How not to manage opensource project

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How not to manage opensource project

Jan Kulveit
Hi,

just a link-post, but IMO highly interesting
http://mail-index.netbsd.org/netbsd-users/2006/08/30/0016.html

often various examples how various free / opensource groups
organize their matters are posted here: This is a post from
one of NetBSD founders describing what problems led the once
prospective project into irrelevance. (management, culture,
Foundation going wrong,..)

Jan Kulveit (Wikimol)
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Re: How not to manage opensource project

Florence Devouard-3
Jan Kulveit wrote:

> Hi,
>
> just a link-post, but IMO highly interesting
> http://mail-index.netbsd.org/netbsd-users/2006/08/30/0016.html
>
> often various examples how various free / opensource groups
> organize their matters are posted here: This is a post from
> one of NetBSD founders describing what problems led the once
> prospective project into irrelevance. (management, culture,
> Foundation going wrong,..)
>
> Jan Kulveit (Wikimol)


Oh man...

I could put right now half of the points as already valid for us.
And have been thinking of the other half as possible future as well :-(

ant

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Re: How not to manage opensource project

Mark
In reply to this post by Jan Kulveit
Jan Kulveit wrote:
> just a link-post, but IMO highly interesting
> http://mail-index.netbsd.org/netbsd-users/2006/08/30/0016.html
>
> often various examples how various free / opensource groups
> organize their matters are posted here: This is a post from
> one of NetBSD founders describing what problems led the once
> prospective project into irrelevance. (management, culture,
> Foundation going wrong,..)
>  

I find this part especially interesting, on the need for a strong
separation between a Foundation that provides infrastructure and a
community that manages the project:

6) The existing NetBSD Foundation must be disbanded, and replaced with
   an organization that fulfills its original purpose: to merely handle
   administrative issues, and not to manage day-to-day affairs.  The
   extra committees, which mostly do nothing, must be disbanded -- they
   serve only to obfuscate things.  Everything else must revert to the
   historically separate entity, the NetBSD Project, to be managed based
   on technical merits.  There must be no perceived glamour in
   participating in the Foundation; it must be composed of people doing
   it because they are dedicated and want to help the project.


-Mark

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Re: How not to manage opensource project

David Gerard-2
The important take-home from this email is not so much anything it
says about open source projects, but that it was written by a project
founder (Charles Hannum) upset that they did to him what he did to
another project founder (Theo deRaadt) several years previously.
Everything else is a real problem, but that's what he really hates
about the NetBSD Foundation.

The main problem with NetBSD, in my opinion, is that it doesn't really
have a compelling story. DeRaadt's fork, OpenBSD, is obsessive about
security and cryptography; it's a small project, but that's a good
enough goal to keep people interested and working on it. Despite it
having substituted stifling project bureaucracy with deRaadt's
famously abrasive but practical personality.

Does Wikimedia have a compelling enough story to keep people here
despite the other people? Well, I'm still here ...


- d.
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Re: How not to manage opensource project

Florence Devouard-3
In reply to this post by Mark
There is a discussion on the french wikipedia, precisely on this topic.
I invite you to have a look here :
http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utilisateur:Bradipus/Chat_with_Jimbo

It is in english, translated in french (or the reverse).

One of our contributor raised the issue over what the bylaws say
"The goal of the Wikimedia foundation is to develop and maintain open
content, wiki-based projects and to provide the full contents of those
projects to the public free of charge."


And what Jimbo says
"Of course the foundation governs and manages the projects."
--Jimbo Wales 07:54, 27 August 2006 (UTC)


As far as I (as a board member) is concerned, I consider the Foundation
to be there to "support" the projects. Absolutely not to govern them.
By support, I mean "provide infrastructure", "provide legal frame", help
set up collaborations to collect/create content, help distribution of
the content created. Not govern. Not manage.

Some editors try to push us in "governing the project", and I can not
blame them. When decisions are tough to take collectively, it is quite
easy to ask a small group of people to take the responsability of making
a decision.
But imho, pretty often, this should not be the job of the Foundation.

The problem with this is that one of the board members (Jimbo) not only
is on the board, but also the foundator and for the english wikipedia
the visionary/leader guy. Quite naturally, Jimbo has a lot of influence
on how things are organised and on policies. This influence is much more
limited in non english languages. The enwikipedia is governed by Jimbo
because it accepts to be governed. But it is not governed by the board.

