Author Topic: The future of AGS - part two  (Read 9385 times)

Secret Fawful

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Re: The future of AGS - part two
« Reply #20 on: 16 Jan 2012, 03:12 »
If not monkey, then I pick someone entirely out of left field for community leader.

Yahtzee. Even if he hates you bastards.

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Ali

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Re: The future of AGS - part two
« Reply #21 on: 16 Jan 2012, 18:36 »
This is like a polite, much less Arabic, version of the Arab Spring.

Can I suggest that the key thing missing from Wyz's role outlines is terms of office?

Perhaps the Community Leader ought to be re-elected on a yearly basis, while the Technical Leader should be a more substantial commitment to allow long-term goals to be achieved. Two years? Five Years? Indefinitely?

If the Community Leader's job is to co-ordinate new ideas and look to the future, it's important for them to be re-evaluated at regular intervals.

(And thanks to Snarky and Limping Fish for overestimating my organisational and coding skills, respectively!)

m0ds

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Re: The future of AGS - part two
« Reply #22 on: 16 Jan 2012, 19:37 »
I agree. And maybe the AGS awards are a good period to time the vote, as everyone is usually around then.

Re: The future of AGS - part two
« Reply #23 on: 16 Jan 2012, 22:05 »
Community leader:
1. Not interested.
2. Darth, bicilotti, m0ds, monkey

Technical lead:
1. No.
2. Wyz, Sslaxx

On the subject of re-election: I think it's a good idea, to ensure the community and technical lead doesn't stagnate. But it may mean debates on who has time, who is more suited, and all the intricacies of forum politics are just repeated in the lead up to every election, as we can see in the first thread. This would just be a waste of time and only take us back to squabbling at square one.

I don't think either role (especially like you say Ali the technical lead) should be 'reshuffled' just for the sake of electing somebody new; suppose somebody is gaining their stride at the end of their term and they have and want to bring much more to the table? They should be reelected just to follow protocol? The flip-side of that is if somebody has too many other commitments and can't take on the role anymore. Then an election would be more suitable, so the leader could just pass the baton to somebody else.

So although it is a good idea in principle, I don't think incumbents should be constrained by 'terms of office' to get things done and then the whole process of election is repeated again and again. Such periodical elections can only result in a disjointed AGS, with no uniform vision because that vision is ever-changing - everybody has slightly different opinions on the future of AGS, that much is clear. What we really need now is to elect people as if the election is permanent. Two, three, or however many years down the line, when the community can see how this all pans out, then it would be the time to decide whether to hold regular elections.

Ali

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Re: The future of AGS - part two
« Reply #24 on: 16 Jan 2012, 22:17 »
I see your point, however whoever takes over from CJ won't actually be CJ. They won't be the sole author of the software, the benevolent autocrat we love so well.

I also hope that whoever take these roles now will stick with them for a good long while... However, if people became dissatisfied with the leadership in the future, it would be much better to have an election than a .

I see a election being a slightly formal way of avoiding the nastier side of forum politics.

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Re: The future of AGS - part two
« Reply #25 on: 16 Jan 2012, 22:27 »
I think that rather than suggest choices for a community leader there should be a discussion first about whether or not it's even a good idea.  I will side with Snarky and Limpingfish (and whoever I happened to miss) that this community leader thing isn't vital to the future of ags and I will go a step farther and say it's completely unnecessary.  We're in no danger of drying up and turning into a ghost town and we certainly won't benefit from a talking head that's pretending to be speaking for such a large and diverse community when in fact he/she will be speaking for themself.  The only person who ever could speak for this community without any suspicions would be CJ himself because he began this community years ago with a WIP dos program to make adventure games.

As far as a project manager for the open source builds of ags go, I have already endorsed Dave Gilbert for this role and he has expressed interest, so unless he decides he doesn't want to do it, you know who I'm going with.
« Last Edit: 16 Jan 2012, 22:30 by ProgZmax »

Calin Leafshade

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Re: The future of AGS - part two
« Reply #26 on: 16 Jan 2012, 22:33 »
well i feel that 'community' leader is a poor choice of words.

In reality we just need someone to coordinate the programming efforts, thats all.

Wyz

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Re: The future of AGS - part two
« Reply #27 on: 16 Jan 2012, 23:40 »
Interessting points all but for the sake of clarity could you please move the discussion to the other topic?
I see I've skipped a few things in my hasty enthusiasm, but this topic is simply meant as an accumulation of data.

Thanks!
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Re: The future of AGS - part two
« Reply #28 on: 17 Jan 2012, 03:40 »
I like the idea of a quaint and benign figurehead who just has to sit up straight and waive slowly to the adoring crowds.  But, as many people have pointed out, the reality is that CJ still exists and surely has enough time to be a mere figurehead?

