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Re: <nettime> Interview with Scott Rosenberg about Dreaming in Code
Florian Cramer on Thu, 25 Sep 2008 12:11:25 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Interview with Scott Rosenberg about Dreaming in Code

On Thursday, September 25 2008, 10:25 (+0200), Geert Lovink wrote:
> dynamics of the Chandler open source calendar project. Chandler was  
> supposed to ?grow up into a powerful ?personal information manager?  
> for organizing and sharing calendars, emails and to-do lists.? 


> SR: I don't think anyone involved would consider Chandler as a typical  
> open source project. It really was and is unique, for all sorts of  
> reasons the book chronicles (Kapor's involvement and money, the way  
> the team functioned more like a small startup company than a  
> distributed open source project, the hugely ambitious design agenda  
> and effort to put design on par with engineering, etc.). 

LWN.net had an interesting take on Chandler 1.0 from the point of view
of a publication that mostly caters to a community of Linux developers
and expert users (and has a culture of never discouraging or bashing
free software projects, but being critical - in this case: even skeptical
- between the lines):

  "Whether Chandler is relevant or important going forward is an
  open question, but it does have some interesting ideas as well as
  potentially useful code. [...] 

[The author implies that Chandler might be more useful as a collection
of source code to be ripped into other Free Software projects rather
than a piece of software by itself.]

  "The 1.0 release looks like a solid tool. It has some enthusiastic
  users, but will that translate to a larger development
  community? Chandler development has always been directed--and
  funded--by the OSAF, so it suffers from a smaller development
  community than it might have otherwise.  Projects that start as
  proprietary, but then open their code, sometimes have difficulties
  allowing a community to influence or control the direction of that
  code thereafter. We have seen that with OpenSolaris and other
  projects.  Chandler seems to suffer from some of those same problems,
  even though it came about differently. By removing the funding, Kapor
  may well have jump started Chandler development.

  Seven years is a long time by any standard, but for software, it is
  an eternity. By keeping a relatively tight grip on the direction of
  the project, the OSAF may well have kept interested folks who were not
  on their payroll from getting involved. If the project can move to
  a more open style, with frequent releases, it may be able to regain
  some of that lost time."


It seems to me that the above observations do not just apply to Silicon
Valley, but also in culturally subsidized media arts software
development.  There has been a tendency of developing massive artistic
tools in-house that draw huge resources, get delayed by years and end up
having a smaller community use value than anticipated. 



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