Seems like just "chatting" to you ? Seems not important ?

Then, give a thought to editors trying to publish a wikijunior on
internet (activity plainly allowed by our licence), to see it removed
within 24 hours after announcement on this very list.

Then, just quietly think of the future you want (before pushing the
validation button on the board vote).

Anthere



Delirium wrote:

> Jan Kulveit wrote:
>
>>just a link-post, but IMO highly interesting
>>http://mail-index.netbsd.org/netbsd-users/2006/08/30/0016.html
>>
>>often various examples how various free / opensource groups
>>organize their matters are posted here: This is a post from
>>one of NetBSD founders describing what problems led the once
>>prospective project into irrelevance. (management, culture,
>>Foundation going wrong,..)
>>  
>
>
> I find this part especially interesting, on the need for a strong
> separation between a Foundation that provides infrastructure and a
> community that manages the project:
>
> 6) The existing NetBSD Foundation must be disbanded, and replaced with
>    an organization that fulfills its original purpose: to merely handle
>    administrative issues, and not to manage day-to-day affairs.  The
>    extra committees, which mostly do nothing, must be disbanded -- they
>    serve only to obfuscate things.  Everything else must revert to the
>    historically separate entity, the NetBSD Project, to be managed based
>    on technical merits.  There must be no perceived glamour in
>    participating in the Foundation; it must be composed of people doing
>    it because they are dedicated and want to help the project.
>
>
> -Mark

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Re: How not to manage opensource project

SJ-5
Jan, thanks for the link.  That is an essay well worth reading (no
less so after David G's clarification).

On 9/2/06, Anthere <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Then, give a thought to editors trying to publish a wikijunior on
> internet (activity plainly allowed by our licence), to see it removed
> within 24 hours after announcement on this very list.

What happened to that publishing effort, in the end?  I thought any
removal was to be temporary.  Is there a discussion of the outcome
preserved somewhere, or any follow-up?

SJ
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Re: How not to manage opensource project

David Gerard-2
In reply to this post by Florence Devouard-3
On 02/09/06, Anthere <[hidden email]> wrote:

> There is a discussion on the french wikipedia, precisely on this topic.
> I invite you to have a look here :
> http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utilisateur:Bradipus/Chat_with_Jimbo


So, how long before fr: forks? And, looking at the legal threats in
that discussion, will they try to take the 'Wikipedia' trademark with
them?


- d.
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Re: How not to manage opensource project

Ray Saintonge
In reply to this post by Florence Devouard-3
As ever I am in profound sympathy with Anthere's analyses, if only
because I believe that she is one whose views have been shaped by the
principles that underlay the development of Wikipedia, and not by the
vagaries that accompany unrestricted growth.

Jimbo has been the inspiration without which this process would never
have succeded.  His tireless role as spokesfather has resulted in a
popularity for Wikipedia that knows few rivals. and all that growth has
evolved from a few fundamental concepts into a daughter of whom he can
be justly proud.  This precocious daughter has grown faster than anyone
might have expected; she has been exposed to ideas that were not put
there by her father.  That makes it more difficult for a father to
protect that daughter to the extent that he believes she should be.  As
the long list of suitors lines up at the door the uncertainty grows.  
The best solution then will be to trust her to carry on with the values
that he taught her, and that she will someday let him hold the
grandchildren.

I do not view Jimbo as a person captivated by details, or as one who
could sit at length unravelling legal minutiae, or as a person who could
dwell on the niceties that distinguish between "help and support" and
"manage and govern".  Other people do.  That range of visions goes from
the seemingly anarchic view that a few principles stand above all else
to the other extreme that attaches priority to a well run and well
organized machinery.  Together they must find the neutral point that
works best with all the appropriate checks and balances.  Such a theme
and such a dynamic has been at the heart of all the major internal
disputes that Wikipedia has faced.

Governance for the kind of entity that has built up brings us into a lot
of uncharted territory.  There are no guidelines for such a massive
loosely connected organism that spans almost the entire world.  Imposing
a paternalistic corporate structure is not going to do much for assuring
and trusting that it can evolve an appropriate form of governance.

