community Digest, Vol 36, Issue 45

Jeff Rush jeff at
Fri Jul 20 19:00:53 CEST 2007

Mathew Davis wrote:
> And I don't understand why we can't have both.  I really don't see the
> problem so if someone could explain why not having a forum would be
> advantageous and not just personal preferance I am all ears, because I
> could list a lot of reasons why forums could be advantageous.

I appreciate your viewpoint but here are a few reasons:

1. Our community is small -- spreading the discussions thinly before we have
reached critical mass will dilute the synergy.  We are just now starting to
come together as a community, and I think we even have too many mailing lists
as it is (not always clear on which one to discuss X).

2. The OpenMoko team at FIC are spread _very_ thin and lack the time/resources
to research and establish a forum themselves.  They were overloaded just
getting a basic storefront up.  I don't understand why a company the size of
FIC isn't providing more logistics support to them, so they can focus on the
hardware/software but that's the way it is today.

3. Because of #2 and the fact this is the world of free/open, groups are
welcome to establish a forum someplace and announce it here.  In fact no one
can stop it.  Then instead of debating it you apply the governance principle
of open source, in that if you build it will they come.  If so, you were
right.  If not, you were wrong.  A very objective approach.

And for those (another thread) who are looking for someone official to tell
them how this or that is going to be done on the device, I think we as a
community will be applying #3 above - teams will form and follow their (quite
likely divergent) visions.  Those who (1) produce results that (2) some
significant portion of the community approve of will have their work
integrated into the core as required/optional packages.  And some fraction of
those will be cherry-picked by FIC for delivery in the consumer distribution.
 And perhaps other flash images will arise targeted at "the power user" and
"the gaming user" and "the multimedia user".

Being open source folks and time-constrained themselves, I rather think that
the OpenMoko team will be blessing running code and not managing the various
teams that form.  And that is good, because they cannot see the future uses of
this device any better than we at this point.  Not a planned economy but a
chaotic marketplace of competing ideas, where decisions are made in the
free/opensource tradition of "running code" and "rough concensus".  Scary
sure, but also refreshing and very exciting.


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