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On the Current State of Affairs in FlightGear

Questions about the FlightGear organisation, website, wiki etc.

Re: On the Current State of Affairs in FlightGear

Postby Jabberwocky » Fri May 01, 2015 8:02 pm

I hereby acknowledge, that all of my work was given voluntarily to FGMEMBERS. So, here is the first content author statement contradicting Thorsten's malignant allegation, that IAHM-COL would in some way "shanghai" plane developers. I hope, for reasons of fairness, other contributors to the collection in FGMEMBERS will follow my step.
However, I suggest, since Thorsten is so upset about the use of GPL that he needs to include extra rules which are not part of GPL, FGMEMBERS removes Thorsten's space shuttle and keeps only HerbyW's.
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Re: On the Current State of Affairs in FlightGear

Postby wkitty42 » Fri May 01, 2015 8:05 pm

Hooray wrote in Fri May 01, 2015 2:45 pm:[...] FG as a project and community is indeed facing quite a few interesting challenges, given the sizable audience it is increasingly attracting [...]

the worst part? all the new eyes being brought to bear from the SF project recognitions and all of this ""dirty"" laundry flapping about in the public eye strung over the mall and fountains... we had similar on another project but it was cleaned up very rapidly... appearances are important... no matter whose house it is ;)
"You get more air close to the ground," said Angalo. "I read that in a book. You get lots of air low down, and not much when you go up."
"Why not?" said Gurder.
"Dunno. It's frightened of heights, I guess."
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Re: On the Current State of Affairs in FlightGear

Postby drdavid » Fri May 01, 2015 8:20 pm

@wkitty42--

My apologies that you thought I was referring specifically to you in the post to Thorsten regarding the turbulence indicators. I was not aware you were involved in the project. My comment was directly solely toward Thorsten and his comments previously posted in this thread.

Regards,

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Re: On the Current State of Affairs in FlightGear

Postby Hooray » Fri May 01, 2015 8:27 pm

to see where all this havoc is coming from, just imagine for a second that the MP/VA environment, and the forum, would suddenly go haywire and simply "disappear" - what a calm place the devel list would be all of sudden ;-)
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Re: On the Current State of Affairs in FlightGear

Postby wkitty42 » Fri May 01, 2015 8:33 pm

drdavid wrote in Fri May 01, 2015 8:20 pm:@wkitty42--

My apologies that you thought I was referring specifically to you in the post to Thorsten regarding the turbulence indicators. I was not aware you were involved in the project. My comment was directly solely toward Thorsten and his comments previously posted in this thread.

@DrDavid,

you didn't quote anything i said so i don't know what posting of mine it is that you are responding... i'm only a lowly user of flightgear... kinda like yourself but lower as i don't do multiplayer (i commented on your use of that as some sort of rank determiner in another comment last evening) and i'm still learning how the sim is put together and how craft are built and enabled... i think you are responding to my comment that starts off with "incorrect..." and if so, i am/was only pointing out that the shuttle thing is new and not some argument or disagreement that has been waging/raging on for "months"...
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"Why not?" said Gurder.
"Dunno. It's frightened of heights, I guess."
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Re: On the Current State of Affairs in FlightGear

Postby curt » Fri May 01, 2015 8:34 pm

Hooray wrote in Fri May 01, 2015 8:27 pm:to see where all this havoc is coming from, just imagine for a second that the MP/VA environment, and the forum, would suddenly go haywire and simply "disappear" - what a calm place the devel list would be all of sudden ;-)


I was recently accused of pouring coffee on the cvs server ...

If you are looking for calm and reason on the forum, then I suspect most people could create an ignore list of one or two users and find that most of the crazy nonsense and perpetual arguing magically disappears. Most of the remainder of the posts are pretty well reasoned and respectful, even if they often don't agree on everything.
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Re: On the Current State of Affairs in FlightGear

Postby Hooray » Fri May 01, 2015 8:37 pm

nope, I just recently quoted someone else saying something along those lines, to make the case that even "good ideas" (tm) may benefit from "external factors" to be adopted and accepted by the community (e.g. due to inertia). I guess drdavid can relate to this, because that is a common pattern in organizations adapting to situations (think disasters like earthquakes making architectural changes necessary etc)
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Re: On the Current State of Affairs in FlightGear

Postby Jabberwocky » Fri May 01, 2015 8:57 pm

Well, of course, if you have the right switches, you can silence any opposition. That makes you sitting all alone in your ivory tower and cuts the project off from any fresh blood. So you may want to reconsider, Curt.
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Re: On the Current State of Affairs in FlightGear

Postby IAHM-COL » Fri May 01, 2015 9:04 pm

Hooray wrote in Fri May 01, 2015 8:27 pm:to see where all this havoc is coming from, just imagine for a second that the MP/VA environment, and the forum, would suddenly go haywire and simply "disappear" - what a calm place the devel list would be all of sudden ;-)



I believe the devel-list is a very calm place Hooray
I had been following for about 2 mos, maybe, and it is not the "emotional" place others state is "historically"
Maybe is a good time atm.

