Recent

Poll

Did you think Lazarus project is a democracy? (It is not but did you think it is?)

Yes
12 (40%)
No
18 (60%)

Total Members Voted: 30

Author Topic: Democracy  (Read 23318 times)

JuhaManninen

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3646
  • I like bugs.
Democracy
« on: April 15, 2013, 11:15:44 am »
People here like voting so ...

JJVillamor

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 47
Re: Democracy
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2013, 11:32:27 am »
I voted no.

While suggestions, opinions, contributions, participation, etc, should be encouraged and considered but a project the scale of Lazarus cannot be real democracy. It should be under a project manager who at times must be a dictator. The success or failure of the project hinges on his/her ability(and those of his/her project members) to coordinate various development efforts and to encourage more users for the success of the project.

The website (although not asked here) can have a more liberal dose of democracy but still not a real democracy. Maybe encourage participation and contributions as well as giving due consideration to the wishes of the majority but in the end - still not full democracy.-
« Last Edit: April 16, 2013, 04:45:24 am by JJVillamor »

User137

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1791
    • Nxpascal home
Re: Democracy
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2013, 11:47:33 am »
Nothing should be left shouldered for 1 person alone. What if he goes missing for 3 months, or maybe never returns for unknown/unexpected reason?

Voted yes because of the bug tracker, open discussion and generally being open source for everyone.

felipemdc

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3541
Re: Democracy
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2013, 12:02:47 pm »
It is a democracy, but not in the way people commonly think about it. People usually think that they just have to do a vote and try to select someone who will do as much as possible for our own needs. Very often we forget that there is a high input to make the system work, the taxes, which everyone pays and without which the system would collapse.

Nowadays it doesn't exist anymore, but many democracies until 1900 utilized this input (taxes) to measure the value of each vote. So richer people, which therefore paid more taxes, had more voting power. That's the kind of democracy that Lazarus is. But here the input is not money, but rather contribution. People that contribute a lot have a lot of say in the project. People that contribute nothing have ... no decision power.

BigChimp

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5740
  • Add to the wiki - it's free ;)
    • FPCUp, PaperTiger scanning and other open source projects
Re: Democracy
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2013, 12:03:46 pm »
@User137: if there's no democracy, you can still have shared responsibility, backup roles, substitution (however you want to call it).

Democracy is the antithesis of many things: dictatorship, oligarchy, meritocracy. Let's be kind and say Laz is one of the 2 latter with a benevolent father figure guiding the overall direction ;)

However, I do agree that both a democracy and a non-democracy can be open in the sense that people's opinions are heard. It's only what happens with those opinions that makes the difference.

Phew. Who whould have expected philosophy while programming, but perhaps this is a good time to discuss these things...
Want quicker answers to your questions? Read http://wiki.lazarus.freepascal.org/Lazarus_Faq#What_is_the_correct_way_to_ask_questions_in_the_forum.3F

Open source including papertiger OCR/PDF scanning:
https://bitbucket.org/reiniero

Lazarus trunk+FPC trunk x86, Windows x64 unless otherwise specified

JuhaManninen

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3646
  • I like bugs.
Re: Democracy
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2013, 12:11:26 pm »
Nothing should be left shouldered for 1 person alone. What if he goes missing for 3 months, or maybe never returns for unknown/unexpected reason?
Voted yes because of the bug tracker, open discussion and generally being open source for everyone.

It is unfortunate when tasks are shouldered for 1 person alone, indeed. It happens because there are not enough people willing to contribute. For example I would be happy with contributions for Delphi converter. I would gladly give it for someone else to maintain, but no such person has appeared.
That is not related to democracy. Good contributions for source code are always accepted and the author's influence and decision power increases.
Do you think democracy would bring more code contributions? No, it would have the opposite effect. Maybe you misunderstood the issue.

@JJVillamor:
A benevolent dictator is not always needed. For example Lazarus project does not have one.
It is possible because there is enough trust between developers and everybody accepts that decision power comes from contributions.
Now people are not pulling to different directions but in theory it can happen and then a dictator would be needed. It is a subtle issue and depends on many things.

One interesting fact is that typically the open source dictators remain benevolent because forking the project is a possibility.
I recommend again the book about open source. The author clearly knows what he is writing about:
  http://producingoss.com/en/producingoss.pdf
« Last Edit: April 15, 2013, 11:58:32 pm by JuhaManninen »

JuhaManninen

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3646
  • I like bugs.
Re: Democracy
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2013, 12:26:04 pm »
Yes, I must be careful with the terms. Felipe's definition :
  "Democracy where you buy your voting power by contributing"
is very accurate.
Unfortunately "democracy" is now generally understood as something where everybody can vote, even if he has no idea of what is a good decision.

In my understanding Lazarus project does not have a benevolent (or any other kind) dictator. It is a neutral issue, not good or bad. Some other projects run equally well with a dictator.
This issue is nicely covered in the book as well.

