[maemo-developers] How to destroy your community

From: Quim Gil quim.gil at nokia.com
Date: Tue Jan 19 15:37:26 EET 2010
> http://lwn.net/SubscriberLink/370157/2a06baf10df8e58a/

Interesting! My personal take:

1 is to make the project depend as much as possible on difficult tools

2: Encourage the presence of poisonous people and maximize the damage
that they can create.
<sense of humour>Now this makes me wonder whether I should be putting my
time in this reply... <politically correct smiley> ;) </politically
correct smiley></sense of humour>

3: Provide no documentation.
Actually our problem is to organize well all the documentation
available. Improving.

4: Project decisions should be made in closed-door meetings.
True in many cases. Half of them come from the fact of having to run a
profitable business in a very competitive sector. The other half comes
from an inertia, consequence of the same business reason. Improving.

5: Employ large amounts of legalese.
Nokia has legalese for the Nokia actions and products. For the Maemo
community we have very light
http://wiki.maemo.org/Maemo_contribution_guidelines and little else. We
have used NDAs with community members only to give them access to secret
hardware, as per suggestion of the own community.

6: The community liaison must be chosen carefully.
It has been chosen carefully, indeed.  ;)  Jokes apart, we have a rich
community liasion including several Nokia members (some of them
appointed, some of them at their own risk) specialized in their areas
and, in the other end, an elected Council and a professional maemo.org
development team.

7: Governance obfuscation.
You might or might not agree on the part governed by Nokia, but it's
clearly formulated. The community governance is decently clear and
documented imho.

8: Screw around with licensing.
For the feedback received it looks like the LGPL based licensing makes
happy a majority of community & commercial developers. Now even Qt is
LGPL. Note that a % of legalese Nokia has is precisely to make sure that
we act properly with licenses.

9: Do not allow anybody outside the company to have commit access, ever.
Basically true for the components copyrighted by Nokia, even if there is
a grey area with e.g. Hildon or Modest. On the other hand Maemo is made
of hundreds of components where no Nokia developer has commits rights. I
believe we have to solve other problems before this one e.g. increasing
the code contributions in the first place.

10: Silence.
Actually I and other Nokians would get a lot more work done if we
wouldn't be active here so often.  :)

Let me add one point, since this is about companies nurturing communities:

11: Fail in your core business
Then no matter how good you are in 1-10 your community project will fail.

Quim Gil
open source advocate
Maemo Devices @ Nokia
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