Ec

Anthere wrote:

>There is a discussion on the french wikipedia, precisely on this topic.
>I invite you to have a look here :
>http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utilisateur:Bradipus/Chat_with_Jimbo
>
>One of our contributor raised the issue over what the bylaws say
>"The goal of the Wikimedia foundation is to develop and maintain open
>content, wiki-based projects and to provide the full contents of those
>projects to the public free of charge."
>
>And what Jimbo says
>"Of course the foundation governs and manages the projects."
>--Jimbo Wales 07:54, 27 August 2006 (UTC)
>
>As far as I (as a board member) is concerned, I consider the Foundation
>to be there to "support" the projects. Absolutely not to govern them.
>By support, I mean "provide infrastructure", "provide legal frame", help
>set up collaborations to collect/create content, help distribution of
>the content created. Not govern. Not manage.
>
>Some editors try to push us in "governing the project", and I can not
>blame them. When decisions are tough to take collectively, it is quite
>easy to ask a small group of people to take the responsability of making
>a decision.
>But imho, pretty often, this should not be the job of the Foundation.
>
>The problem with this is that one of the board members (Jimbo) not only
>is on the board, but also the foundator and for the english wikipedia
>the visionary/leader guy. Quite naturally, Jimbo has a lot of influence
>on how things are organised and on policies. This influence is much more
>limited in non english languages. The enwikipedia is governed by Jimbo
>because it accepts to be governed. But it is not governed by the board.
>
>Seems like just "chatting" to you ? Seems not important ?
>
>Then, give a thought to editors trying to publish a wikijunior on
>internet (activity plainly allowed by our licence), to see it removed
>within 24 hours after announcement on this very list.
>
>Then, just quietly think of the future you want (before pushing the
>validation button on the board vote).
>


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Re: How not to manage opensource project

Elisabeth Bauer
In reply to this post by Florence Devouard-3
Anthere wrote:

> As far as I (as a board member) is concerned, I consider the Foundation
> to be there to "support" the projects. Absolutely not to govern them.
> By support, I mean "provide infrastructure", "provide legal frame", help
> set up collaborations to collect/create content, help distribution of
> the content created. Not govern. Not manage.

What you mention here are of course the most important tasks of the
foundation. However, my position is a bit different to yours. IMO the
foundation has also the duty to step in as an emergency government in
case the self government of a projects doesn't work. But this should
always be a temporary measure and restricted to single actions.

I'm thinking here for example of cases like the quran quote in the site
notice of the urdu wikipedia. If the community in a wiki acts against
the core principles of Wikimedia, for example violates the neutrality,
it needs someone external to set it right. Of course this is something
which could also be done by the international community except that this
is not a body with any authority but a bunch of loosely connected
individuals with diverse opinions.

> Some editors try to push us in "governing the project", and I can not
> blame them. When decisions are tough to take collectively, it is quite
> easy to ask a small group of people to take the responsability of making
> a decision.
> But imho, pretty often, this should not be the job of the Foundation.

And in rare cases, it should be - or the foundation decides to delegate
these cases to a "Wiki Emergency response team" (WERT ;-) which takes
care of cases like
* HELP, all sysops of our Wikipedia are quitting and there is a big
fight over the ban of an editor!!!
* Why disturb readers of our Wiki with a sitenotice about some
irrelevant board elections? Let's rather display the football results there
* We want to know more about our readers - let's just record every page
view on an external logfile via the global javascript...
* ...

This team could take over the task individual board members do now: find
out what's going on, talk to the involved parties, try to moderate
conflicts and find solutions.

> The problem with this is that one of the board members (Jimbo) not only
> is on the board, but also the foundator and for the english wikipedia
> the visionary/leader guy. Quite naturally, Jimbo has a lot of influence
> on how things are organised and on policies. This influence is much more
> limited in non english languages. The enwikipedia is governed by Jimbo
> because it accepts to be governed. But it is not governed by the board.

good explanation.

> Seems like just "chatting" to you ? Seems not important ?
>
> Then, give a thought to editors trying to publish a wikijunior on
> internet (activity plainly allowed by our licence), to see it removed
> within 24 hours after announcement on this very list.

Could you be a bit less cryptic here, please, and explain what you are
refering to?

greetings,
elian

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Re: How not to manage opensource project

Jimmy Wales
In reply to this post by Florence Devouard-3

> And what Jimbo says
> "Of course the foundation governs and manages the projects."
> --Jimbo Wales 07:54, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

This omits significant context from the conversation.  (Ah, the perils
of trying to follow a discussion across multiple wikis, it is not your
fault Anthere.)

