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ToDo What Thou Wilt

daemon@ATHENA.MIT.EDU (Mon Nov 7 09:57:41 1994 )

To: coldstuff@MIT.EDU
Date: Mon, 7 Nov 1994 19:53:18 -0500 (EST)
Cc: root@colinm.ozemail.com.au ()
From: colinm@colinm.ozemail.com.au (Colin McCormack)
Reply-To: colinm@colinm.ozemail.com.au

Let's situate Brandon in this discourse:

> Speaking from the experience of administrating the development of NetrekII
> since it's infancy ...

> Colin seems to have already made his decision based on some divine
> intervention (at least that is all I can assume because he doesn't
> explain it.  yes, I'm getting 'upset' about it).

I get that Brandon's pretty confident I've made a decision, and
that it was the wrong decision, in regard to ":=" and the other

The further implication I draw is that Brandon, as an administrator, 
is upset because I haven't justified my preferences to him.

Pick the most likely from this list:
 (a) I'm not inclined to justify myself to an administrator,
       therefore am wrong.
 (b) What that can't be justified to an administrator can't be
       justified.  [This is a derivative of the tacit ground-rule:
       "Programming is easy!  Administration is hard."]
 (c) There is a Santa Claus.

> This whole attitude which people seem to have in regard to driver 
> development that "my ideas are right, because I was touched by God
> and know the truth, anything you come up with is wrong, period, and
> I don't care what your reasons are" is sheer stupidity.

We're agreed that it's sheer stupidity to consider ideas without
understanding the reasoning behind them.
Brandon, for example, has leapt to the perhaps unjustified position that
my preferences are a result of divine revelation.

If only I had filled in the appropriate ToDo form, and waited for the
mandatory 3 day consensus period to pass, as ratification.

[You know, I almost feel as if I suggested (gently) that people wanting
changes be asked to nominate what problem they think they're fixing to 
avoid just this kind of stupidity.  Perhaps I should have written the
email as `7 steps to Software Development, for Administrators',
instead of a series of observations and suggestions to presumed 

> There _HAS_ [sic] to be some ground rules for development to proceed 
> without mishap.

0.12.0 is a mishap?  Coldmud itself is a mishap?  Perhaps the ground
rules ought to come from the needs of people aware of the issues,
not from a well-meaning will-to-administrate.

>My suggestion follows.  This is what I have found works best in this type
>of situation (that being where you have a central group of people willing
>to work, but where nobody wishes to give up 'admin' rights to anybody else
>for the final say).  It may seem like a lot of 'rules', and those who are
>inherently rebellious by nature (myself included) may feel adverse to this
>type of structure, but it works.

Well, here it is, Brandon.  Administration is the software analog of
friction:  effort applied at right angle to the direction of travel.

I, personally, trust the people who are in a position to make a decision
to have the final say as to what they put in their own copies of the server.
I see no overwhelming argument that that final say should be vested in 
a committee, no matter how strong that committee's consensus, nor how long
they've mulled the decision over.

>> Brandon, this is entirely bullshit.  Colin is expressing a valid concern 
>> that everyone here has, mainly that the server will get loaded down with 
>> useless and idiotic changes.

>Yes, and that is a valid point, however he was also taking the POV that any
>change he doesn't agree with is considered useless and idiotic--a view I
>personally find intollerable considering the group effort which must occur
>for coldmud to do anything but flounder and die.


>All decisions are made as a group, you can generally guage a group concensus
>on an item after ~3 day's reply to it.  If you feel something should be on
>any of the lists, start it at the discussion, and try to convince the others
>why it should be a change WITHOUT any divine intervention reasons (i.e. this
>change should/shouldn't happen because I know it should/shouldn't and you are
>all infidels if you disagree with me).

Hmmm, and the qualification for being part of this group decision-making
process is mastery of the arcane art of composing and sending email, right?

Well... I don't know what I was worried about!  If a majority of people 
capable of sending email agree that something's good, it must be good:
I was worried that anybody could insert an idiotic concept by appealing
to `ease of use' or `reduced confusion for novice programmers'
or something bogus... but no way would that get past a gaggle of skilled

I recommend extra credit for the ability to compose email and chew gum at 
the same time... hell, it works for excellence of decision making in news.

>> It seems to me that you're just trying to create a flamewar or something.

>No, I am just weary of this additude, it is conductive of an environment
>which destroys itself.

Heh, why are these disputes so rabid?  Because the stakes are so small.


Do what thou Wilt, shall be the whole of the Law.
Love is the Law, Love under Will.