I am disappointed that the squabbling has continued. Hmmm, this is democracy at work ...the "benevolent dictator" model looks better every day.
Regarding flame wars on the forum, well, it happens. I have been known to lose my cool at times, but I recognise it immediately and pull back. What I see in some threads is one person posts something slightly provocative, there is a counter post, then a counter post to that, and it spirals out of control. Perhaps there is a case for the forum moderators to step in and say "time out", "cool off", and freeze the thread or whatever. I don't recommend banning people unless it is a last resort.
Regarding who should run the show next year when I go more into the background (I'll be working on Puppy-related projects no doubt!), I am starting to think we should stay with the dictator model but with someone who has a history of never or rarely losing their cool on the forum -- there are 5-6 possibilities, but I don't know if any of them would be interested. If that looks like a good way to go, there would have to be a safety feature builtin, such as me having power of veto.
I did think about the idea of staying in charge, but slowing down the pace of development to a trickle, maybe one new release per year. I don't think that is practical though, as too many people are clamouring for bug fixes, new features, drivers, code contributions, etc., etc.
...anyone got any thoughts about these ruminations of mine?
Comments:Posted on 12 Jun 2009, 14:09 by downsouth
The only problem with a benevolent dictatorship is the pressure placed on the 'bd', as you discovered last year. If you can handle it, we'll all benefit.
Posted on 12 Jun 2009, 14:44 by Sage
Nature of the beast
Achievers in life tend to be prickly, pushy characters who refuse to take can't, won't and no for an answer, who, a priori, believe nothing and no-one. It will be extremely difficult to find someone of intellect and even-temper from amongst Europeans and their colonial descendants. One can almost eliminate Brits, Yanks, Aussies and Irish by national temperament, although exceptions may exist, perhaps excepting the first-named! A perverse humorous approach to all things and all people helps. Provocation is often a prerequisite to productive discussion - devil's advocation is paramount. Those that outwardly appear calm may have skeletons in their cupboards. That 5-6 can probably be narrowed to two? A younger person may have advantages although experience and wisdom can only be acquired with age. As you may see, the essential qualities required are frequently contradictory and can lead to the conflict. You may need to call in a shrink to aid selection...
Posted on 12 Jun 2009, 15:35 by Prit1
One release per year?
It was great to have you lead Puppy. Even if it is one release that you kick off as the major and the next couple done by the community and then you do the next major release and so on. Just my opinion.
Posted on 12 Jun 2009, 16:44 by disciple
Was it democracy?
Personally I'm all in favour of a benevolent dictator if it is someone suitable (like Warren :)).
But I didn't think what Warren was "coordinating" was a democracy. Unless I'm missing something, for 4.2 it seemed that anyone could contribute, but Warren would decide which contributions were actually included. In which case the problem was more about undue criticism and harassment of a new dictator with a little less mana (authority, respect... ) than the old dictator :(
I guess I don't really understand about the subsequent "package coordinator" role - were there similar problems with this?
Posted on 12 Jun 2009, 19:54 by Raffy
Try a Calendar
As I saw it, Whodo's being named "package coordinator" was a way to stop the squabbling just after the release of 4.2, an effort to make known to all that Whodo still enjoys Barry's confidence. But the tricks to get Barry's attention won't stop.
There was a brief attempt to form a senior developer council to cope with the coordinatorship vacuum, but it did not progress.
Potential coordinators find it difficult to meet the 100-hour-a-week demand of the job. Only ttuuxxx openly meets this criterion at present. And he has been very diplomatic lately, even offering to include Zigbert's scripts in 2.14xx. :)
Perhaps potential coordinators can email Barry their availability, say, a two= or three-month availability, and Barry can try making a calendar of project leadership. Projects can run in parallel, so there should be a place for every capable developer.
Posted on 12 Jun 2009, 20:06 by John Biles
What is your vision for future Puppy's
Hello Barry K,
No one knows the inner workings of Puppy like you do. May be you need to look into passing on your knowledge to those who have the ability to understand and act on that information. This way you could still control and have final say on each Puppy release while still being able to work on woof and other projects. I believe your so called retirement from Puppy was actually good for Puppy as it allow you to sit back and enjoy creating woof knowing that there wasn't a forum of Puppy user's expecting you to upload a new iso ever six weeks for them to play with. It is because of this that Puppy 5, Woof, your interest in updating Puppy 2 and so much more happen. i know that a number of Puppy users would agree with me that if there was no Puppy they'd be back using Windows.