But also more importantly, when a few voices starting sending opinions that my proposal was worth reconsidering, suddently the meritocrats said "no", and by me insisting I got "banned" or "moderated" by intent the same.

The peace of the devel-list is top-down controlled.

I always argued technical points, and frequently received short-dismissive and abrupt replies. Frequently directly personal, and rarely as a reply to my technical comments.

Sometimes, when we can talk about the tools, their technicalities, and others, the devel-list really need not to be that quite place of self-applauding.
When it comes to throwing derogatory one-liners, well... maybe some moderation may be needed. But that should go in the right direction.
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Re: On the Current State of Affairs in FlightGear

Postby drdavid » Fri May 01, 2015 9:06 pm

@curt

I was recently accused of pouring coffee on the cvs server ...


I saw that, but didn't really understand the full significance of it.... :?


@hooray--

Yep. Saw this morning--not to diminish the horrible human loss--that the earthquake in Nepal raised Kathmandu by about an inch and lowered Mt. Everest correspondingly by an inch. Talk about turbulence and readjustment on a continental scale!
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Re: On the Current State of Affairs in FlightGear

Postby bugman » Fri May 01, 2015 9:11 pm

drdavid wrote in Fri May 01, 2015 4:43 pm:@bugman--

Here is the definition I use (from Cameron, Kim & Whetten, the opening statement of the thread) for turbulence:

"Turbulence exists when changes faced by an organization are nontrivial, rapid, and discontinuous"


I've presented my rationale for why open source organizations fit this definition. I'd like to read your rationale, using the same definition, why you think they don't. :)


I am new here, but this is how I have seen the recent events. This might be different perspective as I come from neither side. But it is rather limited compared to the insight of some of the others here, therefore take it with a grain of salt (and corrections are welcome).

The recent turbulence is almost exclusively due to the forced infrastructure change from Gitorious to SourceForge. This is an unavoidable situation that all non-profit open source projects must face from time to time, my own projects included. This process always produces strong opinions and bruises. Anyway, the source of this turbulence has long past. This fits the CKW87 definition, though the word 'discontinuous' might be contentious. Now to the current application:

The creation of flexible FGMEMBERS framework is one of a number of consequences of this turbulence. There are plenty of others which can be seen in the development list archives. But I think it can also be seen that things are settling down.

For the FGMEMBERS situation, there are plenty of issues involved. But for clarity I believe that there are only two that are really important for the organisation theory perspective:

1) The FGMEMBERS idea did not grow from within the organisational structure of the FlightGear project. Rather, it was an outside initiative presented to the organisation to be considered as a viable replacement for a core piece of its of its infrastructure - FGAddon. There are plenty of permanently archived development list messages that can be found around the time of that thread which present FGMEMBERS as a flexible and viable FGAddon replacement. I know some people will try to dispute this, but I also know that both Israel and myself will not. But the announcement of the FGMEMBERS modular solution was long after the organisation had settled on the FGAddon solution (it sounds like after many years of discussions), was already working with it, and sorting out the initial teething problems.

2) Almost all the infrastructure that has been settled on by the FG project for hosting its communal intellectual property is provided by the for-profit organisation SourceForge. This happened prior to the introduction of FGMEMBERS. This is a single neat place where everything is located and everything is managed. This free infrastructure provides everything that is needed for an open source project - source code repositories, mailing lists, trackers, etc. But FGMEMBERS is using a different infrastructure - the for-profit GitHub. Very importantly, this corporation is a direct market competitor to SourceForge.

How do you believe an organisation should ideally react when presented with such an external turbulent situation, just after a hugely disruptive infrastructure move? And how can such a situation be resolved amicably?
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Re: On the Current State of Affairs in FlightGear

Postby IAHM-COL » Fri May 01, 2015 9:25 pm

Dear Ed.
Nothing to correct, from my perspective you are spot on.
Well... except maybe that when I presented my proposal the "gitorious -> SF move" was not completed. But the timing was there. What lived in SF was the FGAddon. And my comments had nothing to do with host, but with infrastructure (a pure git FGDATA vs any type of subversion/git hybrid)

About your ending questions
1) Indeed I had not been a core developer of FG. But I am not an External. All I am is a FG end user. A bad pilot if It may.
I do belong to organizations here and there (airH5, vATO, OL, JAFVA, USA TOUR CONSORTIUM, FGMEMBERS), but all of this are really not externals of Flightgear.
Rather more "internals". And rather more "user base"

2. The git submodules approach does not require GitHub. It requires per-aircraft git repositories hosted wherever. Those repositories could exist in sourceforge if so wanted. About github vs Sourceforge, well that discussion also ended not very well in the devel.list, because someone says, end of story. But really it boils down that regardless the competition between SF and Github, for which I could care less, and the profit vs unprofit organization, or the "shady" management of SF (read ONOX comment and the bundling on executables), Really, github comes as a more user friendly alternative. Better appealing, and that greatly facilitates less techny-savy users to rapidly incorporate in the development "mode" for aircraft.

The decision that EVERYTHING in flightgear has to be under Sourceforge roof really is plastic, and artificial. Although, agreed, it can help Torsten and the management team, and reduce some overhead load.

