[Sugar-devel] Private vs Public conversations.

David Farning dfarning at activitycentral.com
Sun Oct 20 09:11:05 EDT 2013

On Sat, Oct 19, 2013 at 2:43 PM, Gonzalo Odiard <gonzalo at laptop.org> wrote:
> I agree with your analysis about slow deployment updates versus fast
> community cycles.
> In my view, there are two alternatives:
> * We can slow down a little the Sugar cycle, may be doing one release by
> year,
> but I am not sure if will help. The changes will take more time to go to the
> users?
> If a deployment miss a update, will need wait a entire year?
> * Someone can work in a LTS Sugar. That should be good if they can push
> the fixes they work upstream while they are working in their own project.

If someone, individuals or a third party, were willing and able to
provide LTS support for a version of Sugar, how would you recommend
they go about doing it?

With the recent changes to the ecosystem, I am unclear about the
current structure, culture, and politics of Sugar Labs. My concern is
that in that past several years a number of organization who have
participated in Sugar development have left or reduced their
participation. When asking them why they left, the most common
response is that that they didn't feel they were able to establish or
sustain mutually beneficial relationships within the ecosystem.

Would you be interesting in looking at cultural, political, and
procedural traits which have enabled other free and opensource
projects to foster thriving ecosystems? Are these traits present in
Sugar Labs?

While, I understand it is frustrating for an upstream software
developer. A primary tenet of free and open sources software is that
then anyone can use and distribute the software as they see fit.... as
long as the source code is made available. The challenge for an
upstream is to create an environment where it is more beneficial for
individuals and organizations to work together than it is to work

To make things more concrete, three areas of concern are Control, Credit, Money:
-- Control -- Are there mechanism for publicly making and
communicating project direction in a productive manner? Is
disagreement accepted and encouraged?

-- Credit -- Are there mechanism for publicly acknowledging who
participates and adds value to the ecosystem? Is credit shared freely
and fairly?

-- Money -- Are there mechanisms in place for publicly acknowledge
that money pays a role in the ecosystem? Is Sugar Labs able to
maintain a neutral base around which people and organizations can

>From my limited experience, I don't believe there is an single holy
grail type answer to any of these questions. Instead, the answers tend
to evolve as situations change and participants come and go.

> On Sat, Oct 19, 2013 at 9:46 AM, David Farning
> <dfarning at activitycentral.com> wrote:
>> For phase one this openness in communication, I would like to open the
>> discussion to strategies for working together. My interest is how to
>> deal with the notion of overlapping yet non-identical goals.
>> As a case study, let's look at deployment and developer preferences
>> for stability and innovation.
>> The roll out pipeline for a deployment can be long:
>> 1. Core development.
>> 2. Core validation..
>> 3. Activity development.
>> 4. Activity validation.
>> 5. Update documentation.
>> 6. Update training materials.
>> 7. Pilot.
>> 8. Roll-out.
>> This can take months, even years.
>> This directly conflicts with the rapid innovation cycle of development
>> used by effective up streams. Good projects constantly improve and
>> refine their speed of innovation.
>> Is is desirable, or even possible, to create a project where these two
>> overlapping yet non-identical needs can be balanced? As a concrete
>> example we could look at the pros and cons of a stable long term
>> support sugar release lead by quick, leading edge releases.
>> For full disclosure, I tried to start this same conversation several
>> years ago. I failed:
>> 1. I did not have the credibility to be take seriously.
>> 2. I did not have the political, social, and technical experience to
>> understand the nuances of engaging with the various parties in the
>> ecosystem.
>> 3. I did not have the emotional control to assertively advocate ideas
>> without aggressively advocating opinions.
>> Has enough changed in the past several years to make it valuable to
>> revisit this conversation publicly?
>> On Sat, Oct 19, 2013 at 12:43 AM, Gonzalo Odiard <gonzalo at laptop.org>
>> wrote:
>> > David,
>> > Certainly is good know plans, and started a interesting discussion.
>> > In eduJam and in Montevideo, I was talking with the new AC hackers,
>> > and tried to convince them to work on sugar 0.100 instead of sugar 0.98.
>> > Have a lot of sense try to work in the same code if possible,
>> > and will be good for your plans of work on web activities.
>> > May be we can look at the details, but I agree with you, we should try
>> > avoid
>> > fragmentation.
>> >
>> > Gonzalo
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > On Thu, Oct 17, 2013 at 2:56 PM, David Farning
>> > <dfarning at activitycentral.com> wrote:
>> >>
>> >> Over the past  couple of weeks there has been an interesting thread
>> >> which started from AC's attempt to clarify our priorities for the next
>> >> couple of months. One of the most interesting aspects has been the
>> >> interplay between private/political vs. public/vision discussions.
>> >>
>> >> There seem to be several people and organizations with overlapping yet
>> >> slightly different goals. Is there interest in seeing how these people
>> >> and organizations can work together towards a common goal? Are we
>> >> happy with the current degree of fragmentation?
>> >>
>> >> I fully admit my role in the current fragmentation. One of the reasons
>> >> I started AC was KARMA. At the time I was frustrated because I felt
>> >> that ideas such as karma were being judged on who controlled or
>> >> received credit for them instead of their value to deployments. We
>> >> hired several key sugar hackers and forked Sugar to work on the
>> >> problem.
>> >>
>> >> While effective at creating a third voice in the ecosystem, (The
>> >> association has shifted more effort towards supporting deployments and
>> >> Sugar Labs via OLPC-AU is up streaming many of our deployment specific
>> >> patches) my approach was heavy handed and indulgent... and I apologize
>> >> for that.
>> >>
>> >> --
>> >> David Farning
>> >> Activity Central: http://www.activitycentral.com
>> >> _______________________________________________
>> >> Sugar-devel mailing list
>> >> Sugar-devel at lists.sugarlabs.org
>> >> http://lists.sugarlabs.org/listinfo/sugar-devel
>> >
>> >
>> --
>> David Farning
>> Activity Central: http://www.activitycentral.com

David Farning
Activity Central: http://www.activitycentral.com

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