I also said, but can't find where, that I think that people are reading
far too much into "governs" and "manages".  I think that, read properly,
there is absolutely no question that the foundation governs and manages
the projects: as always, and this includes Anthere, and everything that
she has supported over the years.

Does it mean that the foundation is involved in every little decision?
Of course not, but that is not what "governs" and "manages" means.

--Jimbo
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Re: How not to manage opensource project

Jimmy Wales
In reply to this post by Florence Devouard-3
Anthere wrote:
> Then, give a thought to editors trying to publish a wikijunior on
> internet (activity plainly allowed by our licence), to see it removed
> within 24 hours after announcement on this very list.

And restored as soon as the license and trademark issues were worked out.

Please do not misrepresent history.

--Jimbo
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Re: How not to manage opensource project

David Gerard-2
In reply to this post by Jimmy Wales
On 03/09/06, Jimmy Wales <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Does it mean that the foundation is involved in every little decision?
> Of course not, but that is not what "governs" and "manages" means.


There's a bit much "FUCK YOU I WON'T DO WHAT YOU TELL ME!" "Er, I'm
not telling you anything." "I DON'T CARE! FUCK YOU!" to that
discussion Anthere linked.


- d.
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Re: How not to manage opensource project

geni
In reply to this post by Elisabeth Bauer
On 9/3/06, Elisabeth Bauer <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I'm thinking here for example of cases like the quran quote in the site
> notice of the urdu wikipedia. If the community in a wiki acts against
> the core principles of Wikimedia, for example violates the neutrality,
> it needs someone external to set it right. Of course this is something
> which could also be done by the international community except that this
> is not a body with any authority but a bunch of loosely connected
> individuals with diverse opinions.
>

There are various ways that could be handled from the bottom up.

> And in rare cases, it should be - or the foundation decides to delegate
> these cases to a "Wiki Emergency response team" (WERT ;-) which takes
> care of cases like
> * HELP, all sysops of our Wikipedia are quitting and there is a big
> fight over the ban of an editor!!!

Doing nothing would probably be the best option there. You don't have
nearly enough data to act upon.

> * Why disturb readers of our Wiki with a sitenotice about some
> irrelevant board elections? Let's rather display the football results there

Readers? Tell them about anonnotice.

> * We want to know more about our readers - let's just record every page
> view on an external logfile via the global javascript...

That one falls within the purview of the devs who most people will listen to.

> This team could take over the task individual board members do now: find
> out what's going on, talk to the involved parties, try to moderate
> conflicts and find solutions.

No thank you we've got enough people claiming to act with the
authority of the foundation already.

> Could you be a bit less cryptic here, please, and explain what you are
> refering to?

http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Wikijunior

Someone took a copy to a print on demand publisher who offered it for sale.

--
geni
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Re: How not to manage opensource project

Florence Devouard-3
In reply to this post by Jimmy Wales
Jimmy Wales wrote:
>>And what Jimbo says
>>"Of course the foundation governs and manages the projects."
>>--Jimbo Wales 07:54, 27 August 2006 (UTC)
>
>
> This omits significant context from the conversation.  (Ah, the perils
> of trying to follow a discussion across multiple wikis, it is not your
> fault Anthere.)

eh !
But the french page I mentionned
(http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utilisateur:Bradipus/Chat_with_Jimbo) is
quite informative and provides copies of other discussions as well as links.
What I would like to point out rather... is the general impact of such a
sentence. Maybe it makes sense to make it "illegal" to give quotes out
of their context as some jurisdictions seem to do :)

> I also said, but can't find where, that I think that people are reading
> far too much into "governs" and "manages".  I think that, read properly,
> there is absolutely no question that the foundation governs and manages
> the projects: as always, and this includes Anthere, and everything that
> she has supported over the years.
>
> Does it mean that the foundation is involved in every little decision?
> Of course not, but that is not what "governs" and "manages" means.

I think... governing and managing have a significant different sens in
english and french.

