[OSM-talk] Being Constructive, was: Topology

Nick Black nickblack1 at gmail.com
Tue Apr 24 15:04:10 BST 2007


I don't think that Dutch was trying to belittle the work of people like you
(Frederik) and the other guys who think hard about ways to improve the OSM.
What he was doing was explaining his reasons for being annoyed at a lot of
the stuff that's been going on on the mailing lists and IRC and blogs, where
a few people are non-constructively criticising OSM.  I think its pretty
strange that someone would say:

'I don't like you. I don't like working with you, I don't like your project,
I don't have anything I'm interested in collaborating on.'[1]

and then procede to carry on like nothing ever happened.  No explanation.
Its a little bit odd.  But then it also happened last year, in April.  The
retort of most people is to ignore it and carry on anyway, which is fine.
But it seems now like being excessively rude and offensive is actually quite
a good thing.  If I carry on like this and make some personal enemies, then
I become above criticism - if anyone tries to argue with me and tell me that
me ideas aren't quite right, then I'll have a whole load of people stepping
in: "hold on, we wouldn't want to upset anyone would we?  Better let all
these strange things carry on than tell the perpetrators that they are out
of line."

Frederick is damn right about the low hanging fruits.  For this reason OSM
developers do need to try and work together in a more constructive way. But
we also need to bare in mind who goes after the high-hanging fruits and see
through the considerable noise that some low-fruit-eaters make.


[1] http://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/talk/2007-April/012885.html


On 4/24/07, Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org> wrote:
>
> J.D.,
>
> > Also, all the code for everything regarding OSM is in SVN. People are
> > able to put their actions where their mouths are.
>
> Oh well, nice of you to say that, I've just implemented a new data
> model in the server, would everyone please update their renderers,
> editors, and other applications...
>
> No, honestly: This much-iterated mantra works if you are making
> small, incremental changes in relatively isolated areas. It works
> best for individuals who sit down, close the door, don't communicate
> at all, and the next morning, or the next weekend, come out with a
> finished solution. It effectively cuts off, even ridicules, any
> thinking about future technical development.
>
> > But hey, we're all different. Some do things constructively, some
> > do it
> > destructively. I know which way gets the best results, so I'm sticking
> > to that.
>
> It is not fair of you to dismiss anyone who believes in some talking
> *before* doing as not being constructive. (I've seen others in this
> project do it as well, you're not alone.)
>
> I must say that a considerable part of the fun I draw from hobby
> programming is working together with others. This often takes the
> form of first identifying a problem (by talking and observing, not
> doing), then discussing about possible solutions (again, by talking
> to others, making plans, etc., maybe programming a prototype) and
> only in later stages actually churning out code.
>
> In this project, it is very hard to find someone who's willing to
> even think about a problem requiring an attention span of more than
> five minutes and which cannot be simply fixed overnight.
>
> In other words, the trivial stuff gets done and people boast about
> their achievements; stuff that is too complex for one person to
> tackle alone is left alone, and those who point out that something
> might have to be done are ridiculed for not doing it themselves. This
> project doesn't have a team, it has a ton of lone rangers. This
> project is driven by the "lowest hanging fruit" principle - find
> something that's easy to do, do it, and then tell the world that
> you're a doer, not a talker. Yippieh. A real man.
>
> I am beginning to carve out my personal niches, find people in the
> project with whom I can cooperate on sub-projects and who don't laugh
> at me if I bring ideas to the table that may not be ripe for months
> to come. I play the game, by trying to isolate issues and work on
> them. There is progress in that; all is not lost. But it would do us
> all good to say goodbye to judging the vale of someone's contribution
> in number of lines of code committed.
>
> I'd rather have a few people who *only* talk and *never* code if what
> they say is well thought out and leads to valuable discussion, than
> have a bunch of hyperactive hackers turning every posting on the
> mailing list into a new release overnight without having anything
> like a "big picture".
>
> Bye
> Frederik
>
> --
> Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00.09' E008°23.33'
>
>
>
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>



-- 
Nick Black
--------------------------------
http://www.blacksworld.net
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