Contributors mailing list archives


Re: A meeting with the functionals that feel excluded by the OCA

InitOS GmbH, Frederik Kramer
- 28/09/2017 07:40:19
Hi Holger,  hi all. 

First of all let's be clear on this, a fruitful discussion
concerning different standpoints on peoples opinion and behavior held
with constructive criticism is always helping to evolve a community. 

While agreeing mostly on your points i'd like to put a few different
notions below.

Am Mittwoch, den 27.09.2017, 18:17 +0000 schrieb Holger Brunn:
> > Do you think this is a good idea, and would it be possible for
> > the board to organize such a discussion during the Odoo Experience
> this
> > October?
> I think this is a good idea, still I prefer written communication. My
> reason 
> to reply to this message is the linked statement that OCA is hostile
> to 
> newcomers and too technical.
> I disagree about the first part, and claim that a technical community
> cannot be 
> too technical. If it is for you, you should read more.
> My reply is not directed at the author of this tweet whom I don't
> know, I use 
> the impersonal general `you` here.
> - an ERP is a very complex piece of software. If you're not very
> technical 
> (and sometimes pedantic) here, things go to hell very fast. You
> should thank 
> fortune on your knees that there are people willing to dive into this
> and 
> receive the accompanying brain damage. Charming talks don't produce
> software, 
> technical people with a technical mindset, which might sometimes come
> with 
> somewhat peculiar standards of communication and behavior, are. 
> And yes, I'm 
> very aware that said technical people tend to produce ${whatever
> horribly 
> unusable software you hate, emacs in my case} without enough input
> from and 
> respect for the functional side.

While i do fully agree on your view concerning "charming talking", life
as a technical oriented PM got me learning that different ideas and
communication upfront can help to get the architecture right. And i
personally think that functional talking is very relevant to define
proper "architecture" upfront (even if not done in code in the first
place), but yes charming, high profile slide decks aren't.

> - you might be a big shot wherever you come from, but as a newcomer
> you'll 
> have to earn your reputation as everybody else. That's not fun, but
> that's how 
> it goes.

100% agreed! There would be only few exceptions such as Linux Torvalds,
Martin Fowler or RMS that have earned a genuine reputation in the
sector but vast majority of newbies isn't that popular among a gerneral
community and thus have to earn their reputation through valuable
contribution AND continuity.

> - I consider it insulting when I have to point a newcomer to anything
> that is 
> linked in the 'Contribute' menu on If a
> reply 
> where I express this sentiment is perceived as me being hostile, so
> be it, but 
> I think my time is much better spent writing new code or fixing
> existing code 
> than holding an adult person's hand while reading. If you don't
> bother to 
> spend some time informing yourself, why should I bother to waste my
> time 
> informing you? The same applies to standard
> language/library/framework 
> documentation.

This is a very difficult statement to me. While i do agree that no one
should accept peoples laziness while searching the web for the right
answer, we should also make sure, to "be sure" about exactly that
intent, before becoming all too frank on this in either written or oral
communication (not to say hostile). So i'd personally suggest to watch
out and see if a newbie cultivates the "laziness behavior" (i.e.
getting the same thing wrong for at least 2 iterations) before judging
on his "obviously" bad (i.e. lazy) intend. The reason is easy. Some
people a lazy and stubborn, some are just not lucky but valuable
contributors on the long run. We'd certainly not be better of getting
rid of the second group.

Cheers and cu all in Louvain la Nouveau next week


> Hostile? Have a look at the very first comment in an oca repo I could
> find in my 
> inbox of a quite recent newcomer:
> /pull/
> 404#issuecomment-205371820
> If you search up a bit, Dave was embraced head to toe by the OCA
> almost 
> instantly. Check the current board members. Magic? Coincidence?
> Prejudice? No, 
> this is a case of reaping what you sow. You start small. You're
> humble. You 
> don't come into a new group and order other people around. You read
> stuff. You 
> listen. You read more. And listen again. You contribute in a way that
> makes it 
> simple for the reviewers. This is a very important point: If you want
> to make 
> a useful contribution, it's part of your job to place yourself into
> the 
> reviewer's shoes and make it as convenient as possible for her. As
> there is 
> way too much work to do for way too few people, you must optimize
> your 
> contribution for review, not for your own convenience. And you follow
> up on 
> comments. Fast. When people take some of the little time they have to
> help you 
> improve your contribution, it's insulting to ignore that.
> Note that I wrote `contribution` and not `code` on purpose, because
> the exact 
> same applies to any non-code contributions too.
> So of course, I'm sure there are instances of hostile replies to
> newcomers, 
> and stupid ones, and impolite ones, there are a lot of OCA people,
> but I'm 
> also very convinced that some important portion of the actions that
> are seen 
> as such can be explained with the above.
> -- 
> Therp - Maatwerk in open ontwikkeling
> Holger Brunn - Ontwerp en implementatie
> mail:
> web:
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Dr.-Ing. Frederik Kramer
initOS GmbH
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Dr.-Ing. Frederik Kramer & Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Torsten Francke

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