[WF-Infra] Infra Meeting: October

Michael Miyabara-McCaskey mykarz at miyabara.com
Tue Oct 30 15:03:23 PST 2001

By now I'm sure you wondered what happened to the new fearless leader
(that would be me just in case anyone forgot! ;-P ).

Anyway, this piece of the discussion is the age old debate of how "in the
middle" should infrastructure be to assure consistency and
stability.  While a stronger larger Infra group would be needed, I have
always seen this model come at the expense of "Whats New", "Whats going
on", (meaning the real meat that can only be created by the people working
on their own particular area that they love.)

It's like saying, I'm going to now edit and publish the content of
Mason... Except that I don't know anything about Mason... So what is
really required is not another Infra person to learn about each area that
the Engineering team is working on... But instead a dedicated person or
set of people in each area of development that care enough to take the
extra time to share "What is going on".

End result is:

1. We don't have the people to do a centralized Infra coordinated
publishing system for the web.

2. If we did have the people and I'd fire them, and tell them to go 
work on other parts of the project.  I'll go back to my quote from the
beginning of the meeting (paraphrased a bit):

"It's our job (Infra) to enable others to do theirs".

The other way to look at it is...

"It is not our job to do others jobs, and think that we can do it better
than they."

Site consistency and stability at the expense of creativity and
empowerment is not an option.

The Infra perspective, is we do as much as we can do to make our site
consistent and stable.  And at the same time we absolutely expose
ourselves to the instability and inconsistencies of multiple authors doing
non-standard things, but... we  allow these to happen inside a stable
structure that we have the power to bring order to.


P.S. I'm still in the midst of my move, more to come as time permits.

On Mon, 29 Oct 2001 ajr at ecs.soton.ac.uk wrote:

> On Sun, Oct 28, 2001 at 10:31:15AM -0800, gabriel-worldforge at daphnae.bigdam.net wrote:
> > 
> > > You're going to have to start recruiting big time, and I can't help thinking
> > > this drain on resources will adversly affect other areas of the project.
> > 
> > But how do you attract people to the website if they're not comfortable
> > using it?
> > 
> Is it necessary to attract people to the website? My view is that the
> website is a repository of information made available to users and developers
> of the project. Attracting people to the website itself is not a goal.
> Attracting people to the project is. In the past I have advocated keeping
> an entirely separate website for outsiders as a publicity exercise, but
> this was not popular. Reducing the usefullness of the website to the body
> of the project by limiting their access to it cannot possibly help the
> project along.
> Al
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