence, time, and trust.

2. None of the people who have adequate competence and trust to be dictator
    (i.e., Eben) have the time to do the job.

3. However, we have a small number of people (Gary, Martin, Walter, Eben, and
    Christian) all of whom have a few quanta of time, are well-regarded, are
    able to work together, and have relevant skills and aptitudes.

4. Since none of the available people can do the whole job alone, we have to
    find some way to divide the job up among them.

5. A three-person group seems like the smallest, most lightweight, most agile
    arrangement of people that could work. 

Thus, what you call "buck-passing", I call "recognition of the human and
political realities of the moment".

> Unfortunately, lack of clearly defined responsibility is
> the crux of the problem you're trying to solve, so I'm not certain
> that splitting the horcrux is part of the solution.

As above, committee-of-three just seems (to me, anyway) like the most
likely-to-succeed way to implement the "clearly defined authority" part.

(Again, I'd vote for "single dictator" too if I could think of someone
appropriate to elect.)

> Maybe it would be help to identify a single dictator and lieutenants 

Lieutenants are a good idea regardless. 

> (rather than the committee-of-3) with hat-passing as necessary -- so, for
> example, we can have 4 (!) design leads, but each one is ultimate dictator
> for one week a month. 

Do remember that "continuity of design" is also a goal. :)

> That reduces time commitment without diluting buck-stopping responsibility.

A committee-of-three with people like Gary, Martin, and Walter on it will have
adequate buck-stopping capacity, no?



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