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Re: [Chicken-users] CMake problem on Linux should be solved

From: Brandon J. Van Every
Subject: Re: [Chicken-users] CMake problem on Linux should be solved
Date: Fri, 08 Sep 2006 11:09:06 -0700
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20060719)

I think we are closer to being on the same page now.

felix winkelmann wrote:
On 9/8/06, Brandon J. Van Every <address@hidden> wrote:

We need to agree what the milestones are.  Or, you need to tell me what
the milestones are gonna be, if you're in a more forceful mood about
it.  Then I can decide what I'm willing to do about them.

I have no milestones, besides getting 2.5 out as soon as I find some time
doing testing which includes booting up that despised Windows notebook...
There are no new features planned, and whatever I muddle around in shouldn't concern you, since it is simply not ready.

My only concern is whether the "unity" of the build breaks. But I will endeavor to be more trusting and less concerned.

You are free to do whatever you want, of course. The CMake support is
very good, and I appreciate that and will go out of my way to acknowledge
that properly when the next version will be released. If you could just get that idea out of your head that I'm trying to break your work, or whatever.

I will admit to being insecure about whether people will adopt my build. I know it is a good build, but there are issues of perception and inertia. Like whether one build is perceived as more stable, more tested, or more feature-rich than the other. You know the old engineering phrase, "Build it, and they will come." Which really means, build it and you'll be ignored. I've never shipped anything with my name on it that a large audience ended up using. I've tried; this is pretty much my "Three Times 'A Charm" project.

Also, you
should perhaps keep your private interests in supporting Chicken out of the general discussion, as that is something you have to work out for yourself.
If you want to contribute, contribute. Don't try to get your personal
into the discussion, please. I've put 6 years of my free hacking time into
this (nothing else), and nobody should give a damn about my personal
motivations or how often I get fed up with it, or how it affects my day job.

Actually it does matter from a "will Felix go nutters?" standpoint. Compare "will Felix be hit by a bus?"

A rapid pace of development is a two-edged sword. For instance the lead of the Nebula 2 project was difficult to deal with, really snappy with some bizarre and dictatorial personal views about languages and technologies and so forth. I'm sure this had something to do with having a high stress game development day job and doing lots of Nebula 2 stuff in addition to that. Did he have anything remotely resembling a life? I'd be shocked. Anyways I couldn't work with him. His stress level selected for "partners" that were subordinate and super easy going. Doormats, really. I'm easy going enough, I don't hold grudges, but I do challenge people. This was the kind of guy you'd try to start a design discussion with, weigh some pros and cons, and he'd tell you to STFU. I spent about a year hovering around Nebula 2 before giving up on it. The Ogre 3D engine has risen in popularity in the interim, and also Irrlicht. I wouldn't be surprised if interpersonal dynamics have something to do with that. What I recall of the Ogre message boards, it did seem like a healthier culture than what was going on in Nebula 2. But I never stuck around the Ogre project, I've just Googled their forums occasionally, so my perception may be superficial.

Anyways you're easygoing, Felix. I'm just staying that rapid development does create technical stress. Which then can turn into personal stress, for anyone attached to Chicken. In commercial development, people get paid to take the stress. I think the level of stress that open source developers can take is much lower, systemically speaking. I mean, when there's money, you can keep a large team going, put people through certain degrees of pain, and they'll just grind it out for their paychecks. But in open source, when people's pain threshold is exceeded, people just leave. And they leave quietly more often than they leave noisily. So for getting a project to grow bigger, with more long-term committed developers, the level of technical stress does matter. Sure in principle everyone could - should? - "suck it up" and not complain. But in practice, a project lead might end up saying, hm, why am I not attracting more developers?

Of course on the flip side, open source developers have to stress themselves. There is no manager to flog them, no paycheck to bait them.

Help us with your experience, if you want. But don't complain, as we all are
doing our best.

This I appreciate more now.

I need to decide the level of technical stress I can sustain. For now, I've decided to go into "passive" rather than active mode. I will let bugs sit around for a week before I look at them, instead of acting like a crisis response team. Maybe someone else will solve them meanwhile.

Brandon Van Every

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