I take it you purchased that "fabulous" book Delphine recommanded us ?
International Dimensions of Organizational Behavior from Nancy J. Aldler ?
If not, ask Brad, he got one examplar.
Go and read Part I, chapter 2, from pages 45 to 62 (How do cultural
differences affect organisations ?).
Have a careful look over the part dealing with "worldwide differences in
managerial style". There is a very interesting question: in response to
the statement "the main reason for a hierarchical structure is that
everybody knows who has the authority over whom". Managers from the USA
strongly disagree and believe management is more about organising tasks
and facilitating problem solving around those tasks. In contrast,
managing in France is pretty much related to authority/power. It is even
higher in countries such as Japan (I invite Brad to relate this with the
request from Aphaia for a board approval of elections officials, as
opposed to his own suggestion that it is not the board business).

We may use the same words (managing, governing), but these words do not
have the same sense in my country and in yours. Saying your sense is the
"correct" one, while our sense is the "wrong" one, would be a very wrong
approach. The best you can do is to "realise" that when you say the
Foundation manages the projects (with the idea of organising things and
facilitating things), we read and understand the Foundation has the full
authority over how the projects are run (to a wide extent, even to the
point of details). Which we would generally agree I am sure, is incorrect.

The problem is that whilst "you" and "I" will generally agree on the
concept, you can not expect that people will read "properly" terms which
have different meaning and implications depending on languages.

Anthere


> --Jimbo

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Re: How not to manage opensource project

Florence Devouard-3
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
David Gerard wrote:

> On 02/09/06, Anthere <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>
>>There is a discussion on the french wikipedia, precisely on this topic.
>>I invite you to have a look here :
>>http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utilisateur:Bradipus/Chat_with_Jimbo
>
>
>
> So, how long before fr: forks? And, looking at the legal threats in
> that discussion, will they try to take the 'Wikipedia' trademark with
> them?
>
>
> - d.


Erroneous conclusion.

Jimbo has been most involved in the french projects around 2004, when we
created the french association and had to deal with "arbitration"
issues. That's the moment he had the most "influence" over local
decisions. Before that date, he was basically unknown. Now, he is quite
known, but only through the press.

In my long history in Wikipedia, I have seen the french complains loudly
pretty frequently, the first time ever when Jimbo complained about the
french setting up a different logo (because the logo at that time was
very english centric, which we viewed as unacceptable). I have a very
strong memory of that day, and of Brion getting it right
(http://mail.wikipedia.org/pipermail/intlwiki-l/2002-June/000451.html).
I remember it VERY well, because that's the very day when I decided to
get involved in international issues.

Someone can express pretty strongly a disagreement, without it
necessarily leading to a fork. However, yes, that should be seen as a
sign of anxiety. I recommand avoiding "fixing the issue" by saying "they
did not understand me well, they should make the effort to really
understand what I mean".

At least, if we want to develop internationally :-)

ant

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Re: How not to manage opensource project

Florence Devouard-3
In reply to this post by Elisabeth Bauer
Elisabeth Bauer wrote:

> Anthere wrote:
>
>
>>As far as I (as a board member) is concerned, I consider the Foundation
>>to be there to "support" the projects. Absolutely not to govern them.
>>By support, I mean "provide infrastructure", "provide legal frame", help
>>set up collaborations to collect/create content, help distribution of
>>the content created. Not govern. Not manage.
>
>
> What you mention here are of course the most important tasks of the
> foundation. However, my position is a bit different to yours. IMO the
> foundation has also the duty to step in as an emergency government in
> case the self government of a projects doesn't work. But this should
> always be a temporary measure and restricted to single actions.
>
> I'm thinking here for example of cases like the quran quote in the site
> notice of the urdu wikipedia. If the community in a wiki acts against
> the core principles of Wikimedia, for example violates the neutrality,
> it needs someone external to set it right. Of course this is something
> which could also be done by the international community except that this
> is not a body with any authority but a bunch of loosely connected
> individuals with diverse opinions.

Oh, yes. I absolutely agree with you.
But note that it is not see much "governing" that "ensuring that the
basic principles of our projects" are respected. It is not setting up
new rules, but an ultimate barrier of protection. See the Foundation as
a mom rather than a dad :-)



