>Who Drives Adoption?

>Ed Merk’s latest blog posting about the marketing of various downloads, and the disappearance of the Eclipse Modeling Package to a sub link, corresponds in some ways to a post by Rick Jelliffe on Microsoft’s participation in standards groups. How are the two related, by the following quote from Rick.

“One of the great disappointments of the open source movement has been the way that lazy users don’t feed changes and improvements back, but are passive recipients. And often we see open source programs reflecting the priorities of its sponsors not its users.”

In some ways this is the same effect that is appearing on the popularity ranking of the Eclipse Download page, but it is a bigger issue than that. Like the adoption of Standards, it unfortunately isn’t the users that are driving the changes of the standard, but the priorities of the sponsors. A balancing act needs to be made when doing either open source development and standards work. Which hat do you wear? Is it the community hat, or your employers/sponsors hat? Which one you wear affects everybody as a whole.

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4 Responses to >Who Drives Adoption?

  1. John Graham says:

    >The weather tends to dictate which hat I wear. I have a thin large hat that is great for blocking out intense heat, but doesn’t let me see around easily and gets droopy in the rain. A smaller cap works well in the rain (and I can see more), but will really let me get a burn if worn at the wrong time…

  2. >Great point. In my years on the CDT I have definitely seen the two hats in play. And as you mention, it’s usually the sponsor’s hat that wins the day. You pull out the community hat when there is something cool you want to work on that your employer doesn’t care so much about.But if we don’t wear the community hat, you’re project won’t take off and you won’t grow your community, including the contributor community. This is something I did early in my CDT days and paid a price for it with my career at the time. But in the long run, it has paid off, but with the health of the CDT community, and my career is going pretty good right now too :).

  3. Scott Lewis says:

    >Hi Dave,Your posting makes a good point, and summarizes a number of problems that I’ve had with foundation policy recently…that it favors the priorities of it’s sponsors rather than those of the committer or user communities…as exemplified particularly with the marketing priorities. I personally believe such priorities ill-advised in terms of sustainability (as in a slight twist on Doug’s phrase, I would say it’s the users that win the day in the long run).

  4. David Carver says:

    >The hat balancing act is a difficult thing to maintain, and eclipse or any standards organization is always going to have a difficult time maintaining a good balance between what the community needs and what individual sponsors/members needs are. For eclipse, in general the community voice is bugzilla, it’s where they have equal say and a voice on what happens in individual projects. Where it starts to fall apart is when those bugs aren’t treated with the same priority as those a member or a big recognized community member (say Intel or another big adopter raises a bug report). It’s the big adopter that gets the preference, while the smaller community members are ignored.We need to treat community requests with the same priority as sponsor requests. And more specifically sponsor requests need to be entered as bugzilla enhancements just the same as everybody else (not all projects do this).

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