[Sugar-devel] cookie licker

C. Scott Ananian cscott at laptop.org
Fri Jun 3 14:10:47 EDT 2011

There's both a pattern and an anti-pattern here, and I saw both during
my "OLPC v1" days, circa 2008.  There were certain features that we
were assured had a brilliant and complicated design that was just
waiting to be implemented.... and the implementer never got around to
either documenting the design or implementing it.  There were other
features that got reimplemented several different times in equally-bad
ways because no one involved would take the time to get all the
stakeholders together and have a good discussion before charging off
to do something.  The results were short-sighted solutions to one
person's view which ignored broader context.

Debian has it right here -- everyone is encouraged to adopt
unmaintained projects, no stigma attached -- but there's *also* a
definite communication process beforehand which attempts to survey the
stakeholders and ensure that people don't go charging off blindly.

I don't know to what degree these two sides of the pendulum exist in
our present community.  At EduJam I saw a lot of
communication-before-implementation, which is good, and I didn't see
any territoriality about projects.  For my part I was attempting to
participate in the Journal discussions with a big "but I don't have
time to implement this!" disclaimer to avoid any appearance that I was
"licking the cookie".  So things seem good (in my limited view).

But it's certainly worth keeping both sides of the danger in mind.
And now we have a clever name for half of it.  (I have a name I use
for the other half, too, but I shouldn't post it on a public list. ;-)

      ( http://cscott.net )

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