First, I have to thank you for sparking a long-overdue conversation.
It's true that we at ZC have been staring at our navels for a while.
Though it's reasonable for us to pay first attention to those paying us
money, it can become short-sighted.  As you pointed out, everyone in
Zope needs Zope to become more popular.

I also have to apologize for what this build of Mozilla is going to do
to this mail message.  It's concept of whitespace baffles me. :^)

Andrew Kenneth Milton wrote:

 > Since I seem to be the cause of all hell breaking loose over here, I
 > thought take the opportunity to respond, since I haven't really
 > been given an opportunity to do that. Since this probably going to
 > be my only ever posting to zope-dev, I don't feel constrained to be
 > brief in exercising my right of reply.

I can't comment on what happened to you on zope-dev, as it happened
during a period when I wasn't doing my job and paying attention.  Though
I have a tough time with your method of expression (it's hard to get
past the thought that someone abhors what you're doing), I definately
appreciate the content of what you have to say.

I hope there is a forum in the future where you feel comfortable,
otherwise I'll just have to subscribe to your mailing list for daily
reminders of my inadequacy. :^)

In fact, I started tinkering around with ProductManager last night.  Not
enough yet to report, but I think it's one of the four or five most
important things Zope needs.

 > I'm not going to apologise for the comments I made, or the manner in
 > which I made them. Those comments were made on a list run by me,
 > basically for my own amusement. If I had posted either of those
 > emails to someone else's list, I'd quite rightly deserve to be
 > fried.

No need to apologize.  It's fine to vent.  At the point, though, when
you want a constructive conversation to improve things, then the venting
needs to be put aside.

As Seb pointed out, your venting was noticed and a (hopefully
appropriate) change was made within 24 hours.  Hopefully you can note
the good as well as the bad.

 > I don't make money from Zope Development (I don't make money), I
 > don't run a website, in fact, I don't actually use any of the
 > products I have released. So it's not like I have a vested interest
 > in Zope. My fortunes don't rest on the success or failure of Zope
 > or any one of its components. I live in a country the size of the
 > USA that has the approximate population of New York State. Even if
 > I stood on a busy street corner with a loud hailer, the number of
 > people I could actually influence would be small. This makes me one
 > of the people in the trenches.
 > It is the people who are in the trenches who are increasingly being
 > disaffected by Zope Corp, it seems as if you're not subscribed to
 > zope-dev, you have no voice, and for most people zope-dev is not an
 > appropriate forum for them to be subscribed to. As some of you
 > know, I was hounded off of the zope@ mailing list for suggesting
 > that there be some other mailing list for more technical
 > discussion. People were very upset, because, they already have a
 > hard time getting any support. Noone from Zope Corp seems to
 > monitor the list to help out. The zope list was manned by people
 > like me volunteering expertise and time to help more of the little
 > people.

Again, I can't comment on the hounding off the list.  I remember a
number of people expressing hope that you'd stay.  Also, I imagine most
people reacted to the method of expression rather than the content of
the proposal.  As you noted, you're free to express yourself any way you
please -- but understand that the listeners are free as well to react
any way they please.  You can't demand a one-way street.

I agree with your point, though.  We've been in a phase where haven't
been engaged.  Ultimately that's my fault -- it's my job here at ZC to
be connected and make sure folks like you are happy and effective.  If
you're open to it, I'd like a one-on-one dialog about the problems and
suggestions -- as well as prioritization, as there aren't enough
resources in the world to do everything at once.

 > A lot of those people come to the irc channel, which is also rarely
 > if ever visited by anyone from Zope Corp. Most people know that
 > #zope is the place to go when all else fails. The major irony of
 > this is, that most of the people seeking help on #zope are working
 > with it, or consulting with it, and are supported by me and others
 > for free. We are the ones that deal with the 'general zope public.'
 > We are the defenders of the faith.

Last week in Paris I heard great things about the IRC channel.  I've
never been a part of the IRC culture, so I need to get started.

 > The Zope Weekly News, which turned into Zope Monthly News, which now
 > has not been updated since October is a joke. It shows Zope
 > Corporation's attitude towards their community. It says "We don't
 > care about our community." I'm sure that's not the feeling of the
 > *individuals* inside Zope Corp, I'm sure it is (or I hope it is) a
 > source of great embarassment to those individuals that work for
 > Zope Corp.

Yes, it's a source of embarassment.  However, I don't think the answer
is for ZC to do 100% of the ZWN work.  This morning (before your note)
Steve Alexander and I were talking about this, and I noted that, in KDE,
tons of people contribute to and manage the KDE Kernel Cousin.

