Bugs on web page

Sam Liddicott sam at liddicott.com
Mon Jan 16 10:50:13 UTC 2012

On Mon, Jan 16, 2012 at 8:58 AM, Matthias Kirschner <mk at fsfe.org> wrote:

> * MJ Ray <mjr at phonecoop.coop> [2012-01-14 18:56:00 +0000]:
> > > The autonomy is at the level of who's affected. Decisions about DFD are
> > > generally taken by people involved with DFD. Decisions about FSFE's
> > > booth at FOSDEM are taken by the people participating in the booth.
> [...]
> >
> > I don't think that's quite true.  Decisions about one's own work for
> > the team seemed to be usually taken by the team, even when they do not
> > affect anyone else much.  While that is often what employers do, it's
> > not always how voluntary groups work.
> Do you have an example for that? Because I did not have the impression.

Assumptions about what it is that volunteers are willing can be the death
of a volunteer organisation. I observe this in local politics and in global
volunteer software projects. Linus had it right when he called it "herding
cats". I've spoken with local authority administrators about their
assumptions of what I call "minimum terms of participation" which must be
met before a volunteer will do anything and the removal of which will cause
the volunteers to vanish like the morning mist.

Those who treat volunteers as a resource to be directed will be puzzled
repeatedly. Michael Gove in the UK is about to find this out as he lays out
grand new plans with extra and onerous responsibilities on school governors
who are not regularly punished by government inspectors for doing a good
job but not providing enough evidence to prove to the inspectors that they
are doing a good job.

I mean that the conclusion of the inspectors will back up the volunteer
governors report and claims of the school, showing that the governors did
know what they were talking about; but if the governors can't prove that
this wasn't a lucky guess, then they get a beating by the inspectors.

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