[openbeos] Re: Openness

  • From: Michael Phipps <mphipps1@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: openbeos@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 12 May 2007 16:19:27 -0400

Thom -

You totally "get it".

Anyone out there who wants more say in Haiku, feel free to help out. I have lots of non-coding jobs. I have posted them forever in the FAQs as well as on this list.

The only thing that the community doesn't know about that the admins do know about is stuff that is "in process" - things like where WalterCon will be this year. When the decision is made, we will post it.


Thom Holwerda wrote:

It feels like to me this is about openness for openness' sake.

You have to look at when does openness stop being functional, and does it become a roadblock? Sometimes, it's better NOT to be open about things or decisions, simply because that same openness hinders the actual goal: to make a decision.

I have a very clear example At OSNews, we are currently in the process of a redesign. The website has been rewritten from the ground up, to accomodate new features, have cleaner and leaner code, which leads to an alround performance increase.

From day one, Adam, our web designer/coder/etc., has been very open about all this. He posted his progress on his blog, posted stories on OSNews to poll interest in new features, that sort of stuff. These bits of openness were very valuable, and we learned a lot on what our readers would expect from OSNv4.

But then stuff went pear-shaped, as soon as we decided to be even more open. We allowed our readers to use the work-in-progress v4, so that they could make comments on it and provide us with input. However, no matter how often we emphasised that it was all in fact *work-in-progress*, and that the artwork was *not* final, people went all mental. A vocal minority started threatening to leave the site, just because they didn't like the (work-in-progress!) logo! We hoped to have an informative, well-reasoned argument with our readers about what OSNv4 should look like, and how it should function. We thought our openness would be appreciated, and that it would help us in developing v4.

It didn't. It became the most heartless flamefest I have ever seen; it has now driven us to close the development down altogether. We don't ask our entire readership for input anymore about v4. We just show it to people we know and people we can trust to provide us with *valuable* input. When it's done, we will make it go live. Whether people like it or not.

What I am trying to say is this: you should not be open in a decision making process just for the sake of being open. You want openness in the decision making process to *improve* this process, *not* hinder it.

OSNews is a voluntary project, and everybody can join in/participate, but that does NOT mean it belongs to our readers. OSNews is owned by those who spend the most time working on it. The same applies to Haiku. And if that group of people who spend the most time working on it believe being more open than they are now hinders the decision making process, I can do nothing but trust them. It is their prerogative.

Thom Holwerda
Managing editor at http://www.osnews.com

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