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Hi Michael, all!

Am Samstag, den 08.01.2011, 00:34 +0930 schrieb Michael Wheatland:
Disclaimer: Personal opinion follows:

Today, it seems even better to add this statement to the mailing list
footer ;-) I'd like to focus on three items ... (snip snip snip).

If someone has an idea and is willing to put in the effort regardless of the
outcome they should be encouraged to do so and applauded by the community if
the idea is implemented.

May I over-stress this a bit? Please bear with me ... A volunteer grabs
the source code and removes Base (he never used Base, thus it might be
old habit ...), and directly commits that change to the master
code-line. Problem solved.

Will I applaud? Surely not, because it is something that heavily affects
our users - and even if this guy invested a lot of effort to do
something good for the project (from his point-of-view, without asking).

Fortunately - in this case - we only talk about code, so reverting the
change is rather simple due to our source code repository.

So let's summarize: It is not about any idea, but ideas that help the
community to grow (helping users, easing development and supporting
work, ...). I'm sure you fully agree.

But, the kind of ideas and what to achieve is what currently differs a
lot within the discussions I've read so far. Why? I think we talk
about ...
      * The process of designing and implementing the changes
      * Changes with regard to workflows
      * Changes concerning the web infrastructure

Please let me summarize what I currently see - no matter if this is
correct or not. This is what I perceive and (maybe) others as well:
      * There is an idea of improving the web infrastructure by using
      * Initial ideas have been collected and some parts are documented
        in the wiki
      * There is a "Drupal Website Team" (at least a list in the wiki)
        that consists of several people (I can only remember 3 people
        who said on the lists to be on the Drupal team)
      * The team communicates, but I don't know when, why, how, and the
        given outcome
      * There has been a short sign on the Design Team mailing list (if
        I remember correctly), but more or less one reply later ... no
        further feedback
      * I got contacted off-list to help with some aspects of the Drupal
      * From time to time, people from this team speak up and add
        comments to discussions and refer "vaguely" to future Drupal
        based solutions
      * There seems to be a Drupal test installation

So what do I perceive? Is there something I am able to "measure"? Hard
to say, because I don't have that much insight in what is going on at
the moment. I know that there is something going on, but how can I agree
to more than the general idea if I don't know if my needs (or the needs
of the users which I usually try to represent) are met?

From time to time, I have a look in the wiki. I read the mails when the
Drupal team comments on issues (as far as I am aware of), and I enjoyed
your status report some time ago.

So my first question is, whether you can understand this view.

Some weeks ago, we already talked about how to make the progress more
transparent. I proposed to summarize the ongoing work (or let's say:
chat about it) in blogs. People can follow your thoughts, add ideas, ...
in a very natural way.

Of course, this puts even more effort on your side, but it may establish
more trust within "us", the stakeholders (as you tend to say).

Some time ago, I also proposed to work on prototypes for the teams.
Something they can easily comment on, so with each of the steps, you
slowly evolve to be domain experts :-)

Everything wouldn't be that much complicated, if ...

Too much effort is being put into arguing, accusing, misunderstanding and
dare I say it, trolling and burning.

... the website would only be "information representation" and thus
(like code, in my example above) easy to roll back if it wouldn't fit.
But talking about the Drupal system is - both in a positive and negative
way - much more.

What I currently perceive is that the Drupal team talks about roles,
workflows and the like. I'm fine with any kind of proposal how we can
save some effort, avoid mistakes ... but please be aware that you
currently touch _all_ community processes that have been established
over the past decade. And during that time, the processes have been
optimized to what is available (e.g. given local constraints).

People gained a lot of experience how to overcome these problems - tiny
little details that will be a "no go" for a huge system like that. I'm
sure that any standard "requirements identification and analysis"
process will fail here (assumption: time constraint).

Switch to "simple mode" - the wish to change everything (aim is
improvement), but appearing in-transparent to those who are target users
for the changes ... this combination doesn't work.

Personally I am not interested in what anyone has contributed previously.

Sad to hear this - contribution sometimes means experience, even in
modeling/optimizing processes (although people might not be aware of).

So another example - you ask a question and two people reply differently
(both arguments appear valid). One of the guys is a long-term
contributor, the other one is new to the project. Who might "make it" -
long-term community member (involved in other topics as well, so just a
short reply), or the new member (having a bit more time to argue)?

So, referring to your statement, a rhetorical question: Why should we be
interested in what the Drupal team may theoretically contribute?

I don't know whether I got the correct "tone" for this mail; I hope that
it conveys some deeper thoughts that might be helpful ... finally, it is
up to you and the Drupal team how to use/interpret the content. All I
can do, is to give you some insight what I perceive.

Kind regards,

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