Author Topic: Letter to the Community: LinuxMCE 0810 - The Cold Honest Reality  (Read 39534 times)

Techstyle

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Re: Letter to the Community: LinuxMCE 0810 - The Cold Honest Reality
« Reply #60 on: June 26, 2009, 04:49:00 am »
It seems to me there are people who want to get involved just by the qty of replies in a very small amount of time to Thom's original e-mail.  Geekyhawkes beat me to setting up the 'community' wiki page but I have posted my details.  I hope others post theirs.

http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Community

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Re: Letter to the Community: LinuxMCE 0810 - The Cold Honest Reality
« Reply #61 on: June 26, 2009, 05:38:48 am »
By the look of it, in one day, we have doubled the number of people willing to make a regular commitment to the project.  That's pretty good going!

It would be valuable to see the key Devs on the list to see/understand who they are and where they fit, too.


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Re: Letter to the Community: LinuxMCE 0810 - The Cold Honest Reality
« Reply #62 on: June 26, 2009, 05:47:32 am »
Tim,

Just in case the core devs do not stop in...

There aren't as many details, but it gives you an idea:
http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Contacts

:Matt


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Re: Letter to the Community: LinuxMCE 0810 - The Cold Honest Reality
« Reply #63 on: June 26, 2009, 05:55:30 am »
All,

Since Thom initiated this thread, I have generated an outline to help put this project into smaller chunks for all of us to determine how, and what we can contribute. There should be some requirements for some of these roles, and I spell out which ones in the following document.

The one thing I think is necessary is to require that everyone refrain from playing musical chairs with these roles. If everyone believes that we can show this project to be more professional than it currently is, then that responsibility is on US! We must show discipline if we want to showcase this project as professional. This does NOT mean clocking in or any other conventional corporate measurement or means. It DOES mean dedication to the team and tasks you decide to commit to. This also means populating the ENTIRE schedule of roles. In the word 'TEAM', each letter has a position it holds to spell the word. Two letters cannot be in front. One letter MUST be last. Each position MUST be filled in order to spell this word. There will be roles that are unpopular in this list, but THEY MUST BE FILLED! I simply ask that everyone fill a role, and not play favorites, myself included.

I have taken quite a bit into consideration when generating this outline, bringing this project through its current form and incorporating a commercial hybrid format. There are revenue-generating sections, and pro-bono sections. I believe all contributions should be rewarded in some manner--it may not always be money, but payment isn't everything. If we can assemble this project into a deliverable project that functions as well as its host operating system, I personally think we can kill two of the world's current leaders in both computers and home automation--Microsoft and Crestron, in one product and take over their markets. This would ensure compensation for even the doorman!

I also appreciate the efforts of our developers and all they have contributed to this project thus far. This project convinced me as well to jump into Linux three years ago. I have performed several installations since version 1.1, added a number of components to my installation, I use most of LinuxMCE's functions, and am now going through the steps of following through with Linux certification. I have designed databases and remote control interfaces on my own, and I have been published several times in a number of home automation and construction industry periodicals. I am a Marine and a Drill Sergeant, so I know how to perform in a team, and moreso how to develop a team. Please check my LinkedIn page for reference: http://www.linkedin.com/in/digilifellc

I have other documents that I have generated for this project, along with business plans on target markets that LinuxMCE can serve well. I will contribute them when they are completed.

The outline is here: http://www.digilifellc.com/uploaded/LinuxMCEProjectDirection.doc
I also have a connection diagram here: http://www.digilifellc.com/uploaded/LinuxMCEConnections.pdf
« Last Edit: June 26, 2009, 06:18:10 am by digilifellc »
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tmoore

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Re: Letter to the Community: LinuxMCE 0810 - The Cold Honest Reality
« Reply #64 on: June 26, 2009, 06:23:45 am »
digilifellc,

You're effort and enthusiasm in building that document should be applauded!

I think you've documented some valid points that should be discussed.  However, such a large structure would be overkill, in my opinion, at this stage.  It's good to be thinking about this stuff now though.

A practical approach would be to take stock of who has volunteered, once we have given a chance for anyone interested to respond to the wiki.  Then we can look at responsibilities.

I wholeheartedly agree that people should try to stick to their areas of responsibility.  That's not to say that they can't also contribute to other areas, but one person should take the lead in each area.  Communication of these roles is also important, as you point out.