I propose two fluid committees under the distant supervision of CJ, who is still possessed enough of his faculties and the spirit of what AGS is and should be to remain our lord and sovereign.  Each committee can elect its own chair as required, and should have rough guidelines for membership renewal.  The structure would look like this (in ASCII):

                                                                    CJ
                          (Functions: guardian of the spirit of AGS, sage advisor, dispute resolution)
                                                                     |
                                                                     |
                                                               Viceroy (appointed by CJ to fill in for him, if he sees fit)
                          (Functions: filling in for CJ if he doesn't have time, not necessarily a full-time position)
                                                                     |
                                                                   /  
                                    _______________/     \____________________
                                    |                                                                            |
                  Community Committee                                          Technical Committee
  (Functions: WebPage Design &                 (Functions: Editor/Engine Redesign & Upgrades,
 Moderation, Community Events, Awards,             Making AGS more portable (editor and especially games)
 Promotion of AGS, Organizing Workshops,          Fixing bugs, Visioning & Actualizing the technical evolution of
 Offering Direction for AGS to evolve from             AGS in the future, Coordinating technical expertise and contributions)
 a community/user perspective, Meets)

      The committees (or councils, or witans, or things, or [insert sexy term here]) would be composed of equals, with a chairman elected by members only as a means of giving someone the executive recognition to push for progress.  So many constituencies have so much vested in AGS that I think attempting to yoke only one person with the authority to "make it work" like CJ did is asking for trouble and disappointment.  I say spread the load, get multiple enthusiastic minds together and let them work out (in a less messy and public way than in the open forums) the direction to move forward, and the way to actualize this.  Terms should be fixed at one or two years, and members elected at large (in practice it will often be the same people unless they really mess up in the minds of the community).

-----------------
EDIT:
Interessting points all but for the sake of clarity could you please move the discussion to the other topic?
I see I've skipped a few things in my hasty enthusiasm, but this topic is simply meant as an accumulation of data.

Thanks!

Oh.
Community Leader
1. No.
2. No.
Technical Leader
1. No.
2. No.
« Last Edit: 17 Jan 2012, 03:42 by Baron »

Ascovel

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Re: The future of AGS - part two
« Reply #29 on: 17 Jan 2012, 15:06 »
I won't vote for any particular person. I feel most of the so far proposed candidates are great (though overly modest) and I don't really feel competent to judge the competence and enthusiasm of any one of them over that of another.

That's also one of the reasons I proposed some kind of triumvirate - so that several exceptional  AGSers have equal privileges instead of being stuck into a hierarchy. I'm not particularly keen on one specific person (other than CJ) becoming "the face of AGS" - it should feel like a community project as much as possible.

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Re: The future of AGS - part two
« Reply #30 on: 17 Jan 2012, 18:13 »
Sort of along Baron's lines, I think we should have one single Project Manager, but make that a substantial role that includes driving the development forward (even if it's not primarily a technical job that involves delving into the AGS source). Whether we also need a technical lead, or just leads for the various components (editor, engine, ports), and whether that lead should be picked by the community at large or by contributors to the development is harder to say. I tend to think that it would work itself out as people take on more or less active roles in the development. We could assign someone for the interim, and let the development team work it out from there.

I think Ali's idea for terms of office is a good one. As long as people are happy with the current project leadership they'd almost certainly be reelected as a matter of course, and it would offer people an opportunity to step down if they're tired of the responsibility, or maybe have people rotate through the roles, Putin-style. Also, if things aren't working out, for whatever reason, it's much less messy to make a change this way, rather than having to organize petitions and all that, which is guaranteed to turn nasty and personal. As m0ds says, the AGS Awards would be a good occasion to hold elections (and the awards ceremony an opportunity for an official inauguration).

Having a group of people act as project leads could work, if they generally agree. And I guess in a triumvirate you'd always have a tie-breaking vote in case of disagreements. But I think having one person "in charge" would be fine, too; hopefully that person would still consult with others anyway. The drawback with a triumvirate is that they might potentially end up as a cabal, more accountable to each other than to the community. ("We three all agree, so that's how it's going to be, no matter what the rest of you say.")

Oh, and since some people have unaccountably mentioned my name, I'll repeat that I'm not a candidate.

Snarky

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Re: The future of AGS - part two
« Reply #31 on: 21 Jan 2012, 12:49 »
(Double-post to bump)

I've tried to tally up the nominations so far, just to get a sense of where the community is leaning. In cases where people didn't follow the voting format, I had to interpret their intent. I also added in clear "votes" from the other thread, in cases where that poster didn't post in this thread (this added two votes for Dave and one for Calin). I don't guarantee that these numbers are 100% precise (a couple of times I lost track of whether I'd counted a vote or not), but they are pretty close; sorry for any mistakes. I'm only listing those candidates nominated by at least two people:

Community Leader / Project Manager
m0ds (willing) - 13
Dave Gilbert (willing*) - 12
monkey_05_06 (willing) - 9
bicilotti (undeclared) - 9
Darth Mandarb (unwilling) - 7
Ben 304 (undeclared) - 6
Dualnames (unwilling) - 5
Ponch (unwilling) - 5
Calin Leafshade (willing**) - 4
Gilbot (undeclared) - 4
Wyz (unwilling) - 3
Sslaxx (willing***) - 2
Ghost (undeclared) - 2
Khris (undeclared) - 2
Baron (unwilling) - 2

* Dave Gilbert had said he and Janet were not the right persons for the job when most of the voting took place, but later reconsidered.
** Calin Leafshade had previously withdrawn his candidacy, but reconsidered before most of the voting took place.
*** While willing, Sslaxx expressed strong reluctance to by Community Leader.

