[Libwebsockets] libwebsockets project direction and organisation (was: Lws admin)

Bruce Perens bruce at perens.com
Sun Oct 11 16:35:50 CEST 2015

On Sun, Oct 11, 2015 at 4:15 AM, Andy Green <andy at warmcat.com> wrote:

> >My recommendations from a organisational perspective are:
> >
> >- adopt the 'Collective Code Construction Contract' (aka C.4.1) as laid
> >out here: http://rfc.zeromq.org/spec:22
> Ugh... let's worry about that later.

Ugh indeed.

If you have an urge to make rules for the people (like Andy) who really do
the work, I think you are starting out on the wrong foot. Resist the
tendency to over-organize. One of the main strengths of Open Source is how
lightweight in management it can operate, removing encumbrances to
producing code.

We unfortunately have had a rise of managers and excessive formal process
in Open Source, people who love to impose procedural rules on others to the
point that the load of following them becomes an impediment, and even
politeness police. They tend to drain the fun out of the project and thus
any motivation to participate in it without being paid to do so.

> Well, there is some truth in that but github is a kind of cultural thing,
> it's not a core requirement for running a project.

We need to be careful not to put all of our eggs in the github basket and I
really wish the community would try to be more distributed. Also, github is
a commercial company with their own profit agenda, and their interest is
not the same as that of the community they host.

However, git  and the web git tools, sans github, are pretty easy to use
and it should be hosted in many different places. My company hosts its own
git web tools, and thus its web presence benefits in ways that github would
otherwise benefit.

> this project is basically in maintenence mode now, or at least it should
> be;

Andy, I fully support that you as the coder, or whoever that is, should
have control of the project when you're doing the work upon and I would
hate to see this unnecessary organization foisted upon you.

But unfortunately, your assessment of the completion or quality of the
project is off base. It's not in finished state, the API has at least one
real trap for the programmer that needs to be fixed,  the overall feeling
is that it's "shaky" in quality, and my experience so far is that a serious
user of the library will need to spend _days_ debugging it.

I did a speech on Saturday at the TAPR Digital Communications Conference in
which I recommended libwebsockets for an entire class of applications in
the two-way radio industry, but cautioned developers that it was not in
finished state and that they would have to invest significant time into
debugging it.

So, if you really believe the project is in maintenance mode, we need you
to admit other folks to check in changes and do test releases. Or accept
that they'll fork the project to do so.

But hell no, I won't impose formal rules on developers while the project
takes either path.


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