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Re: Features, releases and team work

From: Ben Collins-Sussman <sussman_at_red-bean.com>
Date: 2007-03-27 21:51:09 CEST

This reiterates what I was talking about at the svn summit last October.

The early days of Subversion were 'easy', in the sense that everyone
had the same priorities and the same goals. It was easy to stay
focused, because the front page of our website had an explicit mission
("be a compelling replacement for CVS"), and explicit feature-set
("here's exactly how we're going to be better.") Visitors to our
community could either help us achieve the goals, or disagree with us
and move on. Or, at a minimum, we were able to say, "that's a
post-1.0 thing, come back later."

Today, we've become unfocused. Our mission is stale, and we have no
explicitly stated set of goals or features for 1.6, 1.7, or even 2.0.

Unfortunately, while I think it's *necessary* to come up with a new
mission and goals, it's going to be a difficult conversation. It was
originally easy for a small group of people (me, kfogel, jimb) to come
up with them back in 2000. It's much harder for a group of 30
committers + bazillion list-readers to come to consensus on new ones.

Does anyone have any good ideas about how to approach this task,
process-wise? Should we have another face to face summit? An IRC
summit? Also, I've always been impressed with the way the Python
community works -- with their PEP proposals and such. It makes it
easier to track itches.

On 3/27/07, C. Michael Pilato <cmpilato@collab.net> wrote:
> Erik Huelsmann wrote:
> > When Karl was in the Netherlands last December, he and I talked quite
> > a while about the post-1.0 era and what it has gradually led to in our
> > community. Yesterday CMike told me that the same issues came up in a
> > conversation between CMike and Ben. Possibly, others are bothered by
> > this too.
> [...]
> > lets do it the way it's been one last time. After that, lets get
> > organized again and 'fix' these problems: lets make a solid road map
> > and try to adhere to it.
> +1. Well stated, sir.
> And to clarify, the point here isn't to stop or discourage spontaneous
> innovation or our ability to rapidly respond to bug reports and such. It's
> just about being able to make better decisions about how to budget our time
> and energies from a place of full understanding of the stated goals for a
> given release, not from a place of ignorance or indifference because such
> goals don't exist.
> --
> C. Michael Pilato <cmpilato@collab.net>
> CollabNet <> www.collab.net <> Distributed Development On Demand

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Received on Tue Mar 27 21:51:22 2007

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