[sword-devel] GNU and OS ideologies and indulgences

Michael Rempel sword-devel@crosswire.org
Mon, 17 Dec 2001 00:11:34 -0800

----- Original Message -----
From: "Chris" <chris@bitmead.com>
To: <sword-devel@crosswire.org>
Sent: Sunday, December 16, 2001 8:03 PM
Subject: Re: [sword-devel] GNU and OS ideologies and indulgences

> >
> >
> >The democratic process is vital to writting software like SWORD.
> >
> Actually pure democracy does not make good software either. Even more so
> it has been observed
> that the skill differential between programmers exceeds 10:1.  Rarely is
> free software a democracy.

Really? only 10:1? I think you forget how many people try to get experience
in GNU like projects, but fall by the wayside due to inability to keep up at
all. I write (or did write) designs for large multi-million dollar projects,
and I can say with confidance that 1% of the coders who work under me truely
understand what I am about most of the time. People who hire me are worse,
they do so on faith all the time. I design code to last for ever, with
interface designs in places many people think are wierd and useless until
they need them 3 versions later. I wont attempt that here. I may be able to
help you see some issues but Bible software is not my field of expertise,
business systems are. I will just hang and possibly annoy you for a while,
look at code, and admire the scenery. I may be ready to jump in eventually
but not yet.

> It's more like a small inner circle, each with their own particular
> status and reputation. And the
> final result is judged and used (or not) on its own merits.
> Nobody yet knows what would happen if such an "open bible
> translation" were to be attempted. If you'd said 20 years ago,
> "hey, let's develop an OS over the internet, and anybody can
> join in", you would have been shouted down and debunked as
> a lunatic. People would have said you can't get a coherent
> design in that kind of unstructured environment with no
> design, road map or direction.

And you think commercial software is any different? I get design ideas when
the project is over, not up front. Sometimes many cheap attempts will
produce good results, hence cyclical developement. The problem is increased
complexity and reduced ease of use are endemic to cooperative developement,
free or otherwise. Something as clean and simple as your project is rare.
BTW, any praise is high praise from me. Still you owe a great debit of
gratitude to OLB and others who came before with more complex, less useable