Posted on 13 Jun 2009, 2:25 by dogone
We're still on the right track
I believe Puppy's development and forum management is on the right track. Much good has come of both since you (Barry), stepped back. I see no need for structural changes. What's transpired here was a matter of miscommunication and clashing personalities. Mistakes have been made all 'round. Warren and Rich do not work well together. End of story. Warren's replacement must be an able leader, objective, fair and impartial.
We also need:
- fresh perspectives (Barry's moving very fast)
- term limits
- S.M.A.R.T. forum moderation
- Barry's guidance, not his control
- Barry's inspiration and his awesome code
I suggest also that "Community Editions" be abandoned in favor of increased support of/for Puppy derivative development. The variety and diversity that derivatives provide will keep Puppy healthy, strong and attractive.
Posted on 13 Jun 2009, 4:42 by PaulBx1
One release per year
It wouldn't bother me a bit for release cycles to be spread out more, for a given release to go through x.x.2, x.x.3, x.x.4 revisions. Actually it would fix one of the sore spots for Puppy, cleaning out the last bugs in a release, even if it's not as exciting as new big changes. Development pace has been pretty hectic in the past. Puppy seems far ahead of other distros in many areas; time to rest on your laurels!
As to forum squabbles, I think banning some people is actually a good idea. One rotten apple can drive a lot of good people off. Even if it is just a personality clash between two good folks, sometimes you have to make a judgement call and invite one or the other to leave. It's not like there aren't other Puppy forums out there for them. A forum is a voluntary association under the ownership of a single person, not like regular public society. There is no right to stay and be a jerk.
Posted on 13 Jun 2009, 5:16 by zigbert
Against all my principles, I tend to like the dictator model of Puppy.
I would suggest that Barry releases the official Puppy once a year. What he need is a secretary to collect code, suggestions, improvements and inventions on the forum. If these are collected on the wiki it is all transparent. Barry could then use 2(?) months a year on the release.
Barry really need time to develope, and not to scan emails, pm's, blog comments and hundreds on hundreds of foum posts every week. I have to admit, that I were forced to make a choice: I can't follow every thread on the forum, if I want to focus on development. I think Puppy comes best out if I code...well, someone seems to disagree but that doesn't matter in a dictator model. - Barry simply picks what he wants, and what he doesn't pick, - I simply use less time on. We doesn't always agree, but it's effective.....
It would have been great if you (Barry) could state the main goals for the next release in 2010. It is summer in Norway, and coding time will be switched with outdoor activities. But there will come an autumn, and I can't stop thinking of that Gparted takes up away too much space. Have you been in contact with the Gparted developers about gtkmm?
Happy summer to everyone.
Posted on 13 Jun 2009, 7:12 by Raffy
autumn for Zigbert
It looks like Zigbert just signified that he would be available by autumn (2010?) for lead developer role. :)
Posted on 13 Jun 2009, 7:31 by disciple
Or that he would be available by then to create Pparted and so save the world from gtkmm :)
He just suggested getting a secretary for Barry, and said it was better for both him and Barry to be developing than doing the secretary stuff.
Has anyone reported that you can't post to this blog in Opera, as well as Internet Explorer?
Posted on 13 Jun 2009, 7:51 by playdayz
Bring Back the Boss!
Barry, A workable dynamic in the Linux world is a rare and fragile thing. And If we mess with it too much it may be lost. Look where gentoo has gone over the last two years. Puppy had a workable dynamic when you where the "benevolent dictator." The thing is that nobody would talk to you like they talked to Warren--not Warren's fault, of course, it is just that you have power by virtue of your creation of Puppy that no one else has--or can have. For the good of Puppy, I urge you to resume the benevolent dictator role. By all means, slow down the development schedule--in my opinion that would not hurt a thing to have maybe two releases per year. People can spend their time debugging the upcoming release, making puplets with woof, solving problems for newbies, refining software, and using their linux boxes. There is plenty to do.
