Subject: Re: improving project maintainership
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <stephen@xemacs.org>
Date: 09 Feb 2002 00:03:29 +0900

>>>>> "Michael" == Michael Tiemann <tiemann@redhat.com> writes:

    Michael> Simon: I disagree with your point #1.  Having a bunch of
    Michael> maintainers provides tremendous competitive advantages:

I think you and Tom are at odds, though:

    Michael> c) even if maintainers can be impartial about the source
    Michael> of an inquiry or their response to a patch, it is human
    Michael> nature to suspect that if one is competing with a company
    Michael> that has a maintainer, one wants to keep at arms length
    Michael> from the maintainer.  That disadvantages one's technical
    Michael> position, giving an advantage to the company who has the
    Michael> maintainer.

I think this is precisely what Tom wants to avoid.  The words
"full-time maintainer", "shared projects", and "tax" strongly suggest
to me that what he wants is substantial independence from any
particular firm for these "more senior people".  The kind of "business
case" you make for paying maintainers isn't what he has in mind as
paying back the companies.  They all smack of "hoarding competence."

Nor do I think Tom wants to work in a business where what he works on
is driven by the need to "bid contract work" (although I'm much less
certain of that).  Rather, independent maintainers with resources to
work with "build strong software 12 ways", and the strength of the
free software segment will benefit all FSBs.


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