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Re: Figuring out the mission

I will try in the future to *not* reply in this thread, I don't want to ignite useless flames.

Paul W. Frields wrote:

On Thu, 2007-02-22 at 15:03 -0500, John Baer wrote:

Checking the pulse of the team of late I would say its pretty much
flat lined with little or no activity as a direct result of the
actions from Red Hat.

Is that a conscious decision of people not to participate, or are they
just holding back based on confusion?  Pardon my eternal optimism, but
every day's a chance to turn that around.

I think the graphics development is no different compared with software development in general: it has sexier areas (like working on desktop themes) and areas somewhat boring, repetitive and unattractive (for example optimizing icons for small size display, 16x16). To keep an unpaid volunteer interested, I think he/she should have access to the sexy part too, otherwise a loss of motivation will occur.

You're asking me questions I have no way to answer other than what I've
told you.  I don't work for Red Hat, and I haven't talked with the
people in question.  I can tell you with all sincerity that Max and Greg
tried very hard to get the Desktop team to either (1) fully engage the
Artwork community, or (2) engage the Board with a discussion of where
they thought a line should be drawn for that engagement, and why.

I am very sympathetic with you Paul, I understand you try to control the damage here.

Does Red Hat really support open source or is it just lip service?

John, do not consider Red Hat a single mind, it is a big organization with a lot of people inside it. As I can see, Red Hat as a company is the biggest FOSS company and really dedicated to this (see for example their patent policy). With that said, be sure the decision about artwork in Fedora was *not* made by Red Hat top management.

Do we have any idea how many active contributors are in Artwork at this
time?  Is it enough to warrant a steering committee?  Most of the major
subprojects have one.  Needless bureaucracy can be stifling, but if more
governance is necessary to track schedules, we should move forward with
that.  I'd bet there are multiple opinions on this topic...

Not counting Diana and not counting people already departed from the project because of this issue, I can think of at least 6 contributors who *both* submitted graphics and participated to discuss on the list (there are more people who either did a few icons for Echo or just contributed with feedback). note: we had a very weak, if not non-existent, campaign of recruiting new contributors.

Now, here are some more suggestions for directions that I think are
worthwhile for Artwork.  Remember how you said to bring some solutions?
Here you go:

* Dispatch teams, where one or more artists work with a specific group
to fill an artwork need, such as the Infrastructure or Website folks for
web apps or the wiki, Marketing for posters and other paper-type
distribution, Docs for publication styles....  Requests could be made by
those teams on a simple Wiki page and filled by interested folks, like a
short-order queue (q.v. Free Media).

For the moment this is the direction I see the most appropriate: dissolve the team and let the people to contribute directly to whatever projects they feel like (infrastructure, website, documentation, marketing). This will leave development of the Echo theme in air, but Echo already have its own leadership problems and personally I don't have big faith in its future.

* Working with development folks to figure out how we can have a drop-in
replacement for branded stuff like default theme graphics.  Then anyone
is free to create theme work and have it packaged for inclusion in the
Fedora repositories, and distro spins can take their choice.

Alternate themes are easier to do, as they will not need a lot of the graphics (for a non-default is no need for Anaconda and firstboot graphics, those are used only at the install time, before an alternate can get in), so it should be much easier to do those. And this can be even much easier and no packaging needed, if some contributor want to make only wallpapers then just a web gallery is enough for him.

Cool Fedora wallpapers: http://fedora.nicubunu.ro/wallpapers/
Open Clip Art Library: http://www.openclipart.org
my Fedora stuff: http://fedora.nicubunu.ro

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