community Digest, Vol 36, Issue 45

Jonathon Suggs jsuggs at
Fri Jul 20 20:06:10 CEST 2007

Jeff Rush wrote:
> 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).
~1000 users isn't necessarily that small.  And I would be willing to bet 
that there are quite a decent number of people that actually are 
interested but just don't want to sign up with a mailing list.  I'll be 
honest and say that this is the first mailing list that I have ever 
participated in despite being very much involved with the technical 
industry.  I was very hesitant to sign up (fear of the unknown, maybe).  
Anyway, even now that I am getting involved with it, I still do not like 
this interface.  I would much prefer a forum style, and would think that 
quite a few people (non-techies) would be of the same opinion.
> 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.
Agreed.  But I don't think that is a very valid point.  What percentage 
of the communication of this list comes from actual FIC employees, 
pretty low.  So, just like it is now, the community would provide the 
bulk of the answers.
> 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.
Again, you are correct.  There are plenty of examples where the dominant 
discussions of products/services/whatever comes from a non-official 
source.  So, if someone wants to put this together, then I think that 
would be a great thing to do.  However, having all of the information be 
in a single location would provide a much better unified experience for 
the users.
> 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.
> -Jeff
I think its healthy to discuss both pros and cons of the ideas, so feel 
free to rebuttal my comments.  However, I am of the opinion that a forum 
would do a greater benefit than harm.  Feel free to disagree, but that 
is just my take in this situation.


More information about the community mailing list