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Re: [steering-discuss] Candidacy for Board

Hello Norbert,

On Sun, Oct 9, 2011 at 11:42 AM, Norbert Thiebaud <> wrote:
Seriously ? for a distributed open source software, _that_ is your
doomsday scenario ?
If that were to happen, it would probably means that your immediate
problem would be survival: finding food and shelter. Computer software
will be the least of our problem for few generations...

Let's not get side-tracked. The contingency could be anything. But the
need for proper documentation remains. For instance, it might be
needed by a group of developers wanting to start an auxiliary project
investigating a different path for development than being followed by
the main track. BTW, this does not necessarily mean a fork, before I
hear the word used.

No amount of documentation will turn a 'non-geek' into a core dev.
Clean, well written code, with the least amount of 'trick' is the best
documentation: It is by definition accurate, complete and
authoritative. Quality that no Documentation ever equaled no matter
how much effort you put into it.

No, the very best is clean, well-written code accompanied by
good-quality documentation. Sorry, you will not convince me that
design documentation is unnecessary.

Reading source code is not 'reverse engineering'... That is what any
software engineer do on a daily basis to maintain existing code.
It is 'open' because anyone have access to the source code and
therefore _can_ read it and figure out how it works (or doesn't).

Trying to figure out from zero how a system works, because there is no
documentation of the code base, is indeed reverse engineering. A
software project that has no design documentation to enable a proper
and facilitated understanding of its code base is *not* fully
implementing the best principles of an Open Source project. Ask the
FSF for an opinion about this.

No, I apologise for insisting, and I realise that this initiative will
take some initial footwork, and will require on-going maintenance, but
it really should be considered to be essential work.

But I firmly believe there will be a pay-off in quite a few ways.

In any case, I'll be at the next couple of SC/BoD meetings to follow
up and discuss the idea.

There is no need for that. You can find volunteers and start working
on that without the blessing of anyone. It _is_ free software, and
_this_ is a meritocracy.
If you _do_ something in that line -- the wiki is a perfect place for
you to make that work available and gather with like minded volunteers
-- no-one will get in the way.

No, I am not going to s*d off and reverse engineer the code base
myself. I am asking three of our leading devs whether they would be
willing to collaborate with me on this perfectly-justifiable

What do you expect the BoD to do ? issue an Edict ? Give you a
size-able budget to hire technical writer ? If your proposal attract
people from the community (our even better attract new people to it)
then your proposal will become reality, regardless of the BoD opinion.
That is how it is supposed to work.

I put my question to three of our leading devs, and I will wait for
them to reply to the original posts.

Sorry, Norbert, but your responses do not change my views in any way.

Your arguments resound with the sideways logic and suave patter of a
dishonest used car salesman combined with the moral values of a
larcenous banker. :-D

(Above to be read tongue in cheek with a smile.)

Nonetheless, have a good Sunday. ;-)

David Nelson

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