>>Some editors try to push us in "governing the project", and I can not
>>blame them. When decisions are tough to take collectively, it is quite
>>easy to ask a small group of people to take the responsability of making
>>a decision.
>>But imho, pretty often, this should not be the job of the Foundation.
>
>
> And in rare cases, it should be - or the foundation decides to delegate
> these cases to a "Wiki Emergency response team" (WERT ;-) which takes
> care of cases like
> * HELP, all sysops of our Wikipedia are quitting and there is a big
> fight over the ban of an editor!!!
> * Why disturb readers of our Wiki with a sitenotice about some
> irrelevant board elections? Let's rather display the football results there
> * We want to know more about our readers - let's just record every page
> view on an external logfile via the global javascript...
> * ...
>
> This team could take over the task individual board members do now: find
> out what's going on, talk to the involved parties, try to moderate
> conflicts and find solutions.
>
>
>>The problem with this is that one of the board members (Jimbo) not only
>>is on the board, but also the foundator and for the english wikipedia
>>the visionary/leader guy. Quite naturally, Jimbo has a lot of influence
>>on how things are organised and on policies. This influence is much more
>>limited in non english languages. The enwikipedia is governed by Jimbo
>>because it accepts to be governed. But it is not governed by the board.
>
>
> good explanation.
>
>
>>Seems like just "chatting" to you ? Seems not important ?
>>
>>Then, give a thought to editors trying to publish a wikijunior on
>>internet (activity plainly allowed by our licence), to see it removed
>>within 24 hours after announcement on this very list.
>
>
> Could you be a bit less cryptic here, please, and explain what you are
> refering to?

http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Wikibooks_talk:Publication_of_the_Month
Should explain it. Ask Robert for more if necessary.

But let me just give a few word to talk about a fear I have. It is just
a fear right now, but I feel we are rather heading in that direction,
rather than not.

The content is produced with in mind, maximum reusability. If, to
publish the content, editors have to previously obtain the authorization
of the Foundation, then, we are failing our goals. If to publish the
content, publishers have to pay the Foundation indirectly, for the use
of the brand, we are failing our goals. Of course, the brand is a pretty
cool way for the Foundation to monetize the content, hence to support
the projects. But it should not impair reusability.

So, I'd say, when a group of editors try to publish a wikijunior on
which *they* have given hundreds of hours, for which *they* are authors
and which *they* publish purposefully under a free licence, immediatly
taking down the printed wikijunior
(http://mail.wikimedia.org/pipermail/foundation-l/2006-July/008191.html)
without prior discussion, strike me as being a move preventing precisely
what the licence meant our projects to be. I'll mention it even more
confortably that at that point, Wikijunior was not a trademark of the
Foundation (Brad has since then started the registration).

I am bordering a situation where I am meeting an ethical limitation. As
a board member, I am supposed to be fully dedicated to the foundation
and to support it to the best of my abilities. Loyalty. So, in this
case, to "protect" the brand we do not own yet, and which could need to
be protected to prevent anyone from monetizing it later in the future.

On the other hand, my heart is more in the projects themselves, which I
believe were set up so that the content could be reused, which involved
printing. In which case, removing the wikibooks from Lulu, until
discussion and agreement has been made with the Foundation... is clearly
perceived as a move preventing publishing and reuse. Hence against our
original mission.

Where should my loyalty stand ? How to assume the fact that if Robert et
al went an agreement from the Foundation, they are likely to wait
"months" before getting it. How to accept the fact the authors
themselves might have the PAY for the right to publish a work THEY wrote
and offered as a common good ? And how to accept the fact that one
person has the power to simply prevent publishing the work done by
others, by a simple email ?

(PS: I know that later explanations were that the take down notice given
to Lulu was meant to be because of a mix in who was author and
responsable. But I also know this was the explanation given afterwards.
If you look at the original email, it was taken down because of the
brand use).

I hope this clarify my crytic comment :-)
I didnot think it was cryptic myself.


> greetings,
> elian

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Re: How not to manage opensource project

David Gerard-2
In reply to this post by Florence Devouard-3
On 03/09/06, Anthere <[hidden email]> wrote:

> > Does it mean that the foundation is involved in every little decision?
> > Of course not, but that is not what "governs" and "manages" means.

> I think... governing and managing have a significant different sens in
> english and french.


Apart from all else, they're related but different languages. So the
words "govern" and "manage" may appear to mean the same thing in both
(adjusting to each other's spelling conventions) but not. So if the
French readers are reading the words "governing" and "managing" and
thinking they have the French meaning when they don't, then all they
need to do is ASSUME BAD FAITH and then we get pages like that one.

Note that errors of translation combine badly with assumption of bad
faith. Wikimedia has had blowups recently caused by precisely this.
And I blame the groundless assumptions of bad faith.


