Resigning from GpsMid development

2012-09-13
2013-05-29
  • Markus Bäurle

    Markus Bäurle - 2012-09-13

    Hello everybody.

    Jyrki, your message to stop being an active contributor to GpsMid (in the thread "Release 0.8.2 has been published") first came as a very big surprise to me, given the very big contribution that you have made to GpsMid over the time and also during the last weeks.
    But with your new message it's more understandable as you are in fact not abandoning the code base but only the project in its current setup.

    I wonder if I triggered or accelerated your decision because I, as you know, have informed the other developers with commit rights (James22, APM, sk750, Walter9 and you) on September 6th that I have resigned from GpsMid development.
    I removed me from the list of developers on the Wiki on that day but I prefer your solution to just add a comment so I will bring my entry back and add a comment similar to yours.

    I want to say a few words why I didn't want to work on GpsMid any longer. I wrote a longer mail to the other developers but I also want to explain a little bit publicly.
    First of all, I always felt there was not enough cooperation and coordination between the people working on the GpsMid code. This could maybe be solved but that would require much more time contribution and I'm not able and/or willing to do that.
    Second I found it quite time-consuming and inconvenient to support all the different platforms that GpsMid now runs on. We have J2ME with either keyboard or touchscreen and Android. All of them can be used with the plain menu or the icon menu. Any change or new feature should work on all of them. So I was often put off by the complexity and stopped doing any work in the first place.
    For both points you could say that I found it's not working at my current level of involvement and that I don't see that I can increase it, so I figured I'd better stop than to continue with this unsatisfying way of contribution.
    There are more points but these are the most important ones.

    Currently my plan is to make my personal fork of GpsMid, working title is Androsm, concentrating on the Android platform as this is the mobile platform I am using, i.e. on which I can test and where I benefit from improvements, hoping to make the application feel more Android native. At the moment I'm not sure how far I will get. If I see any chance that the code and application may be helpful to others I will make it available.

    I'd also like to thank all of you for your contributions, input, suggestions, bug reports and what not.
    I agree with Jyrki that it was an interesting time with many things to learn in many aspects.

    So long,

    Markus

     
  • Jyrki Kuoppala

    Jyrki Kuoppala - 2012-09-14

    Hi Markus,

    your resignation message didn't trigger or expedite my course of action.

    One thing which Markus didn't mention above (but if I remember correctly has mentioned earlier) and has lead to frustration (probably also being one contributing factor the lack of coordination & communication) in some of the features of the development platform. I'm thinking of no git pull requests, no editing in forum & tickets, only the project manager (and not other developers) able to change the most prominent "Looking for the latest version?" download link, and so on. A big bunch of relatively small things (well, lack of pull requests maybe is a big one) which put together are frustrating. Just to add to what Markus said, I don't really disagree on what Markus wrote above.

    Also, while I'm all for self-organizing & organic peer groups in principle, and seems to me they often work very well in practice even without any written rules or express leadership, too, not always. Succesful coordination sometimes requires some common ground rules & practices for communication & cooperation, which may not always be easy to find & settle on with peer processes. I guess that's also what Markus has referring to with how coordination would require much more time. Some initial "ground rules" and set targets for a project might help that, and I've drafted something for possible future use, a couple of quotes below.

    * Be communicative.

    * Case in point about being communicative: Don't assume the
      worst. People generally have good intentions and are trying to do
      things useful to everyone. Let's say someone does something you
      think is not so good - or, to put it in words which may occur in your mind
      in practice, even though not generally not said aloud, is acting
      like an idiot, don't assume it's for some dark reason and go on the
      offense, as that's usually a mistaken assumption. Often it's just a
      case of different perception, diffent opinion, or
      communication failure. Even if the assumption is correct and the
      someone indeed is acting like an idiot and has dark motives, it's
      still better to approach the situation calmly and communicatively
      instead of with aggression and hostility, as for the rest of the
      community it's always easier to deal with just one individual acting
      like an idiot than several people acting like idiots.

    * Conflicts are a fact of life. Despite most people aiming to be civil
      and with intentions to do things useful to everyone, conflicts
      arise, and may be emotionally unsettling, and small things & small
      conflicts have the potential to cause even big projects grind to a
      halt and die, despite all good intentions. To avoid results fatal to
      the project, it may help to take a step back, realize these things
      can happen to everyone, and look at the conflicts as a "bug" in the
      community workings, for which a solution or at least a workaround
      needs to be found. There's prior art on this approach for example
      http://sourcemaking.com/antipatterns - becoming familiar with this
      may help to understand what's going on in the situation, and
      hopefully solve things, and if nothing else, maybe be a consolation
      that it's not just us, it's something which happens all around.

    * Don't use these rules or the antipattern documents to call people
      names. You may think "Hey, this guy is obviously possessed by the
      Golden Hammer AntiPattern". It probably won't do much good to
      declare this thought publicly, it isn't very constructive, even if
      you are correct, and of course there's also the real possibility
      you're mistaken. But it may be constructive to say something like "I
      noticed that the same solution as for frobnicating the apples is
      used for oranges as well. Seems to me it might be better to write
      a blender class instead, here's a first draft of how this could go."

     

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