Hi there,

I've read parts of the open letter threads just now. There's a lot of
talk about how if only we have better tools the whole process will go
better and Zope will get more contributors.

That's a typical hacker response, and I do this myself as well.
Throwing more technology at a problem doesn't always make a problem go
away. And though technological solutions to social problems are nice if 
you can have them, and we should look for them, they don't always work.

I'm not convinced more technology will make the dead fish problem go
away. I think the contributing process is in fact too heavyweight. It
should be easier for people to get in drastic changes to Zope. The only
way for people to take more responsibility if they can actually have it.
Only a few people will take it, but that's more than what is possible
now, with possibly the single exception of my taking responsibility for
ParsedXML. And until recently I was still in the position of doubting
whether I really had it formally, not just de-facto. I kept asking for
approval and guidelines from the official maintainers, but they were too
busy (no blame to them), so I went on anyway and did a release eventually.

I dread having to go through the fishbowl to add in my 'node path'
implementation to ParsedXML. I've done the design work,
I've implemented most of it, and I feel I'd have mostly wasted time writing
a fishbowl proposal. I hadn't even explored the problem enough to be able
to do that. I needed to prototype it to understand it. I've discussed some
issues with people locally and  and on the Zope-XML mailing list. And
I'll probably release a version in a few days.

Perhaps adding Formulator to the Zope core would be nice eventually. But
going through the fishbowl bureaucracy would take forever. I only have so
much time to spend on it, and I'd rather spend time improving the product

And now look at how the Zope core is actually being developed. Sure,
there's lots of stuff in the fishbowl about what the Zope future should be like.
Plenty of stuff, though some stuff is rather hard to find. But I have a lot
of praise for what the Zope Corp people have accomplished it it; it's a lot
better than having no such thing at all, even if it's only used as 
a notification service in part.

The main thinking about the directions of Zope is not done in the fishbowl or
on the lists, it's in the minds of the talented people at Zope Corp and in
the brainstorm sessions they hold together. That's the natural way people
work. I work that way too. Such a process can occur on mailing lists as
well, but it's very hard to break into it. I've tried several times.
I'll keep trying as I'm convinced it's possible, but it takes a lot of
persistence. Time will tell. On the Zope-XML list I just post regular updates 
about my thinking to encourage discussion, and sometimes that works.

So what am I trying to get at with this mail? One thing is that
the process is too heavy-weight right now. The other thing is that 
the core coders at Zope Corp are in a position nobody else is in, and
that should change. They are the only ones that can get around the
fishbowl if they so desire. They can use the fishbowl in effect as a 
notification service. Not that they want to; I don't doubt their
good intentions for one minute.

But I want to be able to use it like that too when I need to. Others
should be able to as well. I think I and a few other contributors are 
slowly getting to that position, but it happens too slowly and takes way
too much persistence now. So let's trade in some risks to the Zope core
development (rash action and messed up stuff happening once every while),
in exchange for a lot more active contributors.



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