[CentOS] CentOS Project Infrastructure

Les Mikesell lesmikesell at gmail.com
Tue Aug 11 02:00:31 UTC 2009

Marko Vojinovic wrote:
> The whole thread put shortly (the way I see it) goes like this:
> * A community member shouts "Because of recent dev-internal events, I don't 
> trust the developers any more, I want the project changed so that I can regain 
> my trust!"

That's not at all what I saw.  I saw requests for some transparency and evidence 
that the project was not likely to fail due to other problems besides the one 
being disclosed.  I saw offers to help being dismissed with no distinction of 
whether it was out of arrogance or because it was unneeded.

> * The developers answer "The changes you propose are unacceptable from our 
> pov, so you have a choice to continue trusting us, or go find another distro."
> * The member than says "No, I want in on development and decision-making in 
> order to rebuild my trust, regardless of the fact that I have no appropriate 
> technical skills."
> * The developers answer "This is a ridiculous proposal, you are a fool to 
> think we will ever accept that. Our product is there, use it or don't."

None of which really addresses the issue of whether delays like we see in the 
4.x security updates are a one-time quirk or something the users should come to 
expect from here out - or worse.  You can't make a decision about replacing your 
infrastructure product without at least a hint about what to expect next.

> During the discussion, things may get emotional and tense to the point of 
> aggrieved tone and name-calling on either side, but essentially --- who is 
> trying to make a blackmail here?
> As a casual thread-reader/ordinary-member-of-the-community, one can choose to 
> ignore the discussion or to pick a side. When picking sides, the developers 
> have some credibility in my eyes because of past performance. The other side 
> has little to no credibility from my pov (being "just another community 
> member", afaik), and their behavior is as emotional as that of the developers.

It's not a matter of sides.  Everyone wants the project to succeed and continue, 
there just was not any information until pretty late in the thread.

>> Having inoculated doubt it is now incumbent upon those who sowed it
>> to address specific concerns raised by those who fear.
> I disagree here. The developers have been doing all the heavy lifting here 
> from day one, and have demonstrated superb performance. They have no 
> obligation to address raising fears from members of the community.

Of course a volunteer doesn't have any obligation at all.  But if they don't 
address the obvious issues they shouldn't be surprised at the uproar.

 > Past
> performance is the only objective indication of future performance (however 
> "only potential" this may be), and if this is not enough assurance for the 
> members, they should indeed go elsewhere.

Hmmm, I take it you didn't own any GM stock - or any of the other things that 
have tanked in spite of past performance...  Nobody expected infrastructure 
issues, nobody expected late security updates.  But all it would have taken to 
keep everyone happy would have been a simple explanation from a few insiders as 
to why they believe that everything will be back to normal and stay that way, 
explained in some detail instead of dismissing the questions or the reasons they 
are being asked.

> But the fearful members instead 
> choose to press the developers into changing the project structure, only to 
> address their fears. This is irrational and undeserved, especially when one 
> looks at the details of the proposed changes.

It is not irrational to choose something you expect to be supported in the 
future for your operating system.  It's not irrational to worry about it when 
that future is in question.  What happened may be undeserved, but shouldn't have 
been unexpected.

> Community can provide no useful decisions if the members are not knowledgeable 
> enough to do so. A child cannot educate the parent. A patient cannot educate 
> the doctor. (I seem to be reiterating my previous post... :-) )

I take it you don't actually have a child.  And probably haven't had a doctor 
miss-diagnose you yet.  And you probably don't have anything to do with 
producing an actual product that other people use.  How do you feel about juries?

   Les Mikesell
    lesmikesell at gmail.com

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