shameful censoring of mono opposition
andrew-ubuntu-devel at pileofstuff.org
Wed Jun 10 06:48:17 UTC 2009
I think I understand now why you and the list have been butting heads so
much. I'd like to present my theory, then explain how you can be more
productive in advocating to developers.
At a Fortune 500 company, I would expect that advocacy is very political
- it's important to create (the perception of) a group of "winners" that
do what you want, and a group of "losers" that don't. Competition, and
fear of losing out, are very strong incentives for people in those
organisations - if they didn't want to win, they wouldn't be in the
Among open source developers, advocacy needs to be much more logical -
it's important to explain how doing what you want achieves the
developer's goals. "Scratching an itch" is widely recognised as the
most common incentive for open source developers, and any talk that
doesn't help them scratch their personal itch isn't productive.
Telling open source developers that they should want to scratch a
different itch won't work. It's like telling people they should be
attracted to a different gender, or should have a different taste in
music - you don't get to choose what your interests are.
Talking about "winning" and "losing" also won't work. Open source is
just coming out of a stage where you had to join the losing team in
order to get in. In a few years, you might start to see developers
appear that wanted to join the winning team, but right now anyone that's
been around long enough to be really effective is for OSS whether it
wins or loses.
Finally, creating rifts between groups won't work. Development is about
sharing a bad idea around until it becomes good, so people that like to
blacklist those with bad ideas generally don't become developers.
Put simply, Fortune 500 advocacy is like Fortune 500 business -
confident, aggressive, and victorious. OSS developer advocacy is like
OSS development - methodical, inclusive, and accurate.
I discussed a specific model elsewhere that could be used for
advocacy. It boils down to stating your premise, explaining your
reasoning, then arriving at a conclusion. I recommend you try it out,
as it will work much better around here.
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