JanRoza

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 538
    • http://www.silentwings.nl
Re: Democracy
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2013, 01:40:39 pm »
I always felt the Lazarus community as a democracy. You can advise, make suggestions or disagree, you always get an answer.
What makes it a democracy I think is that the answers are always respected.
If you get a No on your suggestion, then that's it and if you get a Yes enjoy your win, but I never felt this community or the developers as dictators. They answer the way they do for a reason.
It's respect for others that makes this community enjoyable, please let's keep it like that. 
« Last Edit: April 15, 2013, 03:04:16 pm by JanRoza »
OS: Windows 10 (64 bit) / Ubuntu 19.04 (64 bit)
Laz: Lazarus 2.0.4 FPC 3.0.4 i386-win32-win32/win64

typo

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3051
Re: Democracy
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2013, 03:02:14 pm »
Well, academy, for example, is not a democracy, it is a meritocracy.

I think this is the model for open source projects.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2013, 03:07:36 pm by typo »

JuhaManninen

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3646
  • I like bugs.
Re: Democracy
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2013, 04:14:38 pm »
I always felt the Lazarus community as a democracy. You can advise, make suggestions or disagree, you always get an answer.
What makes it a democracy I think is that the answers are always respected.
If you get a No on your suggestion, then that's it and if you get a Yes enjoy your win, but I never felt this community or the developers as dictators. The answer the way they do for a reason.
It's respect for others that makes this community enjoyable, please let's keep it like that.

The terms carry lots of weight from history. We are clearly talking about different things.
Answering questions and having respect for others has nothing to do with making decisions.

I know that in countries led by dictators, like military dictators in South America and the former Soviet Union, people were imprisoned just by having a "wrong" opinion. It is currently happening in North Korea.
"Democratic" countries were considered to be the opposite, having a freedom of speech and opinion.
However this distorts the original meaning of democracy which is about a decision making process.
Also in my writing it only has the original meaning of decision making process.

A "dictator" by itself does not mean an "evil dictator". A dictator is only a person who has unlimited power. If he uses it for good then he is a "benevolent dictator".
The problem of course is that the possession of power spoils a person, and the possession of infinite power spoils him infinitely.
There are reasons why this may not happen with open source project dictators. I can explain more later if somebody is interested.

Most of the decisions made by developers are low level implementation specific decisions.
How do I improve the Delphi converter so that a required unit is always added to the uses section when an object type is replaces with a fall-back type? Should I make a vote for it at forum? Obviously not. Nobody else knows the code well enough to have an opinion.
I must figure it out myself. During the process I may ask specific questions from Mattias because I use his codetools. Mattias is helpful. There is no conflict of interests. The only problem is my limited brain capacity but I want to use all there is.
Yet, I am a dictator for that part of Lazarus code because I know it best. I am not an evil dictator, I would even give my position away any time to someone with enough talent and energy.

Sometimes a higher level decision comes up which cannot be decided by a single sub-system dictator.
In some projects a top level dictator would decide. In Lazarus project a consensus is found. It is possible as long as everybody respects the work done so far by others.

Now there are people who want to change the splash screen without doing anything else for the project.
The splash screen has become a symbolic thing. A trophy. A symbol of power.
It is a techincally small but psychologically big thing. If the decision power was given to those people, would they remain as "benevolent dictators"? I doubt. Just think of human history...
« Last Edit: April 15, 2013, 06:47:24 pm by JuhaManninen »

typo

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3051
Re: Democracy
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2013, 04:39:15 pm »
People need power in order to realize themselves as human beings. They simply want their opinion to be listened.

BigChimp

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5740
  • Add to the wiki - it's free ;)
    • FPCUp, PaperTiger scanning and other open source projects
Re: Democracy
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2013, 04:42:51 pm »
@Juha: excellent post!

@Typo: I discovered I could get power by contributing patches, and get them accepted. Now I contribute fpc database code. Worked for me ;)
Want quicker answers to your questions? Read http://wiki.lazarus.freepascal.org/Lazarus_Faq#What_is_the_correct_way_to_ask_questions_in_the_forum.3F

Open source including papertiger OCR/PDF scanning:
https://bitbucket.org/reiniero

Lazarus trunk+FPC trunk x86, Windows x64 unless otherwise specified

typo

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3051
Re: Democracy
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2013, 04:44:38 pm »
Yes, of course.

typo

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3051
Re: Democracy
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2013, 10:30:33 pm »
If BugTracker accepted commitments about graphics, this discussion would not occur.

For now I must agree with Fred vS: no ideas lead to nothing.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2013, 10:40:21 pm by typo »

Fred vS

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1675
    • miXimum is the DJ's best friend
Re: Democracy
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2013, 11:03:08 pm »
I voted Yes.

Yes because that topic is the prove.

Some people have proposed to change things very sensible for certain of the deciders.

Of course that decider was not happy and let it know to everybody, saying that Lazarus is not a democracy, that it is a privilege to choose the splash-picture allowed only to great contributors, etc...

But, you gonna see, because that contributor is a democrat (like Lazarus), after his rage, he gonna begin to think about what was said those last topics and gonna change his mind.

If, like he said, the splash screen is so important (and i totally agree with that), it is not possible that only one person choose it ( and who is that person ?).

And that has nothing to do about aristocracy ( aristos = the best ).


 
I use Lazarus 1.8.0 32/64 and FPC 3.0.3 32/64 on Linux Mint Mate 17 32/64, Windows 10, Windows 7 32/64, Windows XP 32,  FreeBSD 64 and Mac OS X Snow Leopard 32.
Widgetset: fpGUI, MSEgui, Win32, GTK2, Qt, Carbon.

https://github.com/fredvs