The truth is out there (part 2)

A post by David Brown, and a comment by Jeffrey Shell.

It’s sad to see that people think I’m talking about Zope Corp model of
business. I agree they have to protect their business, and they have
to make their money, etc. I’m not worried about that, but I’m pretty
worried about the fact that they are bugging people who are
promoting the Zope name by using it on their domains. I would
completely agree if it was someone that was making any harm to the
Zope name.

Secondly, I understand Jeffrey’s point of view, and agree with some
points, and disagree with others. Truth be said that I’m probably The
Only One Who Knows Where The Bodies Are Buried ™, so let’s spread
the word a bit.

What I meant to bring attention to here was that Zope Corp is having
trouble getting the community involved. That seems to have been hold
true since a few time after I started using Zope. The whole process of
getting Zope.org into the current state was a huge task, but more
than hard and manual work, it was an excercise of
patience. Really. Zope.org, IMHO, should have gone live around last
December, even if it was a bit more crude than the final
version. Problem is that it took a long time to get things setup on ZC
side. First, they had to find new boxes, because the ones that were
reserved for Zope.org got swallowed by another project. Then they had
to setup the boxes, etc. Also, they told me right from the start that
I would not have to worry about user authentication because they would
provide a product which I don’t know if I can mention for user
management, which ended up not happening, and in the last minute we
had to throw CMFLDAP into the mix.

Shane was a key piece in the process since the start, helping to
figure out memory leaks and the like, and I really think that Shane is
one of the few persons at ZC that knows how important Zope.org is to
the community. He spent quite some time on it, probably more than any
other person AFAICT.

It was amazing to have Guido as the project leader, even for a couple
months, and he did his job amazingly well, considering that — on his
own words — he knows zit about the CMF. He was very brave trying
to follow what was going on, and having to take the decision on CMF x
CMF+Plone (which wasn’t really clear for me if it was his decision or
Rob’s).

As for Jeffrey, I couldn’t really understand why, but he IMHO, he
ought to put more effort on it, being present during the
transition, and the fact that he doesn’t feel comfortable with it now
comes from that, really. Of course he has more problems to deal with,
like the fact that the last time I’ve heard, he wasn’t allowed to
touch stuff on the filesystem. AFAICT, he didn’t even had a shell
account at the box running Zope.org. I wonder how is he supposed to do
his job without that.

So… I think I’m a bit out of the point right now, and what I
really wanted to say is that Zope.org would certainly benefit
from giving more power over Zope.org to the community. You know, I
don’t know how much they are paying to Jeffrey, but I know there are a
lot of folks in the community that would probably do it even for free,
and (why not) do a really good job. Zope.org could maybe have been
done in less than half the time if they had spent the money they spent
in a good project manager and let the community do the job. But then
again, maybe a good project manager would never charge that cheap. :^)

UPDATE: Alan Runyan made a very good point for me on IRC:

so … basically .. its impossible to organize a community and it
takes at least 200% more time for a project manager to lead such a
thing. WHY? because there are no schedules. People are constantly
come in/fall away during opensource projects.

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3 thoughts on “The truth is out there (part 2)

  1. Involvement
    During the process of development, I tried to be more involved, but keeping the current site up and running and working was my primary concern. I could never get a straight answer from anyone about which development site was in which state and what that state meant, so I generally left that alone. The transition caught me off guard – I was really expecting a full-bore beta period that would have all of the content so that I (and others) could see the site how it was meant to work and look. Prior to that, I mostly saw skeletons, and I didn’t know if things weren’t working because they hadn’t been migrated or if they were truely broken.
    So when Brian said “we’re just cutting over” (and timed it to occur at the same time I’d be in San Francisco), I was surprised. His reasons were valid – there’d be no major testing if it wasn’t the real thing, and having two places for people to enter data could be confusing. But if the beta period was short enough (two weeks or less) with intense focus by developers (I don’t know if that would have still been you or not, given your change in employment), maybe it would have gone better.
    I’m still trying to get access to the software on the development box.

  2. Not quite so much
    I only spent a week or two tracking down leaks. I think others deserve a lot more credit than I do. Jeffrey and Jens, in particular, have been attending to minor details here and there. It’s not easy to notice, but I think the new zope.org has become progressively more comfortable since its launch. I may even be willing to post product releases on that old clunker again. ;-)
    BTW, thanks for allowing anonymous postings.
    Shane Hathaway

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