[openbeos] Re: Icon Design Contest submission

  • From: "Jorge G. Mare (a.k.a. Koki)" <koki@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: openbeos@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2006 01:41:51 -0700

Dear Curtis,

Please tell me: how do I underestimate the value of community input if I am part of the community and I am giving my input? Perhaps you are underestimating my input? :-)

From your explanation and the other posts on the topic, I am inclined to conclude that: (1) there is a desire to decide everything by consensus (as this seems open?), but as a consensus is never reached, an *authoritative decision* is hardly made; this leads to point (2), which is poor communication.

The icon contest thing was, at best, very poorly communicated, leading to misinterpretations, confusion and the need to make clarification after clarification. Another example is the Drupal theme contest, which, as it turns out, it may not be a contest after all (check out what the web team has to say now at http://www.haiku-os.org/forums/viewtopic.php?p=6654). This is what I have an issue with.

IMHO, this is a systemic problem in the Haiku project, and it can very detrimental from the perspective of growing the community. But then, since nobody else is speaking out about this, it may be just me, in which case you are all welcome to ignore me. :-)

Your game of words ("Influence the outcome" vs. "providing valuable input") is nice, but it tells me that you probably did not understand what I was trying to say. I am not suggesting that the icon set be decided behind closed doors. I am saying that when you plan/execute an event like this, it is better to make all the key decisions before the official announcement, so that you when you go public, you are giving clear information that is both authoritative and not open to interpretation (like it is done with WalterCon, for example). This is not being closed -minded; I would rather say this is being practical, and doing what is best for Haiku, as you make it easier for people to participate.

Last but not least, I want to make it clear that I value everybody's work (both devs and non-devs), and that all my criticism is meant to be constructive, and for the good of the project. :-)


PS: Please, address your concerns about journalism to the source of the news that you have issues with. I suppose you are referring to the news post on ICO, in which case I have nothing to do with it.

Curtis Wanner wrote:
Koki wrote:

Specifically, although I understand everything that has been said, it is
still unclear to me how Haiku plans to come out >with a new icon set.
Statements such as "we will discuss" and the like are good generalities,
but do not clearly define how you will come up >with the icon set that Haiku
needs, given that no single icon set is chosen from the contest.

So, artists will submit their work, people will vote (or rate) the icon
sets, and then what? Will you mix and match the >best rated (don't know if
that is viable)? Will someone (from Haiku?) create an icon set based based
on the submissions >and the feedback from the community? What am I missing?

We have had several creative people in past who wanted to collaborate on
icon set design. The problem has been that we haven't had a solid set of
guidelines for these people to follow. Through the contest it is expected
that a solid set of icon guidelines will be developed. These guidelines
will answer questions such as:
What perspective?
Use shadow? Use black outline?
Use gradients?
>From these guidelines a collaborative effort is expected in developing a
full set of icons. There are quite a lot to be made. Also it will allow
for future expansion if needed.

It could be possible some of the existing designs could be tweaked to the
guidelines.  Regardless, the icons would have to be tweaked anyway when
converted to the new vector format.

The final approval process still needs to be discussed and will most likely
be done by the developers.

Expecting people to follow/read all the posts on mailings lists and forums
is not realistic.

Let's first clarify, this list is the main discussion area.  If someone
wants to post an article on another web site about the contest they should
be reading this list.  Responsible journalism requires that you double check
your information thoroughly.  Also, they should be asking permission before
quoting people or other articles.  These are realistic expectations.

Which is why, if you think in terms of both building/growing the community
as well as that of presenting the project to >the world with a
consistent/clear message, it is much more effective to have a single unified
(official) voice to the >outside world.

If that requires the decision-making process to be closed, so be it.

I believe you underestimate the value of community input. Stephan has been making the final contest decisions taking in consideration
valuable input from the community.

In the case of the icon contest, the people will still have a chance to
influence the outcome of the contest by voting, >so although the decision
process may not be open, the contest itself is.

"Influence the outcome" and "providing valuable input" are two different
things.  We wish to insure the latter.  This will not be accomplished
through close-minded decisions.


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