[forum] Some perspective from the cheap seats...

forum@XFree86.Org forum@XFree86.Org
Thu, 20 Mar 2003 20:28:10 -0500

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On Governance

My experience of volunteer projects comes from areas
outside of software, but I think the lesson I have drawn from
it is similar to one of David Wexelblat's points.
He is in favour of more committers :
"Mostly to reduce load on the people who are currently responsible."

This is Rule Number One of volunteer projects :=20
Find ways to spread the load.

Given the size of the task (Xfree) and the importance of X to
the Open Source movement, it is interesting to see how overloaded
the dev team seem to be. There are surely hurdles, no-one ever claimed
the learning curve for working on Xfree was shallow, but equally, there
are other complex projects that seem to have managed to spread the load.

Maybe Xfree86 is a special case, a software project that is harder to
split into different areas of responsibility, but we've seen other
projects that people said that about _find a way_.

This is why people question the governance model of Xfree86.
It has failed to spread the load. There may be some valid reasons for that,
but it can't go on, David Dawes et al will burn out if it does.
I don't care if we stick with or change the current system or even=20
throw it out for a new one, so long as the load is spread.


Indranath Neogy

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