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From Stefano Mazzocchi <>
Subject Re: Proposal for Lenya
Date Sat, 22 Feb 2003 10:24:12 GMT
Steven Noels wrote:

>> Well, I can't be sure either. This is why we are going thru 
>> incubation: it should be a period to estimate *IF* this codebase with 
>> these people is the right seed for a potential healthy community.
>> If now, well, at least we tried.
> Yeah. Since Incubation in itself is pretty new and finding its way to 
> operate, we might be living under the (wrong) assumption that incubation 
> succeeds at all times. 

Very few projects around Apache have *DIED*. In my experience, only 3/4 
against some 50 that have various degrees of survival.

We don't have a statistics for incubation, but I would expect it to be 
higher. Yet, this doesn't mean that we can't try.

> I'm the pessimist kind of guy who worries about 
> incubation failures and how a project can survive these.

With my apache hat on, I don't care. With no hat, I would feel sorry 
only if the *incubator* was the problem. If the codebase, or the people, 
were the problem that didn't lead to a healthy community, I would be 
*happy* to know myself if I was them, so that I can dedicate my time to 
something better, or even decide to close-source the thing and go 

This is one of the arguments with the q42 people for Xopus: try OSS the 
*good way* and see if it works for you. If it doesn't, well, you know 
that and you move on with that information.

> That is what I 
> was referring to with 'being good for Lenya'. What if they fail to 
> attract new blood? What if they remain an isolated community? But you 
> are right, we should stop worrying about this and see how Darwin helps 
> us here.


>>> Of course, I should shut up and get involved (I'll do that). Still, 
>>> the idea behind Incubation Proposals is that people can react upon 
>>> them. I'm only voicing my concerns, and I would love to be proven wrong.
>> I appreciate you voicing your concerns because they allow me to 
>> express my feelings about this.
> Yep. Suggestion to Incubator: add a rationale from the sponsoring 
> Members to a project proposal. You are sometimes referring to a context 
> unbeknown to the list, so it might be good if these things are included 
> in the proposal.

I was expecting negative reactions based on wyona shaky codebase (shaky 
in terms of elegance of use of cocoon solutions, which is not, well, 
outstanding, let's put it this way) so I was prepared to answer them 
(Nicola was probably not expecting them so that's why he reacted more 

I said this before but the design pattern for building a community is 
that: "good ideas and bad code build communities, the other three 
combinations do not"

It's very counterintuitive but I think it's the underlying reason for 
Raymond's "release early/release often" suggestion: the more you release 
early, the more your code will have small defects that people will want 
to fix and will force them to learn how the system works internally, 
thus lowering the entry energy gap and allowing them to contribute new 
features more easily.

On the other hand, if you release every 6 months a perfect release, 
you'll get tons of users, but none of them will have the itch to scratch 
to contribute back. Result: you are left doing the work on your own and 
everybody will ask you features and submit bugs, but the entry gap will 
be too high because you can't force them to learn how the internals work.

If wyona was finished and did everything we needed, I wouldn't want it!!!!!

We would have a great product, but no development community. 
Darwinistically speaking, it's like progressing by cloning, instead of 
gene hybridization: clones are *destined* to extintion because they lack 
the ability to evolve with the environment.

A small, dirty codebase is like fast-reproducing small mammals, a 
perfect CMS donated to OSS will be like cloning dinosaurs. You don't 
have to read Crichton to know how this is going to end. :)

>>> Gee - I knew that one was coming ;-)
>> You can't stop an effort with FUD overhere, expecially an incubation 
>> one. It's not fair!
> I hope some of my points are not considered FUD but genuine concerns. I 
> didn't happen to extensively comment on the other proposals going 
> through incubation lately, since they weren't in the domain I'm working 
> in, or have a particular interest in, nor would they eventually lead to 
> sub-project creation inside a project of which I'm part of the PMC.
> I remember, when I was in school, some teachers demanded more of me 
> because they liked me and felt like I was able to answer the extra demand.

Good point :)

>> And if then fails, we might learn stuff that might help future efforts 
>> not to fail.
> I hope, and will try to commit myself, to make sure this experiment will 
> not fail at the cost of the Lenya project itself ([1] for a 
> light-hearted comment on related matters). I'm therefore volunteering to 
> be one of the sponsors.

Very good! thank you and welcome aboard.

>> If you start entering stuff like workflowed revisioning of content, 
>> multi-user annotation, repository abstraction and stuff like that, if 
>> clearly understand that it's not just a matter of assembling existing 
>> stuff, but it's *MUCH* more complex than this.
> Add multi-linguality to that mix, messaging, repository synchronization, 
> and a generic attribution system, and it rapidly becomes much more than 
> what can be handled in a Cocoon sitemap. ;-)

I see that we resonate, very well.

>> Moreover, nobody in the forrest community is interested in making 
>> forrest a full content management system.
> That's a bold and incorrect statement. Why am I here, commenting on 
> Lenya? :-)

nonono, careful: I meant "everybody in forrest will want a full blown 
CMS, but the current focus is to release 1.0 and go slower to that"

On the other hand, Lenya wants to aim to big-time CMS needs from the start.

I expect them to meet in the middle and at that point, we'll see what 
good old Charles suggests us.

>> So, in my vision, forrest starts from making static web sites and 
>> grows up, Lenya start with making supercomplex multi-user environments 
>> and goes down.
>> Will they meet in the middle? I don't know, but I can't see why not.
> I believe there might be some tricks people can learn from Forrest, even 
> if we Forrest committers might not always be happy with all there is to 
> Forrest. It might be in the interest of both communities to seriously 
> look into each other, since they have both extensive Cocoon linkage, and 
> should both try to showcase a set of Cocoon best practices.

Let's put it down crystal clear: if the two communities isolate, I would 
consider my sponsoring completely failed.

> This being said, here is my sincere and empathatic +1 for Lenya joining 
> Incubator with the ambition to become a Cocoon sub-project. I've 
> subscribed to wyona-dev and will see where I can help.

Very nice. Thank you.

Anybody else with comments, either positive or negative?

> </Steven>
> [1]

Stefano Mazzocchi                               <>
    Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate [William of Ockham]

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