The first thing to do in any organization is to have a defined "vision".  Why is this project in existence?  What are its aims?  Until we have this fully defined, it's difficult to structure an effective approach to achieving the aims.  Sure, we could probably guess a few, but more definition is needed, especially around the issue of commercialization.

Put your details on the wiki! http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Community :)

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Re: Letter to the Community: LinuxMCE 0810 - The Cold Honest Reality
« Reply #65 on: June 26, 2009, 06:50:50 am »
This has all been defined, guys. Read through the wiki, and spend some time with the Developers Guide, and crawl outward.

-Thom

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Re: Letter to the Community: LinuxMCE 0810 - The Cold Honest Reality
« Reply #66 on: June 26, 2009, 06:58:24 am »
Also, I will reiterate...

We do not...have...the man power to support a formal management structure.

-Thom

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Re: Letter to the Community: LinuxMCE 0810 - The Cold Honest Reality
« Reply #67 on: June 26, 2009, 07:07:05 am »
No, Thom, it hasn't.  What's there is sparse and incomplete.  As far as any newcomers are involved, at least.  Not a complaint, but an observation.

When you're so involved in something, it can be difficult to put yourself in the shoes of someone who is new and to understand the gaps in knowledge.  My advice would be to listen carefully to the needs and concerns of all these people who are offering to help, even if you don't really agree.  They are legitimate concerns.

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Re: Letter to the Community: LinuxMCE 0810 - The Cold Honest Reality
« Reply #68 on: June 26, 2009, 07:19:26 am »
Thom.... I reiterate....  You WILL DO if you LET US HELP.

I'm not talking about a hierarchical tower of management.  Just  a few (more) people with defined responsibilities, communicating effectively with the rest of the community, with a common defined goal (maybe not even more people, but just better definition and organization).  This is not happening right now, and it is WHY few people are stepping up to help.  Everyone needs to feel that they are supported and the effort that they will put in will be recognized and their time not wasted.

People on this thread have offered to both help manage the project, and help code for it.  So far, you are pushing back on both.  You don't seem to want to have anyone else make decisions, and it seems that all coders are too inexperienced to meet your lofty demands of experience.

I have grave concerns over the future of this project if an elite few want to control everything to the extent that no one else is able to help.

Come on!  This is a COMMUNITY project.  If you think it is YOUR project, then just say so, so that we all know where we stand and can choose whether to continue with our support.

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Re: Letter to the Community: LinuxMCE 0810 - The Cold Honest Reality
« Reply #69 on: June 26, 2009, 07:37:42 am »
Thom,

Is there a running list of todo's? I'm not talking about bugs and such, but something people in this thread could look at?

I'm thinking a lot of us that want to help but do not have the high level skills could take a look over the list and say "you know what, I think I can do that" and jump in. Maybe walk throughs, creating templates, images, testing, anything really. This would be for the type of person that wants direction, this project is huge. There really is no place to just jump right in. Not everyone is self motivated, but a little nudge with direction can send some a long way.

I think this is what everyone in this thread is refering to when talking about team leads. People have some skill sets available, they want to put them to use but do not know what is out there for them to do. I think this would be a good start in getting us some direction. It would provide a means for us to contribute back to LMCE.

I know your looking for someone with a higher skill set, or not necessarily for what a lot of us are offering to help with, but put us peons to work.

-Pnuts

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Re: Letter to the Community: LinuxMCE 0810 - The Cold Honest Reality
« Reply #70 on: June 26, 2009, 08:15:03 am »
Tim,
Stop badgering Thom. Understand that he is frustrated. I question your leadership ability based on your reactions to him. Leadership is convincing someone to do something they don't want to do, and having them satisfied in doing it.

Thom,
Remember that frustration is not a valid reason to lash out at people unwarranted. There are several here trying to help. Understand that they don't know where the front door is to get in. Also, don't misunderstand my planning so far into the future. There is a useful purpose to all of these things. I don't expect everyone to understand, but I have an awesome vision for this project that can take us into some rewarding places. You don't worry your pretty little head about management. You have your own fish to fry. I do like Pnuts' suggestion of a todo list. Things that must be done to get us to a completed 0810. Would you mind compiling this list please?

geekyhawkes,
Could this document be in another format possibly, such as a table or spreadsheet? It's awful to look at in its present form. I like formations, so columns and rows are a favorite of mine. Not being a nag, just asking for a personal favor.

