[mb-users] Open Letter to the MusicBrainz Community
krazykiwi at gmail.com
Wed Aug 16 22:10:55 UTC 2006
I wrote this really long mail detailing all the things that I find
problematic with MB's community, but it just came off sounding really
dull and arrogant. Possibly not unusual for me, but I realised, it's
all beside the point.
There's a lot of people who are very confident and vocal about things
they don't like, and there's not many of us who are confident and
vocal and step up to say things we do like. I can be guilty of the
former and even more guilty of the latter.
There's some of us who have a development style that is very 'lone
wolf', the mythical hacker in the bedroom at 3 am with a pile of jolt
cola cans, and that works great for some people. There's others of us
who need a little more moral support, people to run things by before
they are finished, a more iterative process. That style is hard to
live with if you're one of the first kind of developer, or if everyone
around you is the kind of person who is happy to say what they don't
like, but doesn't publicly shout for joy when they do like things.
That's something that's maybe happening here. I wish I'd been louder
in the face of the nay sayers, saying how much I liked overall the
changes that were made, whether they were perfect or finished or not.
I've been on the wrong end of this argument. I once had a developer
remove several entire applications, thousands of lines of code from a
cvs repository, with a log message thanking me for making him leave.
Sucked to be me that day. I've been on the right side of this
argument, fighting for truth and justice and being the one ripping my
work out and later regretting it. Sucked to be me that day too. I've
been the bewildered and bemused noncombatant, stuck in the middle of
seeing two groups of people I really liked battling to the death over
an in the end inconsequential piece of code, but code that I was
ultimately responsible for managing, so I totally feel for Rob here,
and oh boy, that's the day it sucked to be me most of all.
If I can help, in any way, I would. Whether it's cheerleader,
mediator, bug triager or shoulder to cry on. I don't know what it
will take to get Stefan back, or Lukas, or to keep Don, or to help
Rob get this monkey of developer management off his back. I don't
even know if all of that is what the community wants or needs, or if
it's possible. Maybe those bridges are too far burned now.
But this is me saying I think it would be a shame to lose these
developers, I love the work that they have done. I think the
community reaction to the server milestone is the only part of this
that was truly catastrophic in all this. I hate to see any of you go,
and I don't believe it's necessary that anything done here needs to be
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