miscommunication (was Re: [xmonad] Issue 132 in xmonad)

Don Stewart dons at galois.com
Fri Feb 1 21:19:09 EST 2008

> Folks, it's clear we have some communication problems going on.   
> Let's all step back and take a deep breath, hm?
> As seen from my vantage point (which is almost certainly inaccurate  
> because I don't have access to your internal state --- then again,  
> that's kind of the point...):  Andrea has been playing with a new  
> layout and decoration framework to address some shortcomings in  
> xmonad.  It seemed to me that he was sending patches to the list that  
> he didn't expect to have committed (and at least one of them made me  
> say "wait, I thought he said this was for experimentation, not  
> committing"), and committing it probably left *him* feeling  
> "committed".  Since then has been a series of miscommunications  
> because Don and Spencer seem to be looking at it from "Andrea is  
> pushing incompletely-thought-out patches" and Andrea seems to be  
> looking at it as "wait, my experimental patches got committed, now I  
> have no choice but to figure out how to make them work".
> Can you three sit down (virtually, at least) and make sure you're all  
> on the same page?

Thanks for faciliting this Brandon.

My concern is:

    * too much traffic is going to the list
    * experiments that should just be passed around on IRC
           are going to the list when they shouldn't
    * there are unclear expectations of the role Spencer and I
            play supervising code.

One concrete suggestion would be to sit on patches for longer,
Andrea. That is, code them up, then experiment for a few days
until you're sure everything's ok. Only then send things to
the list. 

That way you avoid overwhelming people with the streams of patches
that appear. Consider how many people actually need to know
about the problem. Do all xmonad subscribers need to know?

A second point: not everyone will be interested in all the things you
work on. After all, it is open source, so you do as you please.  Just
don't expect to always get feedback on your experiments -- and you
shouldn't be upset if people aren't interested.

-- Don

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