[openbeos-cdt] Re: cdt leadership and my personal status.

  • From: "Stuart McCoy" <stubear@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <openbeos-cdt@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 2 Apr 2002 13:36:54 -0500


I agree in part with what you have said.  I take issue with this comment:

"It is the general concensus (from what the members have posted)
that everyone seems to feel the need for these things, but their
suggestions for the way in which they are to be implemented are....
off basis. There are members that seem to think we should be
'run and managed' like a business, most likely due to their personal
experience in their professions. That is to say that they think,
from what they have openly said, that we should be told what to do
and how to do it, and that the CDT needs this to have 'direction'."

as I have been one of the vocal proponents of this style of managing the
group.  Do not think of it as telling people what to do, think of it as a
challenge to your creativity.  For instance, if you are designing a web site
and your client says you can't do any DHTML, the colors have to be web-safe
(216 color web palette) and the site will be data driven so leave areas
where text can flow, do you chime in and say "no way, you can't tell me what
to do, I'm the designer" or do you say "ok, let me see what I can come up
with" and go back to your workspace and mull the proposal over thinking
within the boundaries the client has created?

If you are a professional designer you have done the latter.  Why? Design is
not directly art.  It is an artistic endeavor yet the end result must
communicate an idea.  Design has boundaries and limits we must work within.
Technically speaking, so does art; you're probably not going to use
watercolor on a piece of canvas or carve or build/weld/create an outside
sculpture using a material not suitable to withstand the elements.  Anyway,
it's these boundaries which designers must view as a challenge, not a
hindrance.  When a client asks you to design an annual report you better
have an EXCELLENT reason for using an 11x17 inch tabloid sized paper instead
of working within the typical, standard 8.5x11 inch letter sized page.  If
they have a limited budget you need to cut back on all those spot colors,
spot varnishes and metallic finishes.  Oh, and lose the custom die-cut as
well.  If the company is named "Eagle Air Freight" you best not use a hawk
just because you like them better.  If their colors are red, white and blue,
don't design their annual report with garish neon-colors unless they
specifically ask for them or you can argue their use in some way enhances
the companies image.

This group is working on a design project, not an art project.

That being said, I have been asked by Michael to work as the project lead
for the Creative Design Team.  I know in the past that I might have rubbed
people the wrong way.  My goal was to get the group motivated to organize
and begin thinking of this project as a set of goals and steps which need to
be attained, not some loose kit group of people who like to play around with
image editors.  As the leader I am going to have to work to be less
abrasive.  At the same time, I want everyone to realize that this is a
global group.  We don't know one another personally and we don't understand
each others cultures.  Keep this in mind when posting to the group AND more
importantly when responding to a message.

I have to get some things together and begin drafting a timeline for
projects and when things should be done.  In the meantime I'm going to
outline a couple things here and toss out the first project.  The basic
course should be:

1) name for "OBOS"
2) define the OS identity - logo (this includes mascots, "bugs", and/or
typography) and color schemes.
3) UI design
4) icon, wallpaper and sound design

Numbers 3 and 4 can work simultaneously because there might be an icon set
or wallpaper design which inspires the UI team or the UI could inspire a
whole set of icons, sounds and wallpaper.  As this part is still a few
months away there won't be any major focus here.  Don't let this stop you
from being creative, it's just that the group discussion won't take place in
earnest until then.  However, the icon teams do need to begin working on
icons which match the current BeOS R5 look and feel.  My recommendations are
to keep the perspective look and try to use the BeOS color palette (I
believe you can download it from BeBits and use it in Photoshop or any other
image editor that can read .aco files).

Now, some of you are probably wondering about number 1.  You heard me
correctly, we need to consider a name change.  According to Michael Phipps,
OBOS or OpenBeOS are questionable as to their use.  Apparently BeUnited has
spent all their brownie points with Palm by trying to license the BeOS
source code that even a question to Palm concerning the legalities of using
BeOS in the OS name would be out of the question.  Palm simply does not want
to think about their future use of the BeOS IP, including the name, at this
point as they have much larger problems to worry about.  So, it is left to
us to think of some names.  I would like to set some times (I'll have a few
just to make sure everyone gets a chance to be involved) to get the group
together on IRC to have a real-time discussion of this part of the project.
I would like to have some names to pass along to Michael and some of the
other decision makers for OBOS in a couple weeks, let's say by April 14th.
This way I can send them along with my weekly status report on the 15th.
For now, I'm going to post a topic on the forum to open the floor to name

That's it for now.  Think of names and if you're in the icon team, start
working on R5 icons.  The initial set should have tracker, computer, hard
drive, folder, home, trash can, network, and various document type (jpg,
gif, html, txt, midi/audio) icons.  If you want to create common app icons
for the preference apps or some of the regular apps which ship with BeOS R5,
great but I'll have to check to see which of these apps will be shipped with
OBOS R1 so you might wind up designing an icon which is not used at all.

