[gst-devel] [TOS] [Telepathy] OLPC Open Video Chat Announcement

Kevin Mark kevin.mark at verizon.net
Sat Jun 26 05:07:13 CEST 2010

On Fri, Jun 25, 2010 at 12:59:28PM +0100, Sjoerd Simons wrote:
> Earlier this year we did some changes in both farsight and Gstreamer which
> caused issues when combining certain versions of the two. Ofcourse if you had
> raised the issue you were seeing with us at the time we could have helped you
> out there...
> > So at this point we need help from the upstream.  Without either the
> > Gstreamer bug fixed or some help using Farsight we are at an impasse.  We
> > would appreciate any help from upstream community members.  Feel free to
> > pull our repo and check out our code.  If you're unfamiliar with the XO's
> > you should know that the code requires the Sugar environment to run.

You raise good points. It is quite a change of perspetive to join a group that
expect you to 'bother' them and pick their brain, as opposed to a community
where people do things in isolation. So I would guess that the people leading
the course and the students are learning how to fix this process as fast as
they can but have missed some things. Hopefully you and they can critque it and
find ways to get the TOS program even more engaged in the FLOSS way more. It
will benefit the course and the FLOSS community.

> So at this point i need to go of on a bit of a rant. I did check out your code
> and it looks like "My first video conferencing application", which is fair
> enough really as for most if not all of you it will be your first video
> conferencing application.
> It is sad though that a project that afaik is partially meant to teach how to
> do open source development seems to have completely failed at actually using
> open source properly.
> The power of FOSS is partially that you can stand on the shoulders of giants
> and that you can work together to move the state of the art forward in
> such a way that it benefits all parties. As an added benefit, in most active
> projects there are always some people that are happy to help you with the
> initial learning curve and/or issues you're having.
> What i've seen from this project over the past few months is someone once or
> twice appearing on our IRC channel, scattergunning a load of questions, getting
> some help and then disappearing again. Which doesn't seem like a great way of
> engaging an open source project... To make matters worse at the end of march i
> sent an e-mail to some of your projects leads, asking how things were going and
> if any mentoring or other help was needed, to which i've never got any reply..
> Seems like they missed a much-needed oppurtunity there.

Again, I hope you and they can meet to discuss how they could have better
taught this point and ways they can convey to the students how to engage
projects in a way that you feel is appropriate.

> Judging from looking at your code and the experiences above, your project
> worked in the same way a lot of companies that don't actually understand open
> source work.  You grabbed various open source bits that were available and that
> you could get to work without spending too much effort on them, wrote
> your program in somewhat of a vacuum, slapped a nice open source license on it
> and said: look, look, we did open source isn't it amazing...

I dont expect the course to be static, I assume they will learn as they go and
will do better next time with feedback like you have given. They are trying to
get people engaged in the FLOSS community, so hopefully the students have felt
the excitment and will work to grow our community.

> What you seem to have ended up with is a stepping stone that allowed you to
> look over the fence that was directly in front of you, only to see there is a
> big and dense jungle on the other side blocking your path. While you could
> have been part of an expedition with many years of combined experience on how
> to get through such a jungle...

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