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Re: Leader Election 2000

On Fri, Feb 25, 2000 at 09:42:33AM -0500, Ben Collins wrote:
> > 		- Why would you be a better DPL than Wichert?
> I don't think I will be "better", I'll just be very "different" :P

FWIW, I was actually serious with that question. Let me expand on it
a bit. When I joined the project was sometime a bit after the start
of IWJ's tenure, and everyone was very pleased to have him as DPL,
since they were sick of Bruce's dictatorial style. Then, when Wichert
got elected, everyone was really pleased, because everyone was fed up
with Ian taking too long to think things over and actually say anything.

This has actually been a pretty good way of picking (I'd almost argue that
"making" is a better word, to some degree) a better DPL, IMO. Bruce (who
was before my time) seems to have been great when the project was small,
but had scalability issues. IWJ was a lot more scalable as differences
in opinion increased, but perhaps wasn't too great for interactive use.

But, annoyingly, I don't think anyone's actually sick of Wichert.

(And if that's not glowing praise, I don't know what is)

Now, if you really want us to vote for someone other than Wichert (and,
personally, I'd *really* like to see someone other than Wichert in the
role; nothing to do with Wichert personally, but I'd like to see how other
people handle the job, and how else a DPL could handle things. It's like
languages, C and Perl are great, but learning Haskell, and Prolog, and
Scheme, and Python broadens your horizons and even if you decide later
to go back to your old favourites, you're still better off for having
tried different things. I think the DPL is like this a bit: we don't
really know the best way to cope with an essentially anarchist project
with this much visibility, and this many members, and whatever else,
so I figure we owe it to ourselves to try as many things as possible and
to be as informed as possible about what works and what doesn't. But one
thing you don't want to do is decide, yeah, a change'd be interesting,
I'm going to program solely in Intercal and Befunge for a year...

Where was I?

Oh, yes. ")".

If you really want us (me) to vote for someone other than Wichert, you
need to tell us (me) what Wichert's done wrong in the past 12 months,
and how you'll handle similar things better.

(And, like I said, I'm particularly interested in what Wichert thinks
he's done wrong and how he'll do stuff differently. I haven't noticed any
glaring faults in his reign, but maybe there's been something interesting
I've missed)

Or was Wichert the perfect leader? Was he maybe a local maximum: maybe we
can't do any better by incremental refinement, just taking what he's done
right and keeping it, and taking what he's done wrong and doing it right?

I wouldn't have thought so: he seems more like our (and forgive the
comparison) Windows 3.0 compared to the previous 1.0 and 2.0 releases. I
want to see an incremental improvement. I want to see Wichert 3.1, or
3.11 for Workgroups, not throw out all he's achieved and start more or
less from scratch again, with a whole new learning curve and a whole
new set of bugs to be fixed. I want a service pack, not a rewrite. I want
an upgrade, I don't want to switch to VMS or OS/2 or NT [0].

Obviously, what I'm asking is: Ben, if elected, will you run all my old
DOS programs?

aj, ``I'll take that metaphor shaken, not stirred, with a twist of lemon,
    and some incoherent rambling on the side, please.''

    (Hmmm. At this point, even I'm not sure what I'm on about. But you
    lot are the ones running for DPL: discerning method from madness is
    pretty much one of the major job requirements, as I understand it...)

[0] Working out who's who is left as an exercise to the reader. There may
    be more than one correct answer. There may be less. Changing Windows
    to Unix, and the alternatives to some subset of BeOS, EROS, NT, Hurd,
    or so might make more sense, too, although the version numbers don't
    necessarily match as nicely.

Anthony Towns <aj@humbug.org.au> <http://azure.humbug.org.au/~aj/>
I don't speak for anyone save myself. GPG encrypted mail preferred.

 ``The thing is: trying to be too generic is EVIL. It's stupid, it 
        results in slower code, and it results in more bugs.''
                                        -- Linus Torvalds

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