[openbeos] Re: Openness

  • From: "Jorge G. Mare (a.k.a. Koki)" <koki@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: openbeos@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 12 May 2007 10:23:14 -0700

Hi Ingo,

Ingo Weinhold wrote:
I just think that it may be wise to re-position the admin group to what
it does best: a decision-making body that deals with development, and to
rename it accordingly.

As you should have noticed there is very little development related decision making going on on the admin list, and, in actual fact, there's very little needed. There's also very little reason to keep development related discussions closed. There's simply no general development list (respectively it existed only for a very short time).

I would say that very little decision-making takes place, not only in development related issues, but in general. And that's the scary part. In all honesty, even after being part of it for about 9 months, I am still not really sure what the actual role and objectives of the admin group are, and I think there is a lot of people out there that feel the same way.

BTW, I agree with you: there is no reason to keep development related talk closed. Hopefully, Haiku will have a development mailing list again some day, hopefully sooner rather than later.

The main
problem is actually that we lack a project manager. Someone who keeps track of important issues and ensures that they are addressed, who supervises the
decision making process, moderates discussions, and motivates the right
people to do the things that need to be done.
I may be mistaken or it may be that I have misplaced expectations, but I
thought that overseeing and setting the direction of Haiku was one the
(most important) roles of Haiku Inc.

The current setup is supposed to work like this: The admin group makes decisions and Haiku Inc. carries out the tasks related to it (e.g. providing money). The Haiku Inc. BOD members are also members of the admin group.

BODs are usually there to give direction and oversee, not to execute what others decide. Haiku Inc., as a company (even if it is a non-profit), does have a fiduciary responsibility towards it's donors (the community and sponsors), so it is logical the company decide, say, how its funds are used. That the developers are the people most likely to benefit from the distribution of funds does not automatically make them the decision-makers unless, of course, they become a BOD member, with the responsibilities that that may entail. That's the way it works in real life.

The current setup is quite unique and anomalous, most likely *by accident* as a result of Haiku Inc. being in the dysfunctional state that it is, and not *by design* for the benefit of Haiku.

Haiku Inc. holds copyrights and trademarks, and it also has ownership of
the funds donated to the project. So even if there was a project
manager, given that most of the issues that need to be addressed
(trademarks, funding, advocacy, marketing, etc.) would deal with Haiku
Inc. in one way or another, Haiku Inc. would be, for all practical
purposes, the logical place for such an individual.

Moving the tasks that are not done to another entity doesn't solve the actual problem, which is that the people doing those tasks are missing.

I am not talking about "tasks" or moving them. In broad terms, what I'm pointing at is defining clear roles and goals, and assigning those to individuals that both have the *skill set*, the *mindset* and the *time* to act on them.

In my paragraph that you quote, I was saying that for somebody to take care of the non-developmental issues that are one of the main topics of this discussion, Haiku Inc. is the natural place to be. For performing such a role, there is no real practical value being part of the admin group.

You and some other developers admit not having the time, motivation or skill set to handle issues unrelated to development, and that as a result these issues are neglected and nobody feels responsible for them. If you go as far as to recognize that, what stops you from delegating to and empowering others with the skill set and time to fill in the gap?

Is there a reluctance to relegate control of certain areas of the project? Because if there is, I think you are both denying potential contributors the opportunity be come engaged, and in a way also perpetuating the status quo of neglect that you yourself so well described.



Other related posts: