|Don't ask to ask, just ask|
Re: Re: Re: Re: So, Netscape is dead?by chaoticset (Chaplain)
|on Jul 26, 2003 at 21:30 UTC||Need Help??|
Perhaps I'm too optimistic in thinking that there are people that would be prepared to contribute, to have a little influnce, with requiring control?Perhaps I'm too pessimistic, thinking that there are power hungry insane morons who do not give one whit about what the designer thinks or what the community thinks and only care if they can make someone do their work for them...and these people do not believe in concepts like 'a little influence'. A little influence is being on the development team. If these people spend money, they damn well expect to own something, and if they spent it on a Perl feature, they expect to see it. And if they didn't, their money would be gone.
(Now, I'd like to qualify something here. I'm not a person who often invokes the concept of a 'community' because normally I've found that when people say 'community' they mean 'easily led people with no understanding of the issues'. This is not the case here. I am perhaps idealistic, but I view the Perl community as what the word is meant to be -- a group of people working not always in the same way, but essentially towards a common goal. The reasons for the Perl community include, IMHO, that the goal is rather loose, the development is driven by a small, focused team of designers, and anybody who wants to try to help in any serious way probably understands what they're doing. There is almost no real 'bottom line', and therefore it's not driven by the economy, and can be stable to some extent. It's driven by the developers, for the sake of development.)
Realistically, and perhaps simplistically, I've done nice things for people. People I do nice things for have a tendency to fall into one of two categories: Either they will continue to ask for it as if it's expected, or they consider it a great one-time favor, and perhaps try to repay me for it. A company driven by the bottom line (and they're not all that way -- some are driven by small groups of people with a greater scheme) tends to fall into the first category -- they'll ask for something, and then something else, and then something else -- and eventually it's the Verizon Perl development cycle, complete with .sig ads and whatnot. The other type of company has a tendency to fall into the second category, where they understand that the design team/nice person aren't going to do that every time, it just fit in with their ongoing plans or didn't require major diversion.
As for products sold or leased...Perl wasn't created with it in mind, and while money may speed it up, I don't think it'll ever be the hurdle that prevents it from being worked on. Now, I'm not unique -- I am dealing with roughly the same job market, roughly the same lack of openings and lack of sanity on the part of personnel, etc., and I do need to eat and have shelter. I work a job that I honestly think a skilled simulation could handle better than I could, but it provides money until I find real work.
The real product to be sold is thinking skill -- there is truly no other that cannot be replaced by automation one day -- and right now it's not as valued as it probably should be. Unfortunate, but economies are not stable by nature.
The problem with the "interest groups" situation is that the designers no longer know what the interest group is "suggesting" versus demanding quietly without significant communication. The interest group then ends up playing politics, and the designer does too -- in order to not offend the rest of the interest group, they have to play quietly or very very nicely with the main contributor(s), and for the main contributors to stay on top and not get rousted by a voting bloc, they have to play quietly or very very nicely. Roughly analogous to this is the current situation with the U.S. Congress, and look how that's been working out. ("Please, can you guys just consider our suggestions concerning this legal system that's meant to do more important things than just serve us? We'll give you some money, but, it's just consideration money, yeah, that's it...") Now, we have the term 'mouthpiece' for someone who's a sponsored toady. If Perl development plays the political money game, the developers will either have to become mouthpieces for various contributors (because it's generally easier to convince other people of things than it is to find or do work) or else find themselves shoved out by people who are well-paid, persuasive speakers and relatively useless human beings in all other regards. (Social whores is the term I like for those people. :) ) In an attempt to prevent toadying (but not the money, the preciousss), redundancy would evolve into the system to attempt to prevent social whoring, but development would grind to a snail's pace, thoughtfulness would be nonexistent, and you'd have the legal system all over again.
I don't want to see Damian become Ted Kennedy. I sure as hell don't want to see Damian shouted down by someone just as useless as Ted Kennedy who happens to be funded by, say, Microsoft. And I may be very cynical, but I don't see that game turning out any other way.
Currently, you pays your bucks, you takes your chances. Perl is a big ball of wax, and you either donate to it or you don't, and Perl likes being funded but doesn't live for it. It sounds pretty good, frankly.