Subject: Re: improving project maintainership
From: Michael Tiemann <>
Date: Fri, 08 Feb 2002 10:03:09 -0500

Tom won't be the first to try to strive against human nature.  My, I try to 
figure out how to use its peculiaries for advantage (both to myself and to 
groups I care about).  Put another way, human nature abhors a power vaccuum, 
and projects that don't have strong maintainers with real influence won't get 
very far.


Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:
>>>>>>"Michael" == Michael Tiemann <> 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.