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Author Topic: Dictators in free and open source software?  (Read 4588 times)

mouser

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Dictators in free and open source software?
« on: July 22, 2008, 02:42:13 PM »
I know this is controversial, but i tend to agree with the general premise that it's helpful to have one person (or two), who is for all intents and purposes in charge of making final decisions and riding herd over a project.

This short essay talks about why:

Quote
Some people seem to challenge the idea that most (if not all) free software projects need a benevolent dictator—that is, somebody who has the last say on every decision. They are quick to point out Linus Torvalds’ past “mistakes” (see the brackets): using BitKeeper to manage the kernel, not allowing “pluggable” schedulers in Linux, etc. As a software developer, I feel that a dictator is absolutely necessary in every free software project. Here is why.


ps. While i agree with most of the points I don't don't agree it has to be one person for life -- i see no reason not to rotate people in charge. And i think when a project has only a few core developers, a normal informal equal-responsibility situation is fine.  I think this need to have one designated person in charge really becomes useful mostly when the group starts getting bigger.  My experience is that some things will just never get done unless you have a designated person to crack the whip and make sure everything that needs to get done does in fact get done.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2008, 02:54:02 PM by mouser »

epopuI

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Re: Dictators in free and open source software?
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2008, 04:15:53 PM »
Interesting and thought provoking - I tend to agree too - especially with the P.S.  :up: :Thmbsup:

lanux128

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Re: Dictators in free and open source software?
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2008, 10:47:40 PM »
hmm.. i see an opening for the post of whip-handler at DC. :P

but a good read nevertheless. :)

mouser

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Re: Dictators in free and open source software?
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2008, 01:31:45 AM »
Also, dictator is really a loaded word and sets the wrong tone for such things..
A more helpful term would be Project Manager.

mahesh2k

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Re: Dictators in free and open source software?
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2008, 09:51:52 AM »
Mark Shuttleworth behind ubuntu/canonical is good example of single leader but this is nt applicable always,every leader knows when/how to step out and let the new person in charge.

I agree with mouser,it's good to rotate people.

mikiem

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Re: Dictators in free and open source software?
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2008, 03:46:16 PM »
I've always found that using the term: "Benevolent" Dictator actually works rather well.  :)

Seriously!  :D