community Digest, Vol 36, Issue 45

Adam Krikstone krikstone at
Fri Jul 20 20:28:36 CEST 2007

Jeff Rush wrote:
> 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).
I completely agree.  A forum at this point is overkill but necessity 
should become apparent as more devices are sold.
> 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.
With the rampant ADHD of users here, how much of that energy has gone 
into answering the same emails over and over.  I'm sure they are 
personally reading and responding to all emails themselves and that was 
only with ~1-2k orders.  I can only imagine the clusterfuck that would 
result if the current structure and implementation remained as orders 
ramp up to 10-20k for a mass release.  I also question FIC's 
organizational structure but for an open source project they have still 
exceeded my expectations.

> 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.
While I expect the openmoko project to fork as people seem to inherently 
love to bicker over what is included, free vs restricted, and default 
options, I didn't expect someone to suggest it so soon.  Consumers 
should be able to go to the openmoko site and get all the documentation, 
source, products, and support from an official site. 

I feel that most people here only look at the problems and solutions 
from a developer's perspective.  Sean has stated that there will be 
other neo's and maybe even carrier sales/support.  These devices are 
aimed at the mass market and a coherent support network covering all 
bases should be available.  You are asking people to switch from their 
comfort zone to a completely foreign manufacturer with an unknown mobile 
OS.  There is no real way for people to demo a neo in person unlike a 
linux livecd for the desktop so this process will be riddled with 
apprehension and problems guaranteed.  Instead of hand-holding new 
consumers, people are suggesting that the public can just deal with what 
is available.  I believe that thinking is a disservice to the adoption 
of openmoko and embedded linux.  Most of the new (windows)users will 
have to go through trial and error to get things to work for them.  
Having that new user explain to other incoming users how to replicate 
their experience is better than any written documentation with that 
process best shown in a recognizable forum format.  I am realistic of 
what support is actually attainable but developers and openmoko 
employees don't need to be omnipresent.
> 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
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