Technical Lead
Wyz (willing) - 12
monkey_05_06 (unwilling) - 8
Sslaxx (willing) - 6
tzachs (unwilling) - 4
dkh (undeclared) - 3
Bero (willing) - 3
Gilbot (undeclared) - 3
JJS (undelcared) - 3
Kweepa (undeclared) - 3
Calin Leafshade (unwilling) - 3
GarageGothic (undeclared) - 2
Janet Gilbert (undeclared) -2
ProgZmax (undeclared) - 2
Dave Gilbert (unwilling*) - 2
Snarky (unwilling) - 2

* Dave Gilbert emphasized that he was only interested in the Project Manager position if it was not too technical, from which I infer he's not interested in the Technical Lead position.

Ghost

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Re: The future of AGS - part two
« Reply #32 on: 21 Jan 2012, 13:28 »
Ghost (undeclared) - 2

Since I can't predict how much time I'll have on my hands in the near future: Not possible.
But thanks for the confidence- though I really think there are much more likely candidates.
« Last Edit: 21 Jan 2012, 13:31 by Ghost »

Re: The future of AGS - part two
« Reply #33 on: 21 Jan 2012, 13:51 »
So, m0ds PM and Wyz TL. I approve.

- Alan

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Re: The future of AGS - part two
« Reply #34 on: 21 Jan 2012, 14:02 »
Regarding the position of Technical Lead, I wouldn't call myself "unwilling" so much as just "I don't know if I'm the right person for the job, as there are clearly people around who have more experience in certain important areas of the job than myself." :=

I'd definitely be willing to be Assistant to the Technical Lead or something to that effect (and yes, that's at least partially a reference to The Office).
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Re: The future of AGS - part two
« Reply #35 on: 21 Jan 2012, 14:54 »
Regarding the position of Technical Lead, I wouldn't call myself "unwilling" so much as just "I don't know if I'm the right person for the job, as there are clearly people around who have more experience in certain important areas of the job than myself." :=

I'd definitely be willing to be Assistant to the Technical Lead or something to that effect (and yes, that's at least partially a reference to The Office).

OK, great. That sounds like a good solution to me.

Willing/unwilling was just shorthand for whether someone was willing, interested and felt themselves to be qualified and likely to have time to fill the role. I can change it if you want.

So, m0ds PM and Wyz TL. I approve.

This wasn't a vote, just a kind of straw poll. I said earlier that the leading PM candidates should give their pitch for how they'd envision their role and plan to manage AGS. If we take the cutoff at half the votes of the highest-ranked candidate, and Darth isn't in the running, we have four front-runners. If I remember correctly, we've heard from monkey and Dave; it would be good to hear what m0ds has to say, and if bicilotti is even interested. Then, maybe they can discuss whether they want to share the responsibility in some way, or whether we need to make it an oppositional contest.

The technical leadership doesn't seem quite so contested. Again using the same approach, maybe Wyz, monkey and Sslaxx can discuss how to divide the responsibilities, and whether one of them should technically have the title of Technical Lead.

I posted a link to a history of ScummVM, which describes how they organized project leadership in their case. My impression is that they always shared responsibility and authority among groups of 2-4 people, even if one of them was technically "in charge". I think that would be a good model to follow.

I think it's fair to say that some things haven't run all that smoothly around here since CJ stopped hanging around (with forums going down on a regular basis and things like that), and so maybe it would be better if stuff like admin access to source repositories, bug trackers etc. weren't only in one person's hand.

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Re: The future of AGS - part two
« Reply #36 on: 21 Jan 2012, 16:18 »
This wasn't a vote, just a kind of straw poll. I said earlier that the leading PM candidates should give their pitch for how they'd envision their role and plan to manage AGS. If we take the cutoff at half the votes of the highest-ranked candidate, and Darth isn't in the running, we have four front-runners.

That sounds like a reasonable way to proceed.

Calin Leafshade

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Re: The future of AGS - part two
« Reply #37 on: 21 Jan 2012, 16:35 »
This wasn't a vote, just a kind of straw poll. I said earlier that the leading PM candidates should give their pitch for how they'd envision their role and plan to manage AGS. If we take the cutoff at half the votes of the highest-ranked candidate, and Darth isn't in the running, we have four front-runners.

That sounds like a reasonable way to proceed.

Agreed.

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Re: The future of AGS - part two
« Reply #38 on: 21 Jan 2012, 19:08 »
Sure, I started writing a "charter" as it were for the future direction I have in mind and I'll finish it up for next week. Bici is thinking about it, btw.

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Re: The future of AGS - part two
« Reply #39 on: 21 Jan 2012, 19:36 »
We're all so grown up :D

I'm content with the votes so far - I'd've voted wyz, monkey and mods anyway.

Looking forward to how this plays out!
Still here.