Posted on 13 Jun 2009, 20:10 by ttuuxxx
Well guys I liked the way I could interact with Warren during 4.2, sure we had it outs a couple of times, but we still remained friends :) He also bonded with others also. I personally think we could continue with a dictator but with a locked forum, where we just release alpha's, beta's, etc and get user feedback when needed, forget about answering questions etc. Just ignore the dribble and use the feedback. That way non of our developers/coordinators/packagers etc get in the middle of anything, Build a wall, just make offers to the public etc. A release once a year, hmmm sounds like Slackware to me :) lol, I kind of like the way things are now, Barry brings the goods to table on his schedule and sometimes he shoots us a few gifts like 2&4 series updates :) both will we well used by many.
What about woof, there's like what 4 or 5 different bases? would that be like 4 or 5 years to see one complete release? lol I know it wouldn't be like that. Why not lets just see where this takes us ?
As Warren goes, he's one of the needed people in the puppy forum, and I hope he reconsiders in a few weeks etc. It would be a great loss to us all and to the project itself. Best wishes Warren, you'll be missed.
Posted on 13 Jun 2009, 24:21 by alienjeff
There goes ttuuxxx again - proposing building walls to separate and segregate the community from the elite.
Posted on 14 Jun 2009, 2:47 by ttuuxxx
Your even in here alienjeff :) nice to see you back,
Hey maybe I was right like 6+months ago when I first mentioned it, we've seen what happens without protection. I just would like the job at hand be done without the loss of anymore peers.
Posted on 15 Jun 2009, 8:01 by jeffrey
Barry, you've provided a marvellous Linux distribution in Puppy, with extensive hardware support and constant innovation. There's much in Puppy that I don't use and it's still a mere 100MB. I'd like you to return to your dictator role, but I think that you've built a community of users and developers who should be able to continue your work without you. That's a pretty amazing achievement!
Personally, I haven't tried Woof yet. I don't have heaps of time to give and Puppy 4 works fine on my old hardware. I'm more interested in getting useful applications to work than in running the latest kernel, so maybe I'll try out Woof to see the new world that that opens to me.
In my opinion you're doing just fine. Warren made a good effort, and there will doubtless be a way forward without either of you having to take on that burdensome role again. Time will tell...
Posted on 15 Jun 2009, 9:44 by Subito Piano
We are shooting ourselves in the foot. It is especailly distressing b/c Puppy (along with Mepis) seemed to have the friendliest, most patient-with-newbies, helpful forum people in Linux.
Except AJ, who either has a warped sense of humor or simply a warped mind! ;-)
Posted on 15 Jun 2009, 11:02 by WN2A
BD's , walls ,etc
Yes: To the BD concept. Very efficient. As long as the Benevolent part means he will (continue) to listen and consider other's inputs.
No: To Walls. Only creates an "us" vs. "them" situation.
Yes: To less frequent releases. At least the major ones. Give more time for bug correction in between major releases.
Yes: Puppy still the best Distro !
Posted on 16 Jun 2009, 11:38 by growler
I like zigbert's ideas...
The pace of development has been frenetic, and a slower pace would be great. I think there is enough supporters who can compile and debug a script to be of real assistance - a wiki page with your plans and job-list would enable us to assist you and perhaps leave you free to explore and release you from the drudge of downloading and compiling latest packages. It is probably counter productive to get involved in endless discussion about what should and shouldn't be done. As zigbert identified this is simply a way to sap enthusisasm for actually doing it - there is just so much discussion to follow it all and some of the opinions may not be based on the detailed knowlege you have. If you seek input that is a different matter - hence my response here.
Interesting how things are evolving, initially I thought that woof was about moving away from own compilation of packages for puppy and leveraging off the major distros binary packages. However, I see that you are still handcrafting a goodly swag of binaries for the 2 series and now 4.1.3 No doubt the large amount of compiling required to build puppy the old unleashed way was a factor in your "retirement" - but I see no need for you to do this yourself - the old addage, why have a whole pack of dogs at your disposal and then bark yourself?
... Woof woof!