[IAEP] SoaS as a Sugar Labs project.

Martin Langhoff martin.langhoff at gmail.com
Tue Aug 25 10:40:05 EDT 2009

On Tue, Aug 25, 2009 at 4:13 PM, Bernie Innocenti<bernie at codewiz.org> wrote:
> My initial reaction was that community projects work by employing
> maintainers rather than project managers.

Exactly. A PM can only fire you. A maintainer/leader can show his/her
priorities in showing areas of focus, encouraging some changes,
discouraging others, and implementing strategies like "newcomers have
to maintain an unloved chunk of code for a while (and show maturity
realising that a refactor may not be accepted)" or "before I take your
feature patch, let's see that cleanup & bugfix series finished first".

> There was an hidden assumption in my thinking
> that a maintainer /could not/ tell people what to do based on the fact
> that his workers are unpaid volunteers.

Good leaders guide the project, sometimes softly and subtly, sometimes
more... openly :-D

At a very basic level, it's a carrot and stick thing.

> The job
> of any half-skilled project manager would be detecting these stalls and
> mitigate them whenever possible.

With _what_ tools? A PM hasn't got the carrot (which is usually the
recognition of the leader: "Torvalds accepted my patch!").

A PM is a manager. A manager is usually someone who can fire you if
you don't do your job.

> A meta-comment on your post: you don't need to apologize and be shy for

Um, I do. You guys are doing the work, so you know a lot more than me
about how SL works, or doesn't.

I've penned this reply because the SL crowd showed some agreement. If
you guys tell me I am off the mark, well, I am outside and bound to
misunderstand the org from here. It might tell you about external
perceptions, but it would still mean that I am wrong.

(And I think this kind of respect is important. All organisations are
misunderstood. One only need to read olpcnews to see.)

> I recently got useful criticism from Bemasc, Christoph and Daniel on
> #sugar regarding our relationship with Deployments.  Their feeling is

That is interesting. I am starting to work more with deployments in
LatAm, perhaps the deployments that are easier to help and easier to
get help back from.

Still, in general terms it might be years before deployments are in a
position to repay your help. For SL sustainability in terms of effort,
I'd cast a wider look.


 martin.langhoff at gmail.com
 martin at laptop.org -- School Server Architect
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 - don't get distracted with shiny stuff  - working code first
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