Perhaps the Apache model can be useful to Gnome?
Posted Feb 8, 2006 22:00 UTC (Wed) by fredrik
Parent article: Looking a Novell gift horse in the mouth
First I must confess that I know zilch of the decision making process in the various Gnome projects today, so I may be barking up the wrong tree entirely. Having said that...
I make my living developing J2EE solutions, so I tend to spend a lot of time on the Apache developer mailinglists. And the Apache projects seems to have a neat solution to neverending mailing list design debates.
The Apache decision process AFAIU works like this: Proposals on modification of an arhcitecture, changes in roadmaps, and adding of new contributers, are brought up in the mailing list. Then everyone who is involved or affected can join in and discuss the merits and drawbacks of the proposal. Finally a formal open vote is performed on the list, people simply respond to a vote with +1 or -1 (with some variations). Most decisions are more or less taken in consensus, since most objections often have been delt with already in the proposal stage. My impression is that most proposals don't linger for ever either - quite the opposite - so the Novell guys fears of not meeting their deadlines seems moot too.
Now, of course there are exceptions, one of my favourite projects is Cocoon. And right now they seem to be lost in some serious decision making anguish, and noone seems to be able to put their foot down either. So, the Apache model may not solve every management issue, but still I think it can serve as a role modell for how to breed open source community thinking into committers that mostly comes from a corporate closed source world.
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