Linked by Kaj de Vos on Tue 8th Jun 2010 22:07 UTC
Syllable, AtheOS

The Syllable project is pleased to announce that the reports of its death have been greatly exaggerated, and that the new version 0.4 of Syllable Server has been released. This release focuses on maturing existing functionality, improving security, ongoing system restructuring, and making the system a suitable base for third-party package managers. Although the project admits it hasn't brought its unicorn factory online yet, extensive work was done on the nitty-gritty, so the full change log is quite long.

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RE[7]: Cool, I guess...
by Kaj-de-Vos on Fri 11th Jun 2010 20:17 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Cool, I guess..."
Member since:

Yes, you're one of those people that we have known for a very long time, and that's very much appreciated.

However, you're not on AltME, our most efficient communication system. Since this seems very hard to get through to people, I'll spell it out one more time as clearly as I can:

If you're not on AltME, you have an extremely incomplete picture of what's going on in Syllable. Heck, so much is going on in AltME, that I regularly find out that even our contributors who frequent it haven't been able to keep track of all developments.

The reason we're doing this in AltME is because it's too much to fit into other mediums, such as our forum or IRC. In fact, we have never really used IRC and email has finally become so inefficient that our mailing lists have completely dried up (as they have with many projects similar to Syllable in the past two years, I have noticed).

We would have liked very much for AltME to have a gateway to more popular mediums, but it hasn't. I have lobbied for this for years with the makers, but they haven't proceeded with it. Hence, for many years, the groupware plans that we have for Syllable, anyway, have included a goal to build our own, more open groupware platform to replace or at least complement AltME. This hasn't happened yet because we always gave core Syllable development priority. After six years, and in hindsight before the complete email dry-up, I decided two years ago that it was time to proceed with this. Since then, I have been stepping on the gas to realise this. So far, we have a base Linux server to run it on and a CMS for multiple-language web sites with news, downloads and RSS feeds. As I said earlier, we're working towards exporting information out of AltME to the web.

I have worked on these subprojects by myself, so if this has meant that other Syllable development has slowed down, that's quite possible, but it hasn't slowed down anyone but myself. To give you a perspective on this, look at our code activity graphs:

The slump in my core Syllable activity until half a year ago was due to working on the CMS and the web sites. The CMS has now reached a level that I can shift back to other subprojects again. Of course, while it was in heavy early development, some publications could be hindered, but it was necessary because I started it when we lost our entire web sites two and a half years ago. If you take the effort to compare to archived versions of the old sites, you'll see that they were a far cry from the current sites.

I'm only human and I haven't figured out a circumvention yet to the limitation that I can spend my time only once. Until I do, I have a strategy of letting my time count for as much as possible. That's why I have made sure that as much as possible of my work on Syllable Server also directly applies to Syllable Desktop. I know that many people don't believe this, but that's where I have to leave it at. I can't change other people's emotional convictions through reasoning, and I don't have time for it.

In conclusion:

- The good news is, there's much more Syllable development going on than you think. Both development that you don't see, and development that you may not believe there is.
- The way Syllable is developed, even more so than in life in general, if you don't look for developments, you're not going to find them.
- If you don't believe development is there when we present it, we can't help you.
- We are working on presenting more of our developments in more popular ways, but this takes time. If you don't accept this, we can't help you, either.
- The bad news is that, the way Syllable is developed, as an extremely ambitious project with extremely little resources, and with several subprojects, when we need to focus on one subproject for a while, you're right that other subprojects are going to slow down.
- However, we have a strategy. We're not chasing butterflies. When one of our subprojects gets up to steam, it's designed to reinforce the other subprojects. For example, have you noticed this?

- Finally, there's nothing really new here. For the entire decade, the entire life of the project, we have been dealing with the ebb and flow of resources; contributors, third-party projects, audience, media attention, competitors, hosting providers and what not. Obviously, the continuous coming and going of major code contributors is one of the most disruptive things to happen, as you can see in the Ohloh graphs, and it's having clear effects, but look at our long-term behaviour:

The project as a whole has been remarkably stable over the years. Syllable is not going to roll over and die. To suggest otherwise, I consider that an insult to the volunteers who are doing good work for us right now.

This is as good as it gets, until we get a bag of inflatable volunteers for our birthday.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[8]: Cool, I guess...
by cipri on Sat 12th Jun 2010 10:34 in reply to "RE[7]: Cool, I guess..."
cipri Member since:

yes, I can imagine how much you work on "sub-projects".
What subprojects? It is clear from that thread that you, Kaj, like to write a lot. If you write "we work on various subprojects", why are you not a little more concrete and and a few examples to your declaration, so that so that the people can understand you better. For example you could write:
"we are working on various subprojects, like example1,example2,..."

Of course I know why you are not more specific, and I also know why you don't like the following idea. (But you will never say your real reasons, because you are ashamed, and affraid that could harm syllable and your own image)

I make/made the suggestion, that at every weekend, the main developers/leader of syllable (vanders,kaj,..) should write a little blog entry about what they worked the whole week on syllable.
Just a little blog-entry, with a few keywords, so that the information is organized, and everyone can read in short time, what you have been working.

I made that suggestion long time ago, and your answer was something like: "It would not be fun for me, to work on syllable under this conditions".

Why it would not be fun for you to explain in a few words what you have done in a whole week?

If you say, that blogging is to complicated, than make something else. Use the forum for that. Make a new Forum thread, with the title: "weekly report of kaj's work on syllable" and another with "weekly report of vanders work on syllable".

So that way everyone could have a good idea, what in fact you are working on. It would be short and structured information, that everyone can read in little time.

You don't have the excuse that you don't have time, because you prooved in that tread, that you have a lot of time to write comments. With the time you consumed on writing this comments, you could have written a report for a whole year.

But of course you would never do that.... never... :-)
(and you will never say your real reasons, why you don't make little weekly reports)

Reply Parent Score: 1