Subject: Re: Dealing with the Open Source community
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <turnbull@sk.tsukuba.ac.jp>
Date: Wed, 22 Nov 2000 13:17:53 +0900 (JST)

>>>>> "kms" == Karsten M Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com> writes:

    kms> I'll agree, in general, but suggest that if this is indeed a
    kms> benefit, it should be accompanied by expectations management.
    kms> "Yoyodyne announces release of Gnomovision as free software
    kms> in landmark move" is out and "Yoyodyne allows mongrel free
    kms> software coders access to the bleading guts of fallen

"bleading"?

    kms> one-time market leader Gnomovision" is in.  Don't tell me
    kms> you're fertilizing with diamonds when you're not.

Karsten, the same PR rules apply here as elsewhere: tell as much of
the truth as necessary.  Expecting PR departments, which understand
neither the issues nor the code, to make realistic statements in the
press is, ehm, er, well, "naive."

The only thing that matters in the press release is the URL and the
style of access (FTP/HTTP acceptable, anon CVS better, CVS commit
access to accredited developer with sensible accreditation process
unbelievably excellent).  No URL at all, or it's managed by the PR
department?  The PR department is out of control and you can guess the
code is too.  :-)

The right thing to do, if management really wants support from the
community, is to budget insider developer time and other resources for
"community relations".  This includes setting up a realistic FAQ about
developing for the project, contributing time to review contributions,
and maybe even some proselytizing at meetings etc.  Don't run down the
PR people; just ignore them.

For example, although I didn't give the _product_ any credit until
M18, and it's still nowhere near ready for prime time, and the project
organization (just a surface look, though) seems to have some issues,
I give Netscape full marks for the way they handled mozilla.org.  In
hindsight, they could have done better, of course.  Maybe even in
foresight if they'd listened to Jamie.  :-)

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