View on project leadership and failures....

Jeremy Allison jra at
Thu Aug 31 16:12:41 GMT 2006

On Thu, Aug 31, 2006 at 12:00:59PM -0400, simo wrote:
> This paper has a very strong emotional impact but I think our situation
> is not so similar to the NetBSD folks, at least we do not have a
> Foundation that tries to keep the status quo, which is the biggest
> problem Hannum evidences out in his mail.

That's true. But we do have people who "own" areas
who can slow things down, not so much because they
are deliberately blocking things, but because they
are overloaded.

> I think what we miss is not much a strong Leadership but a way to
> express a clear direction and a way to set clear priorities so that
> everybody understand what they really are and where it is best to put
> efforts.

I disagree with this. I think that people should put efforts into
areas that they find fun and interesting. That's the only way
efforts are sustained in the long run. "Paid" people like you
and me have to do the boring stuff instead :-).

> Collaboration need understanding, and I think that we do not attract
> other developers also because we are not transparent, from the outside
> you can't tell who is doing what and even if anybody is really doing
> anything at all. Sure you can follow the development after it is done by
> tracking the cvs list, but you don't know why it has been done, where we
> are heading and if something is worth working on, or if we have a need
> that nobody can actually fulfill in the team.

No, I disagree with that also. I think it's pretty easy
to tell what people are working on, it's just that some of
the things we do are a little hard to pick up on first
reading of the code.

But talent makes an incredible difference :-). The cached
credentials fix I recently added was coded up by someone
who (as far as I know) hadn't coded on Samba at all before.
Yet he added an aysnc call to winbindd ! Yeah, we need to
tidy up the way he used ntlm_auth, but we were dropped
essentailly working code "as is" - that's very rare.

Of course he was paid to do it :-). I just want to
learn from the NetBSD experience so someone won't be
writing such a letter about us anytime soon :-).


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