Ultimately, though, I'm the one responsible for the embarassment.  No
matter which way it's done, it needs to get done.

I'll save more on this for my response to Seb's note.

 > Letting your community showpiece atrophy doesn't show any great
 > passion towards us, it certainly doesn't endear new users to Zope.
 > New users are the only way Zope Corp is going to make more money,
 > unless of course is just for us non-revenue generating
 > little fish, an inconvenience associated with having Open Source
 > software, not something that promotes and supports the non-paying
 > community.

First, I'm 100% inline with your assertion.  In fact, in the last couple
of weeks, I've become convinced that the position you describe in the
first half of the paragraph should have my exclusive attention.

Namely, the _world of_ Zope simply must become 10x bigger this time next
year.  And it isn't going to get there based on ZC.  As noted, we can't
meet the myriad of commitments for 1x.  Thus, the only way to get 10x is
to make ZC be a smaller part of Zope.

While it's easy to say and everybody nods their heads when it's said, it
isn't easy to _do_.  Not just on the ZC side, where people like me need
to be more accountable to the community.  As Seb noted in his response,
is the community *really* ready to take responsibility for specific things?

In the second part of your note you mention, which is a greater
issue than ZWN.  However, the ultimate answer isn't flogging ZC.
Instead, some people need to be willing to put their time/money where
there mouth is and make a long-term commitment to be responsible, to
participate, and to do better than we've done.

Finding these people, facilitating there efforts, and listening to their
complaints is probably the most important thing I need to do to achieve 10x.

 > Noone wants a standardised User Management API more than me. I
 > *want* to have confidence that someone can replace any User Folder
 > with XUF, and it will just work. So when I come across something
 > that says there is a New User Management API, I get excited. I
 > prepare to roll up my sleeves and make the necessary changes to
 > make software I contributed to the community continue to work. I
 > think we all know by now my opinion on what I found, the harshness
 > of the expression of that opinion is directly related to the way
 > that these days Zope Corp seems to be an Ivory Tower and the way they
 > seem to treat the community at large.

In our defense (but meekly), we have begun the process of moving from
the cathedral to the bazaar with the CVS contributor process.  But it's
still early, hasn't expanded fast enough to include more people, and
it's effects haven't been noticed yet.

I'll be so bold as to grant you the claim of Ivory Tower.  You've
granted us the acknowledgement that we don't do this out of arrogance,
rather we're overcommitted.

The question is, what are we -- and that "we" includes you -- going to
do about it?  Your points have merit and I'm committed to do what I can
to change things.  Are you?  If your response is, "I'm going to ignore
zope-dev, ZC, and flame everything from my private universe", then I'll
know that I can only count on you to describe the problem.  Instead, I
prefer to count on you to help me solve the problem.

 > There are approximately 450 products released by just over 200
 > people on There are approximately 1000 'entities'
 > subscribed to this list (more to the main list), I represent 0.1%
 > of this community, but, am responsible (but, not soley) for 3% of
 > the total product space available.

No need (at least not with me) to point this out.  Your credentials and
credibility are at the top of the list.  *Numerous* people have emailed
me with instructions to "get over the tone, pay attention to the content".

 > If people want to form an opinion of me based on one email, that's
 > your right. You don't have the right to tell me, that *I* don't
 > have the right to say the things I'm saying. I have earned the
 > right to make these comments, I have contributed time, effort, and
 > code, and I put my money where my mouth is. I'm not some backseat
 > political observer, I am in the trenches I deal with the
 > disaffected, the confused, and the generally pissed off every day.
 > In my efforts, I try to help to make Zope a better product.

You certainly have the right to say what you're saying.  Your method of
expression leaves people with the same right.  Either way, many, many
people here value you highly.

 > You would be hard pressed to find a more stalwart supporter of Zope
 > than me. This doesn't mean that I have to think that everything
 > that leaves the holy temple of Zope Corp is the panacea of web
 > development. My opinions might be wrong, but, they're not wrong
 > simply because something was released by Zope Corp, or written by
 > some person you have attached some god like status to.

Certainly you must understand that people can agree with your opinions
but disagree with the tone?  Stated differently, I'll make it clear: I
agree with many of your points.  And I want you to stick around and help
get this bandwagon back up to speed.

 > I will continue to do my thing, but, the way Zope Corp deals with
 > us, the little fish had better change, or there's not going to be
 > much of a community left. Those of you who subscribe to zope-dev
 > who think that your time is too valuable to be spent helping
 > others, well, words fail me.

At 5'4", I'm in no position to call anybody a little fish. :^)


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