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[Help-smalltalk] RE: [vwnc] GSoC idea: Brainstorming portal for better c

From: Paul Baumann
Subject: [Help-smalltalk] RE: [vwnc] GSoC idea: Brainstorming portal for better community decision process
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 2010 16:51:06 -0500

Hi Janko,

>>What do you think?

Big mistake to ask that... :)

So "report" is the end goal?

Consensus doesn't accomplish anything. Many truly great things are not 
understood by a voting majority. A mixture of pride and reward is required to 
get work done. Few would anonymously give away great ideas. Who is going to 
implement a commonly recognized "great" idea that is not their own? Usually the 
quality and results of work lacking incentive are mediocre at best. What about 
the destructive personalities that take pride in destroying good ideas? It is 
those types that love to participate in consensus groups because that is how 
they derive satisfaction. The outcome of what you are proposing would be the 
common (mis)understanding of problems. Consensus doesn't mean that 
understanding is correct. Consensus doesn't mean that what is proposed will 
really accomplish anything. Consensus doesn't get the goals actually achieved. 
Consensus work does little more than mimic what someone else already struggled 
to prove successful--diminishing incentive from people who deserve the credit. 
I've never seen anything good come from a consensus.

Better to act in an environment that forms a cycle of individual liberty and 
reward. Create a market for change where people can work for reward. Pride is 
the dominant incentive in young markets. Incentive markets originate from pride 
in the hope to establish a market for financial reward.

"Stalemate"? That means that there is a gatekeeper blocking change or 
destroying incentives. What stops a Linux developer from evolving code? 
Obviously the cost of getting Microsoft to change their code would be a 
disincentive. Smalltalk is between those extremes, but with fewer incentives to 
overcome the cost-of-change. To me, Smalltalk development is about rapid 
evolution. Years ago I stopped caring about releasing code though gatekeepers. 
I expect you'll find many people have already done really great things but are 
not sharing them. That is a market opportunity for someone smart enough to 
develop it.

Paul Baumann

-----Original Message-----
From: address@hidden [mailto:address@hidden On Behalf Of Janko Mivšek
Sent: Thursday, March 11, 2010 6:15 AM
To: Squeak; address@hidden; GNU Smalltalk; GemStone Seaside beta discussion; 
Subject: [vwnc] GSoC idea: Brainstorming portal for better community decision 

Dear Smalltalkers,

Becasue we have quite some problems in a community with seeking a consensus on 
important questions, from organization ones and on, I came to idea to build a 
tool for help. And a GSoC project can be an ideal opportunity to build such a 
tool. What do you think?

Here is a description:

Brainstorming portal for better community decision process 

Create a web portal for brainstorming sessions/meetings to get ideas and 
answers to important questions in Smalltalk community. Portal should allow 
on-line to:

   1. brainstorm the ideas
   2. vote to get-out the best ideas
   3. seek consensus
   4. analyze - report

On-line session/meeting should look like a Skype session together with a 
brainstorming portal, from collecting ideas to a final decision proposal. 
Example of such session can be a Squeak Oversight Board meeting or planning 
session for a new Smalltalk project. Or some broader session in the community, 
like on a question how to organize better.

Some important concepts:

    * anonymity of idea proposers
    * associations: proposers see the ideas of anonymous others to
      facilitate an association for proposing an even better idea
    * seeking consensus to avoid 51/49% decisions but to come closer to
      100% agreement on important ideas.

Technical details

    * a web application for gathering brainstormed ideas in real-time
      (using Ajax and Comet technology).
    * voting system with appropriate algorithms
    * analytics with on-line graphs and reports on paper/PDF
    * installation on a publicly available hosting server

Benefits to the Student

    * getting insight into group dynamics of Smalltalk community and in
    * gaining knowledge of modern web technologies in Smalltalk and in

Benefits to the Community

Better community decision process by getting the best ideas from the members 
while on the other side avoiding stalemates so frequent in Smalltalk community 
those days

Best regards

Janko Mivšek
Smalltalk Web Application Server
vwnc mailing list

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