-----Original Message-----
From: openbeos-cdt-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:openbeos-cdt-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]On Behalf Of DigitalSin
Sent: Tuesday, April 02, 2002 12:45 PM
To: openbeos-cdt@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [openbeos-cdt] Re: cdt leadership and my personal status.

Hello Guy,

    I am sad to see this but am glad that you will be sticking around.
Also, I can understand you not wanting to mess with organization,
but I see that as part of being a 'leader' for the CDT ; so I can
understand Michael's decision.

    Having said that, I must also say that I agreed with how you tried
to bring the members together - to be more productive and to work
together without stepping on each other's toes. You were always
courteous and constructive in your criticism - something I think
all the members should try more to emulate.

    In that way, I do have some concerns as to the future of the CDT,
and to it's leadership, that I would like to address. If you would
kindly forward this to Michael it would be much appreciated.

    Firstly, my main concern being the structure of the team, and
the views of some of the members as to how to move forward in a timely
fashion. While I agree with the call for a 'professional' appearance
and internal organization, and that the team needs direction, it is
the means to that end that concerns me.

    It is the general concensus (from what the members have posted)
that everyone seems to feel the need for these things, but their
suggestions for the way in which they are to be implemented are....
off basis. There are members that seem to think we should be
'run and managed' like a business, most likely due to their personal
experience in their professions. That is to say that they think,
from what they have openly said, that we should be told what to do
and how to do it, and that the CDT needs this to have 'direction'.

    I was under the impression that this was a 'Creative Development Team'.
There are two basic ways to 'manage' a group such as this.
One way is to have a leader who in the end has final say in making
the decisions. The other way is to have the group decide, based on a
voting system where the highest number of votes passes a motion.
Either way though, there is the method of creation - born of the very
words that our team is entitled with - creative development.

    The best way is to have a mixing of the two, NOT just one or the other.
A team leader is one who will take charge but not be overpowering, and
who can see both sides unbiased. What has been proposed by others is
contrary to these very notions.

    Some have said that what we are striving for must be defined first,
before any creative work can be done. What they are losing sight of is
that this in itself is a creative act. What we need now is for a leader
to step in and say:

"Ok everyone, as a group brainstorm proposals for
what you think OpenBeos should look like, feel like, be like...
as a WHOLE - don't be too specific, think general. The end for submissions
is ONE WEEK from now. Remember to work together, and come up with
atleast five
general descriptions. We will then vote individually:
each member can cast ONE vote for any submission of their choice.
The top three are then voted upon in a final round. The winner will be
the proposal
with the most points, and the ranking system is as follows:

Team Member: 1 point
Team Leaders: 2 points (there are fewer of us and we put up with more :P)
Project Leader: Breaking decision/ultimate choice

ALL OBOS members take part in final vote, and there is an anonymous person
in charge of point tallying (chosen by project leader).

The chosen 'look/appearance/feel' of OpenBeos will then influence all
of the cdt, and the voting can have a positive affect (publicity). It
will also
give everyone a say in the final outcome (including not only the cdt but
the programmers), leaving noone feeling 'left out'.

It is important to see this as a stepping stone, one to be done
cooperatively -
NOT a competition."

    After that, of course, the Team Leader should be in charge of
keeping 'deadlines' for
the development. There should be rounds of brainstorming to lay down the
exactness of
the details, followed by refinement of the product. It is important that
members be allowed
to produce 'specialized' material (so long as it is deemed fit by Team
Leader's opinion),
although this should not interfere with the 'mainstream' product.

    I'd like to close in saying that it is of course Michael's decision
in what gets layed out. I only wanted to voice my views from my own
perceptions in the
hope that it may or may not be agreed with. I'm not looking to dictate
to anyone, or
to try to impose myself onto anyone... I only want what's best for the
team and the project.
It's been my experience that what else has been proposed in the forums
just won't cut it
for this kind of project.

Thanks alot for your time and your efforts,
Jonas Laurio

Guy wrote:

>hello everyone,
>i have just recieved an email from michael asking me to leave the
>of the cdt. so as of now, i think ill stay around, but it will ofcourse be
>it has been fun, but it also was very difficult. i think that the main
>i understood in the last months is that i'm an artist (and a political
>acitivst, an educator, partime programmer,etc .. :), but i do not wish to
>manage things in the aspect of organization. i have very clear views of how
>i would like to see openbeos, and i want to stay around to make this work.
>i'm not quite sure who's taking over (since michael's email was a bit too
>short and undetailed in my opinion..) but i wish him goodluck.
>and ofcourse i would like to hear from you.

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