The rest of us,
We have several roles that do need to be filled. We need persons willing to fill them. Please refer to my document in my previous post and add the roles you are qualified to do, and the roles you are interested in. Commitments are not binding yet, but we do need to assemble ourselves. geekhawkes, if you would not mind, please add fields for "Roles Qualified" and "Roles Interest", and transcribe all of these contacts into a spreadsheet for sorting capability so that decision-makers are able to view the list easy-to-manipulate forms.

Everyone please understand that you may not be ultimately assigned a favorite task or one you are completely familiar with. It will be necessary to have an open mind with this process. Our current objective is to help get this big bus out of the mud. When we are back on the road, then, and only then can we select which seat we want on this trip. I sincerely hope that we can get things moving again in a quick and orderly fashion. I will be posting my information in the morning.

-Wesley
« Last Edit: June 26, 2009, 08:19:46 am by digilifellc »
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posde

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Re: Letter to the Community: LinuxMCE 0810 - The Cold Honest Reality
« Reply #71 on: June 26, 2009, 08:54:06 am »
Good morning,

just a small note from someone, who came into close contact with LinuxMCE in Nov 2007.

I have since than spend most of my waking hours on the project. I have read quite a bit of the documentation on the wiki. I dug into the code. I installed LinuxMCE a gazillion times, and tried to understand how things interact. Did I approach anyone and ask them for help. Yes. And I received it. But I always asked a specific question, and in the end, I came up with quite a good understanding. I was able to provide a proof of concept of the iOrbiter (just to find out, that you need some bi-directionality to really have the same effect as the regular Orbiter), did the device template exporter (which is now being taking over merkur2k), ALL of this, by investing my time and energy. And not, by sitting in class and being spoon fed. I modified more than one screen using QuickDesigner. Is there a tutorial about QuickDesigner anywhere? No, but Thom's screencasts on HADesigner are a great base.

This is voluntary work. I helped a bit to setup our presence on the LinuxTag 2008 in Berlin, where all of us spend whole days talking to people about LinuxMCE. Did anyone needed to spoonfed me stuff? No. This is all about self motivation, and gettting things done.

This is voluntary work. I don't do it for the money (I don't get any, but spent rougly 1200EUR for LinuxTag (1200EUR of my OWN money)). I do it, because I want to learn how LinuxMCE works, because I get a kick out of gettings things work, and amending stuff the way I like it.

Yes, 6 or 9 month ago, people appointed me to be one of the chiefs, to be the release manager for LinuxMCE 810. Did that change what I am doing these days with LinuxMCE? Mostly not, except that I spent some days doing the builds, and try to convince people to do certain things, to encourage people to go forward.

Guys (and gals)!

we have no spoons here. You have the choice. Sit down, and get your hands dirty. Take a pick, and look at that part of the system that you like the most. And stick with making it the way you want it. You have all the tools, you have your hands (i hope), so JUST GET GOING! It won't be wasted time. Even if you, as 98% of the people who ever started contributing, will not complete your work, you will learn something. And that in itself, has been the greatest thing about LinuxMCE for me. I have learned more in the last 18-20 month about programming, MySQL and scripting, than I had for a long time. And it feels good.

Stop ranting about needing new structures, and get going.

Best regards

Peer Oliver Schmidt
Release Manager
for LinuxMCE 810

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Re: Letter to the Community: LinuxMCE 0810 - The Cold Honest Reality
« Reply #72 on: June 26, 2009, 09:31:44 am »
Hi again,

Please everyone just read Posde's post above...and let it sink in. He describes what we need from everyone pretty much perfectly. If all of you acted on his call to action we would be much better of as a team pretty quickly. Then maybe....if you stick with the project and get 'addicted' like the rest of us ;-)...over time you could contribute more and more. Small things at first and then gradually more complex and challenging contributions later.

All the best

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wierdbeard65

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Re: Letter to the Community: LinuxMCE 0810 - The Cold Honest Reality
« Reply #73 on: June 26, 2009, 11:01:51 am »
This thread appears to have forked into two distinct discussions. Development and Management. They MAY be related, but different points are being made in both parts that are not neccessarily connected.

Thom, Peer,

I'm sorry to have to say it, but it's YOU guys need a reality check here.

In the opening post, Thom, you quoted 3 figures. 5 developers, 3 million lines of code, 112000 registered users.

So, some maths here. That's a rough responsibility of 600000 lines of code each. That's a hell of a lot and why you guys are feeling the way you do. More importantly, it also means that only one out of every 22400 users takes up development seriously. Each developer has a user base the size of a large town, all asking for stuff and making demands :o Burn-out is inevitable!

