Subject Re: [IBDI] ibdi agenda article
Author Ann Harrison
Jason, list members,

>What I would like to see happen is in the article. I want Borland to play
>the open source game fully as far as the *development* of InterBase goes.

They won't and they can't. They won't because there is no up-side for
them in open source. They can't because it goes against their corporate
culture. Open source appeals to developers who identify strongly with
their products and who have a desire to teach and share. The corporate
ethos at Borland is competitive - it's a question of mind-set.

>They can do whatever else they want in the business sector. But, IB has been
>open sourced and it is now essentially community property.

Not exactly. They gave us a snapshot of the code. There's no contract
with the user community. As befits a public corporation, their interest
is increasing stockholder wealth. We haven't found a way to contribute
to that. When we do, then they'll work with us. Finding a way to advance
the careers of the InterBase people at Inprise (DBA Borland) would be
clever, also.

>They gave it to
>us and we are working hard to move it forward. I think it right that they
>get in the trench WITH us and not try to control or dismiss us.

That's not the way they see it - we're in opposite trenches, lobbing

>Let's pretend I did a better job with the article as Rob has suggested and
>that it is time now to write the piece on what IBDI expects to happen. Let's
>all discuss what we would like Borland to do and what we can do to support

Sorry guys, we can't affect Borland's behavior - except to make them
more paranoid and closed.

>Here are some suggestions that came quickly to my mind, please add to or
>request the removal of items.
>Perhaps we could also rank them as essential or non-essential.
>Essential things for Borland to do:
> Publicly acknowledge the Firebird tree and commit to synchronize with it.

No way. We can synchronize with their public tree, if we want, but
they can't commit to take any of our changes.

> Engineers work freely with Firebird developers as development front line.

Where's the win for them? After all, they're professional developers
and we're the great unwashed.

> Certified builds subset from the Firebird tree. (e.g. Prevent a fork)

For what little it's worth, I've come around to Mike Nordell's
point of view - perhaps a bit further. Until the threading problem
is fixed, we've got to maintain huge amounts of conditional code.
To get to a good threading model is going to require lots of changes.

> Release their bug lists and maintain them in public view.

You saw Quinn's response. I've been on both sides of this. Exposing
the raw bug list of a commercial product is like handing your head
to the competition. Most bugs undergo a real transformation from
the initial report to the fix, so seeing the raw reports does less
for people using the software than they expect. For an open source
project, the balance is different and people reading the bug list
are expected to be fully aware of the problems with raw reports.

>Non-essential things we would like Borland to do:
> Release the documentation for IB6.

I'm sure they will - unless you mean "release under an open
source license".

> End the blag campaigns against all community members.

Play nice? That's no fun. Seriously, as long as people take
strong positions, there's going to be some slanging.

>Essential things for the community to do:
> Give due respect to Borland as the principle custodian of the sources.

I give them all the respect their guardianship deserves.

> Give B. engineers commit rights in Firebird tree.

They've got it.

> Become Borland evangelists and apologists.

My, you do set the bar high, don't you.

> Work the hardest on bugs that Borland places priority upon.
>Remember, we are mainly concerned about InterBase's development.

And that means, to me, working hardest on things that improve
InterBase and using our good judgement to determine which those
are. Let's not deceive ourselves about our ability to affect
Inprise (DBA Borland). Our goal is building a better InterBase.
Theirs is building stockholder equity.



By the way, my DSL carrier went broke on Monday, so I've got
a temporary address. aharrison@.... I'm not ignoring anyone,
everything sent to harrison@... or harrison@...
is wandering around the ether, shaking its chains.