I'm just putting in some 0.02EUR here to give some feedback about the
current state.

On 01/22/2010 10:27 PM, Martijn Faassen wrote:
> Hi there,
> This is to announce my withdrawal from the Zope Toolkit steering
> group.

I'm also sad to see you go -- hopefully with the chance of seeing you
back and taking this as a motivation to improve zope-dev in a way that
might make you come back in some future. ;)

(I'll address the zope-dev list in the remainder of the post, so please
excuse me for addressing you in third person from now on.)

> I withdraw from the Zope Toolkit steering group for two reasons:
> * The steering group is not working as a group. Most steering group
>    members haven't been doing much steering. This left me by myself to
>    try to give direction. I cannot blame the others for committing
>    their time differently, but this isn't the balance of work I signed
>    up for.
> * Trying to steer the ZTK took a large amount of my energy. The
>    discussions are quite draining and the benefit to me has not
>    been worth the frustration.
> In the past year we've made large changes to the dependency structure
> of packages, cleaning it up. We've also improved compat testing and
> dependency analysis infrastructure a lot.
> That's the technical part. The community consequences are also
> important. We've been able to redefine the focus of various projects
> under the Zope umbrella. Separating the concern of the ZTK from Zope 3
> made another refocusing project like BlueBream possible, and made more
> clear the relation Grok and Zope 2 have with the libraries in the ZTK.
> I think there is a lot more that can be done, but I don't want to feel 
> responsible for it.

I agree with Martijn that we didn't get the steering group going as well
as we thought. We haven't analyzed the issue yet, one part being that
Martijn was able to act much more timely than Jim, Stephan and I are
able to.

I think this has to do with too little communication going on within the
steering group (one of the founding premises was to do as little
"backroom" communication as possible which ended up in no backroom
communication, which IMHO doesn't allow us to function as a group).

> Here is my analysis of problems with the ZTK:
> * Unclear leadership situation. I tried to resolve this by founding
>    the ZTK project and steering group in the first place. Besides the
>    time investment problems mentioned before, this (my?) leadership is
>    also not fully accepted, or its judgment is not fully trusted.
> * Even though endless discussions take place, communication is
>    frequently poor and frustrating at the same time. Bigger changes
>    take too much energy to discuss. People give up even trying to
>    cooperate and do it alone as it's a way to get things done. This
>    creates a vicious cycle.
> * The commitment of parties to work together on the ZTK is
>    fragile. Witness Zope 2 withdrawing from the ZTK quickly
>    after some disagreements (with me).
> My commitment to leading the ZTK as a community project has now 
> disappeared as well. I am primarily interested in the development of 
> Grok. I came to the ZTK to tackle important issues for Grok, and now am 
> going to focus my attention on Grok again. This means that I may 
> contribute to the vicious cycle I mentioned above, but so be it.
> What this means for the ZTK or the steering group I do not know. The ZTK 
> matters to me as a foundation to Grok. In a wider sense, I believe that 
> a broader base of people using the ZTK is good for the Zope community 
> and Grok as well. I also believe a person or group who offers leadership 
> and has a final say is healthy for the project -- just random interested 
> people voting -1 or +1 or -1000 or +1000 on the mailing list is a recipe 
> for stagnation. We will have to see what the steering group, or anyone 
> else, will come up with.

As much as I admire the amount of work that Martijn was able to put
although it wasn't sustainable I think that the point of the steering
group can't be to micro-manager discussions about larger improvements.

I'm happy to see long discussions going on in general, but at least I
don't have the ability to follow them right away.

I think we need to balance speed with other qualities of our process.

For one example: I didn't yet read the thread about the reversing of
changes in the SVN. But honestly reverting someones work that wasn't
agreed upon before is perfectly fine. SVN doesn't loose those changes
anyway and if you don't get reverted then we were able to act quicker
than having lengthy discussions at all times.

Right now, I think I need to ponder the structure for a while and
discuss with Stephan and Jim how they think about what's happened.


Christian Theune · c...@gocept.com
gocept gmbh & co. kg · forsterstraße 29 · 06112 halle (saale) · germany
http://gocept.com · tel +49 345 1229889 0 · fax +49 345 1229889 1
Zope and Plone consulting and development

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