On Tue, Mar 3, 2009 at 01:51, Martijn Faassen <faas...@startifact.com> wrote:
> Can you stop using the word "committee"? I didn't use it. A committee is
> a bunch of people who has regular meetings, behind closed doors, to make
> decisions. That's not what the Steering Group is designed to be.

OK, I'll stop using the word, but the effect is the same no matter
what it's designed to be, because what the group does depends on the
members, not on the intention of it's creation.

> It's simply a way to distribute the leadership work over multiple
> people. Perhaps you're arguing the optimum size of any such group is 1
> individual. I'm not convinced that's the case, and in any case I don't
> see this individual.

I don't think the leadership should be just one person, I think mainly
the leadership should be the community. I think you overestimate the
power of having official leadership and understimate the force created
of people moving in random directions.

>> I don't know about that. I agree with you that there hasn't been
>> active leadership for a while. But look what has happened without this
>> active leadership.
>> * We have two cool new Zope 3 based frameworks. One which throws out
>> the whole concept of ZCML for doing configuration by radical code
>> introspection, and as a result making the Zope Framework immensely
>> more accessible. And another one which experiments with revamping the
>> way Zope publishes things, and a related effort of rewriting the whole
>> publisher. Both frameworks have during these experimentation reached
>> big audiences and gained widespread if still experimental acceptance
>> in the community.
> Do you think these frameworks just happened without active leadership?

I think you understand what I'm saying here, and that you are now
intentionally misunderstanding me in order to create a
counterargument. Don't do that. It's not helpful.

You and I agree that Zope did not have an effective central leadership
during this time. Yet all these very successful experiments happened
in the Zope world. This is clear evidence that central leadership is
not necessary for effective experimentation and innovation. That's the
point I'm making.

> Grok and Repoze are in part *workarounds* for the deficiencies in this
> community. For Grok I'm very sure it's a workaround, as I had quite
> something to do with it and this was explicit in my mind. It's not
> *only* a workaround, but it's definitely a community hack, too.

I don't agree one bit it's workaround for deficiencies in the
community. It's workarounds for deficiencies Zope3. And the community
has fixed them.

> I see the workarounds as an indication that things in our community
> don't work right, instead of signs that it's working. Grok has been
> picking up a lot of balls that the zope-dev community had left on the
> floor for years (say, an actively maintained website).

That is true. But note that the web-site has had groups working on it.
Several groups in fact. For years. That have tried to steer and create
a new zope.org.

> That isn't to say groups of people shouldn't move into another space to
> do experimentation or go off on a tangent. They should do so. But it
> also doesn't mean everything's just fine here. Some of this
> experimentation needs to make it back into the common core.

That may very well be so, but the argument here was that we needed a
group to encourage experimentation, That is clearly incorrect. You
have many good arguments for your case, I agree without about all
except the steering group. I might be convinced there too, but you are
going to have to use only good arguments to do that.

> I think you underestimate how monolithic the Zope Framework currently
> is

Possibly. But I also see how various groups of people are at work on
making it less so, as we speak. I also do not see how a central
planning group will end up making it less monolithic. Quite the

> That's why we don't want a 7 member committee sitting in a back room
> making decisions. We want 3 or 5 people who do active steering on the
> mailing list. Most of the time 2 will be busy with something else
> anyway, so if one of them says +1, it's a go. Decision will be recorded.

I never in this discussion ever assumed that decisions would be made
in back rooms. I don't see how the number of people will make much

> In a fantasy world where dependencies are perfect and don't pull
> everything else in, perhaps. :)

Sure. But this is something that can be improved, and that everybody
agrees should be improved. No leadership needed.

> Think about a Zope 2 without DTML, for instance, and how hard that would
> be. If it was decided this were a good idea (I'm not saying it is, just
> an example!), then you'd need to coordinate quite a bit of effort to get
> there.

Yes, but that coordination can be done by those who think it is a good
idea. You don't have to have a set of named people who are supposed to
coordinate everything. In fact, by doing that you are most likely just
going to overload these people, and thereby stop things from

If there are a lot of people behind you, you may feel like you are
leading, but in reality you are just being in their way.

> That's worked incredibly well! I'm so grateful that we have
> zodb.zope.org. buildout.zope.org is also a great site for beginners to
> get started learning about buildout. Anyway, zodb.zope.org isn't, and
> buildout.zope.org isn't very helpful to beginners.

We had a steering group for the web effort. In fact, we had several.
Case proven, and closed.

>> How does the steering committee make hard decisions where lots of
>> people disagree?
> Come on, it's easier to come to an agreement between 5 people that know
> each other than it is in a room with a lot people just stating their
> opinion whenever they feel like it.

So far I know almost everybody that has been involved in this discussion.

> I'm talking about a group of people who act as if they're responsible,
> not your mythical committee. We should be able to find a bunch of people
> with a sense of responsibility, right?

Yes. But I don't think making them a steering group is going to help.

And that's that. I'm not going to repeat myself any more. I have seen
way to many steering groups/comittees /whatever fail, and I have
constantly seen completely disorganized chaos win to put my trust into
groups. You are putting too much trust into organizing freedom, which
can't be done.

So I will repeat my standpoint again, and I will do so in a separate
mail for clarity.
Lennart Regebro: Pythonista, Barista, Notsotrista.
+33 661 58 14 64
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