Dilbert vs the Mongolian Horde: A question of Structure

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Dilbert vs the Mongolian Horde: A question of Structure

Postby martinwilson » Sun Sep 23, 2007 12:04 am

Sorry for the arcane subject - but it made you click didn't it :)

I have a Computer Science lecturer who says "There are as many development styles as there are developers", and while I usually take his ideas with a grain of salt, this is something that I believe to be true. And for this reason, a well suited and defined structure is one of the first steps in almost any team-based project. A non-structured project turns into a directionless mess, with no communication or common vision (the Mongolian Horde analogy - my apologies to any Mongolian members).

However, an overly structured project can stifle creativity and curb enthusiasm before the project can even get going (ie Dilbert). Therefore a balance between the two is an important goal. Hitting this balance is a very difficult task, especially with an emerging project, and getting it wrong can easily kill a project as fast as it started.

I am an avid fan of open-source software, and have read many books comparing open-source with traditional techniques (my favourite being "The Cathedral and the Bazaar" by Eric S. Raymond). According to what I’ve read, most successful open-source projects start as a loose 'forum' of ideas and prototypes, and only transform into a full blown project later, after a structure has naturally been allowed to develop.

In this light, I think that we should not be in too much of a hurry to become a 'project' with a sub-committee and a treasurer, but rather to remain a forum/discussion group for as long as is necessary to naturally arrive at a feasible structure. Don't forget, that before this forum, there was no place to even discuss DIY flash triggering with so many like-minded individuals, so perhaps we should see what implications this large step forward has, before planning the free upgrade to the Pocket Wizard.

Anyway - This is just my 1am rant, I would love to hear everyone else's opinions on the subject.
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Postby JonSenior » Sun Sep 23, 2007 12:17 am

I agree. Let the rants and brainstorming continue. Despite what I imagine some people may hope, this isn't going to produce an open PW in a weekend. It'd be good to let the imaginations run riot for a while until something more solid starts to develop.

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Postby Firebird » Sun Sep 23, 2007 12:43 am

Yup, I agree with Martin. Let's brainstorm on as many different aspects as we can, for as long as we can. We're gonna have to have a large number of people who are convinced to plonk down a certain amount of working money before anything can be manufactured anyway. I'm busy learning as much as I can about different aspects of the problem that interest me. Hoping that maybe I can contribute a little bit to the whole.
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Postby Elv000 » Sun Sep 23, 2007 3:28 am

Absolutely!.... Unfortuantely I don't understand the electical engineering so its very frustrating but I think after a while it will get narrowed down to a few options just by natural selection.

Then the serious arguing can start... the loudest will win out and the rest walk off in a huff :lol: .... what can you do?!
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Postby seaton » Sun Sep 23, 2007 4:34 am

I totally agree, I feel that we will achieve success through the brainstorming, discussions and the great pool of talent we have.

I personally feel that If we end up being directed from a core group then it will not take off, people get nosed put out of joint etc, this approach may work for a private company and a commercial product, but not for open source, I've been an avid support of open source project in the past, hence why I posted the inital thread.

Why I raised the question of structure in my previous thread, was the question of structure had previously been raised a couple of times in the initial flickr thread, so I felt it needed to be opened up for discussion. I'm glad that so far the majority is that of an open approach which I'm sure will sort itself as this thing evolves.
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Structure

Postby Thonord » Sun Sep 23, 2007 11:20 am

Isn't this the early stage of structure. :wink:

Tom
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