Ask yourselves why this is? How many people actually have the time to go and dig around to find this stuff themselves? How many people have looked at the project, thought about getting involved and then given up due to the sheer size of it? There are other community projects out there which are far less complex (or dare I say exciting), yet attract large teams of developers. Why is this? In some cases, those projects have gone on to become the de facto industry standards with people like Micro$oft (even though they won't admit it) playing catch-up. Hell, the whole internet was practically built on the daddy of all community projects, GNU-Linux!!! Yes, there is commercial involvement NOW, but that hasn't always been the case.

Put it another way, if you were visiting a city for the first time, wouldn't you ask people you knew for advice on where to stay? What areas to avoid? Where the good places are to eat? Etc.? SOMEONE had to be first and find out the hard way, but whyt should EVERYONE experience the pain?

Guys, you are seriously talented programmenrs and are obviously committed body and soul to this project. We (and at this stage I'm one of the 112000) have all expressed our grattitude for that, but this discussion (and project) needs to move FORWARD. YOU are the ones who started this thread. Until then, we possibly didn't realise how few of you there are or how much time you actually spend on the project. I honestly believe that if you made it a little easier to join in, you would see that number 5 go up. There MUST be more people amongst the 112000 who have skills that can be of value to the project, just not the time (or inclination) to fight their way in.

Ok, you asked for SPECIFIC questions, so I'll ask some.

  • The developer's guide. Does it relate to 810, 710 earlier versions or all of the above? Like most of the Wiki, it is hard to tell what's relevant and what's now outdated.
  • Which sub-system would you recommend as the best one to study to get a feel for how DCE router is used?
  • What network protocol is used by DCE router to communicate with remote devices?
  • Does each device have it's own DCE router (thet communicates between local subsystems and other routers) or is there only the one on the core that everyone contacts?

IF I get involved, I will no doubt ask more, but that will do as a start :D

Some SIMPLE examples of the use of some of the classes would help explain the system. Say, I want to have a simple braodcast alert system. I'm guessing this would be (fairly) easy to do, but I want to add a button to the Orbiter which, when pressed causes a large pop-up on all MDs and other orbiters saying "Dinner's Ready". A useful (if rather trivial) addition for a lot of houses (I have teenagers who somehow manage to not hear their mother shouting them when food is on the table). If (one of) you guys could take the time to write this, but more importantly thoroughly document the whole process, we would be able to get in through the development door. I'm guessing (please confirm or otherwise) that you would first need to decide on the high-level messages requiring sending. Orobiter code would need modifying to create the button and send that message. A plug-in would also be needed to recieve the message and put up the alert.

If (one of) you guys could take this and step by step document (with coding examples) how to start withj a blank piece of paper and end up with an addition committed to the code-base, then I for one would be joining you in committing serious time. If none of you can find the time to do this, then I'm prepared to hack around until I manage it (or give up) in which case I'll write the damned thing myself  ;)

There seems to me to be a mentality that the pain of learning the product is a neccessary rite of passage. YOU had to do it, so WHY shouldn't WE? It doesn't need to be that way guys.

Tim,

I know you mean well, and I'm no expert, but a management expert coming along and telling us we need more management? Hummm. Bit like getting a builder in who tells me I need a load of work doing to my house that I wasn't aware of. Maybe I'm just a skeptic. I don't believe that the project needs more people managers at all. Process managers maybe - and I don't mean project managers. We need people to take ownership and then DO, not orgainise others to do. (This is what I understand Thom means in a lot of his responses to people who want things, but aren't prepared or able to figure them out for themselves and so end up talking about it a lot.) I don't have the skills to take ownership of documenting the deployment process - I don't want to point the finger, but it seems to me that Andrew, you have a lot of experience in this area. Care to take up the challenge? I've already indicated that if I manage to get my head around the process, I'll document the development of a new plug-in. If everyone who has these skills could do this (and make it easy to find) then we won't need managers breathing down our necks!

Or maybe I'm just deluded and should give up.
Paul
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posde

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Re: Letter to the Community: LinuxMCE 0810 - The Cold Honest Reality
« Reply #74 on: June 26, 2009, 02:27:51 pm »
We might want to get some numbers straight:

  • 100k+ installs != 100k+ users. How many times did any of you install LinuxMCE? Each time gets a new ID. I did at least 20-30, if not more, installs.
  • 3mio+ lines of codes from 5 devs? No. The current developers inherited most of it. I do not think, more than 10-20k lines of code come from the current development team