- d.
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Re: How not to manage opensource project

Delphine Ménard
In reply to this post by Florence Devouard-3
On 9/3/06, Anthere <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Someone can express pretty strongly a disagreement, without it
> necessarily leading to a fork. However, yes, that should be seen as a
> sign of anxiety. I recommand avoiding "fixing the issue" by saying "they
> did not understand me well, they should make the effort to really
> understand what I mean".
*nods*

"In a drama, there are always two people involved, otherwise it is not
a drama" (anonymous)

And in miscommunication, there is always what you meant to say, what
you said, what the other heard, and what the other understood
(multiply the obstacles by two when different languages and cultures
are involved)

When someone expresses their "not understanding", a better answer
might be : "Ah, this is not what I meant,  I must have expressed
myself the wrong way, let me try to explain differently". More
constructive than "I am right, you understood that all wrong".


> At least, if we want to develop internationally :-)


Indeed.

Delphine

--
~notafish
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Re: How not to manage opensource project

Ray Saintonge
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
David Gerard wrote:

>On 03/09/06, Anthere <[hidden email]> wrote:
>  
>
>>>Does it mean that the foundation is involved in every little decision?
>>>Of course not, but that is not what "governs" and "manages" means.
>>>      
>>>
>>I think... governing and managing have a significant different sens in
>>english and french.
>>    
>>
>Apart from all else, they're related but different languages. So the
>words "govern" and "manage" may appear to mean the same thing in both
>(adjusting to each other's spelling conventions) but not. So if the
>French readers are reading the words "governing" and "managing" and
>thinking they have the French meaning when they don't, then all they
>need to do is ASSUME BAD FAITH and then we get pages like that one.
>
>Note that errors of translation combine badly with assumption of bad
>faith. Wikimedia has had blowups recently caused by precisely this.
>And I blame the groundless assumptions of bad faith.
>
You miss the point completely.  Even if Anthere, as a very involved and
very plugged in person, can be convinced that the wording "govern and
manage" is an innocent variation of what is really intended, she is
still only one person.  You belittle the problem by relegating it to
"spelling conventions".  Are you suggesting that all the French who,
because of the inextricable connection between language and culture, see
the wording as more sinister than you believe it to be must be assuming
bad faith?  It puts you an a par with those Englishman who believe that
the only way you can get the French to understand what you say is to
speak louder.

Even in a strictly English language context the terms "govern and
manage" are not as benign as you would have us believe.  Asserting that
words mean exactly what you intend them to mean may work in Wonderland.  
In a multicultural environment we do better to seek other words which
reflect our common intent, because each person and each culture has his
or its own preconceptions about the meaning of a word.

Ec

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Re: How not to manage opensource project

Gerard Meijssen-3
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
David Gerard wrote:

> On 03/09/06, Anthere <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>  
>>> Does it mean that the foundation is involved in every little decision?
>>> Of course not, but that is not what "governs" and "manages" means.
>>>      
>
>  
>> I think... governing and managing have a significant different sens in
>> english and french.
>>    
>
>
> Apart from all else, they're related but different languages. So the
> words "govern" and "manage" may appear to mean the same thing in both
> (adjusting to each other's spelling conventions) but not. So if the
> French readers are reading the words "governing" and "managing" and
> thinking they have the French meaning when they don't, then all they
> need to do is ASSUME BAD FAITH and then we get pages like that one.
>
> Note that errors of translation combine badly with assumption of bad
> faith. Wikimedia has had blowups recently caused by precisely this.
> And I blame the groundless assumptions of bad faith.
>
>
> - d.
Hoi,
Words are known to be problematic; awareness about this can be deduced
by the fact that a book on this topic is doing the rounds. It becomes an
added responsibility to be careful with using problematic concepts when
you are aware of these issues. I have seen several great examples where
people where given a message that did not arrive because the way in
which it was put did not convey the message. Many people are not plain
spoken.

When assuming bad faith is seen as the problem of the person listening
and the person speaking is "innocent", you paint a picture where
absolute understanding of the English language is expected. It is easy
to understand that this is not what happens in real life even among
those that speak some form of English. The French and the English
language are in different language families and thereby not really
related, the French and the British share a long history of mutual
opposition and distrust.

There is a word for words that seem to mean the same but do not; they
are false friends.

Thanks,
    GerardM
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