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Re: [Gnumed-devel] installing and using gnumed

From: James Busser
Subject: Re: [Gnumed-devel] installing and using gnumed
Date: Thu, 19 Feb 2004 00:29:47 -0800

I have commented on what I think are a few key issues.

On Feb 18, 2004, at 11:09 PM, Richard Terry wrote:
I think we lack a co-ordinator who can visualise the grand plan and allocate coding of each section to whovever and overview and have a final say on the result. I'm aware those of you with computer degrees/commercial experience
think I'm wrong in this as we have had the conversation already.

I've seen many people who obviously wanted to help come and go...
...and I don't blame them because there was no structure for them to become
involved, but it is a sad loss of talent.

There isn't any mechanism in place to incrementally improve
after I comment.

I do not know how many lurkers are on the list, but any who are timid so wished their view known "quietly" could consider emailing me privately, if they prefer, and I can then just post a summary of views (no names) back to the list. There are important issues here of how a community is to better / best work together.

People have to be able to "get" (to visualize, to correctly understand) whatever issue is under discussion. When we discuss the web site or mail list, we have a lowest common denominator because everyone can easily access what is being discussed. I feel I can comment usefully on these, because I can easily see (or go and check) how anything under discussion compares or relates to whatever already exists.

I cannot do this with the Gnumed software because I have not yet gotten it running. It does not completely stop me asking questions, or initiating or replying to discussion, but when I do it is with a worry that my input is more clumsy than it needs to be. Having averaged at least an hour a day since December trying to educate myself, I can't help but feel that if the "Gnumed knowledge base" were better documented and organized AND if Gnumed were easier to install I could contribute more effectively.

The work required to do this may seem excessive, but (as an example) if 20 hours of work would let each of 100 people save an hour of effort, they could then redirect 80 hours back to Gnumed in some more constructive fashion. I could understand, if it existed (no flames), any exasperation toward many who ask or need help / info but I wonder if that is an essential means by which to grow the base of contributors --- it is, after all, the way that our students become our colleagues.

I think it mission-critical to be able to get people quickly "onto the same page", so that understanding and discussion are more effective. If Richard had available to him a larger group of discussants who could satisfy him that some alternatives could be satisfactory --- or preferred --- or that some concessions were unavoidable --- he could feel better about them. This same larger group of discussants could more effectively prevail upon the coders on choices that might not have been the coders first. More positively the larger group might better identify 'third options" not initially considered by either Richard or the coders - bonus! This could enable a healthy resolution to Richard's concerns about the extent to which the GUI should exactly reproduce his design. It could also serve as a "steering group" which might also assure essential coordination.

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