On Continuums of Opinion

First off, thank you to Ian Skerrett, who wrote a blog that covered 90% of what was on my mind this morning (and in a much clearer way than I ever could have, I’m sure).  Before you read any further here, go read it.

When I joined the Eclipse Foundation back in 2005, I had a pretty naive perspective that Ian describes as “Open Source is just one big happy family”.  I quickly learned it’s not, it’s a continuum of opinion on multiple dimensions.  Conversationally, it often plays out as license preferences, but it can also play out by development process preferences, scale of participation, diversity expectations and so on.

Which means if your objective is ever to make the entire “Open Source Community” happy, you will fail.  There is just too many different perspectives and opinions on countless dimensions.  You need to focus on making your community happy, and those partners and participants that will help drive the project forward.  Listen carefully to all the feedback you can, as broadly as you can, but never dream of capturing every vote.

And if you’re a “people pleaser”, this is a tough skill to learn.

– Don


About DonaldOJDK

This blog is for both personal and professional topics. Nothing here should be considered official for any past, present or future employer (or my wife and kids)!
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