Monday, March 14, 2011

In response to "the libappindicator story"

I generally never weigh in on these things, but I think in this case I understand what some may be missing here.

This is in reference to the following blog post: the libappindicator story

Each side refers to process and how the other side failed to follow it. My question is "can anyone point me to the relevant documentation which shows the process being referred to" and "can both parties review this process to see where they fell down" and "can the process be reviewed to ensure that it is clear and works so as to prevent similar future issues".

I suspect that there is no documented process, nor is it generally understood as to how all this was supposed to work by both parties. It's easy to reject an idea citing some failure to comply with a non-documented process. I'd like to be proven wrong and see that a process actually exists and work from there, but I suspect it's currently vapourware.

It's fine for you to state Canonical did not follow the process, but to not link to a doc or provide a post showing the process as approved by either GNOME or the team within GNOME responsible for this particular area, it's quite frankly irresponsible.

In order to make any such claim, you need tangible documentation. GNOME is big enough and the teams are diverse enough, that you need to document process. How else do you get efficient and allow new development to occur? You cannot exist forever in a vacuum.

So, if there is indeed a well documented process, show us the link. Show Mark that his team failed to follow the documented process. Then, once that's done we can move on. Mark will admit defeat and apologize and we can call it a day.

However, if this is not well documented nor consistent across GNOME projects, then GNOME needs to recognize that the lack of a documented process may have contributed here and let's correct that and move on.

PS: I work in a very process driven area (customer service and delivery) and it requires well documented processes to function. I understand all to well when some process exists virtually and is not well documented what can happen. Orders get missed, revenue drops, productivity suffers. As well, people point fingers. The only way to rectify is document the process and get everyone to acknowledge it. The process doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to be documented so you can at least have a reference point to move forward from.