With the Submodules alternative, actually, FGDATA with submodules is also housed in Sourceforge. Where the Submodules internally being point at are, that location becomes really secondary, and arguments of ease for end-users, or web interfaces becomes suddenly of major interest.

We also know that not all flightgear data is accepted in SF. The huge scenery collection was rejected because of size. I proposed a submodular solution as well, but I had faced anything but "I don't talk to you" by Herr Dreyer. And the Scenery is placed in an obscure privately managed repository. Which is a situation I lament for the openness of the Terrasync Scenery resource, and for the openness of easy others to submit patches as well.
Scenery here demostrating that we can be way more flexible about where we host "non-core" data, and maybe gain a lot by such increased flexibility

Best,
IH-COL
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Re: On the Current State of Affairs in FlightGear

Postby drdavid » Fri May 01, 2015 9:49 pm

@bugman--

I enjoyed your analysis and understand your perspective much better. I want to give your thoughts some time to percolate so I can respond in the same spirit.

My one comment is that the term "discontinuous" does not have to be contentious (although in some instances, such as a hostile takeover, it certainly could be). In the way I am using it here, based on what CKW seem to suggest, is forces in the turbulence appear from unexpected sources or directions. A good example from where I live near the Oregon Coast, we are warned to always be on alert for "sneaker" waves. Most of the time the surf comes in parallel to the beach, but there are always waves that have been generated by winds, currents, or other forces that approach the beach at a different angle and speed. If they are of sufficient force, they will sweep you off your feet, and if there is also a rip tide, pull you out very far from land in a matter of seconds. There are several drownings every year due to these waves. As such these waves are discontinous because they are not in synch with other waves approaching the beach.

By analogy, then, organizational turbulence can be discontinuous when the unexpected forces of new turbulence hit the organization in some critical, unexpected way. An example of an internal discontinuous moment might be if a key developer died or suddenly quit leaving a critical task open that would threaten the existence of FG if not filled very quickly. An external example might be if suddenly, without warning, one or more of our most essential servers went down for some reason. We had a serious concern just last year when the protests in Hong Kong were taking place. Our FG Tracker server is located in Hong Kong and the Maintainers were sending out messages on a daily basis that at any time the Chinese government might intercede and shut them down. Fortunately that did not happen. But that is an example of a force of discontinuous turbulence.

Regards,

DrDavid
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Re: On the Current State of Affairs in FlightGear

Postby Hooray » Sat May 02, 2015 2:04 am

the "fgaddon" move/development does indeed date back several years, i.e. was inspired by the "splitting fgdata" discussionS, which also spanned several years, including several attempts, by even the most senior contributors/developers.

As the forum communtiy, we may not always agree with these more senior core developers, but at least they've often be around for the better part of a decade (some, even almost two decades meanwhile - as per Durk's comments recently) - so it absolutely makes sense for the project to consider those developers "long-timers" and "pillars", or the "foundation" of the project - no matter how active/inactive they currently may be - they are usually around to help solve issues - some having donated hardware/infrastructure at some point to the project, some regularly attending FSWeekend/LinuxTag events to represent FlightGear.

While it is true that fgmembers happened at an inappropriate time, it also needs to be admitted, that fgmembers and its proponents didn't just "move on" (like so many other "side-kicks") but verbosely and aggressively promoted the whole concept/approach (just look at the archives), so that is part of the problem in my eyes.

As per the cvs/git migration example mentioned a few times previously - had "fgmembers" taken place earlier, and been available already, it might very well have made "fgaddon" obsolete, and could have become the "de-facto" solution for the migration away from gitorious.

So people need to accept that there's also timing involved - and sometimes even good ideas/approaches may take a long time to be recognized and adopted as such - "reset/re-init" was dating back at least 8 years before it got implemented, Canvas close to 5 years - and you can find many other such examples.

It's just as much about timing, as it is about a narrow "window of opportunity", i.e. where the right factors (people, skills, expertise, spare time, resources/infrastructure) become available.

Once you begin looking at this in an abstract fashion, you can find plenty of other examples for disruptive changes (e.g. the seedwiki transition, avsim database loss, mailing list migration etc)
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Re: On the Current State of Affairs in FlightGear

Postby drdavid » Sat May 02, 2015 2:40 am

So, hooray, one of the things I’ve honestly never figured out is when you say the timing of FGMEMBERS was inappropriate, what was going on at that moment that made it so from the perspective of the core developers (or a portion thereof who were most affected)? Going back to my analogies of sneaker waves pulling you under the water, or the chance of the Chinese government threatening to shut down our FG Tracker servers, discontinuous change may or may not send a telegram in advance letting you know it’s coming. So the expectation of perfect timing even in the midst of a huge project putting a great deal of pressure on everyone involved is not very realistic.

I get the sense that from the developers’ perspective, something of great importance was taking place. What was it? You don’t have to analyze what has been hashed and rehashed about the particulars of what happened next, but it would be good to have a description of the other project in the intersection was when the two collided, so to speak.

Thanks,

Dr.David
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