> One of the disagreements that seems to be evolving is whether or not the
> project formally supports a task-oriented structure.  A couple of people
> have asserted that people might claim tasks (such as myself) and by virtue
> of claiming the task, be provided with some notion of ownership that is
> supported in a more formal sense.  Others have pointed out that in a
> volunteer environment, people simply do what they want to regardless of
> any task ownership, and would prefer a first-past-the-post model to a task
> ownership model.  My assumption had been that disagreement existed to some
> extent based on the nature and strength of ownership, but it seems that
> I've made a fundamental assumption there that not everyone agrees with.
> My feeling has always been that imposing some modicrum of structure is
> important: to avoid people stepping on toes, people can announce what
> they're working on, and expect that others might avoid replicating the
> work, or at least be communicated with before it happens.  The rationale
> for this lies both in efficiency (non-replication of work), and to avoid
> toe-stepping, since there's a natural notion of ownership over work done,
> and a desire to not see it discarded.  Perhaps this can't be supported in
> our environment.

I think we need to avoid the concept of "imposing some modicum of structure."
If we create structure it is because we need it.  Just like software.  There 
a good comment recently about "software gets created to scratch an itch."
I'd say that structure gets created because you're tired of losing fingers
and toes to the person next to you wielding the axe.  It's great that your
friends are helping you clear the forest but you'd all like to be able to walk
and pick up your cup of coffee at the end of the day as well.

We are always going to have "first past the post" problems.  If someone comes
along and has rewritten a whole subsystem, and testing and performance 
show that it's an order of magnitude better (faster, smaller, etc.) than what 
we have we'd be idiots not to take it, right?

The question is "What processes do we need to put in place to make a
project of this size and dynamisticity work?"  I put forward a few of them.
I suggest we start somewhere (including airing gripes people have with
the current system) and write down (i.e. build a web page, use TWiki)
what we're going to do about it.

I hate to make this analogy but we need a constitution or something like it.
Not so grandiose of course, but a written set of rules and are easy to 
that can take care of the 80% case.  The 20% we'll always get to argue over
but I'd rather not argue over the 100%.


George V. Neville-Neil                                  [EMAIL PROTECTED]

"Those who would trade liberty for temporary security deserve neither" 
                                                - Benjamin Franklin

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