This topic is about wheather the Foswiki open source project was in need of a project manager role or not.

As of today we do not have such a role and all the text below documents parts of the discussion which lead to the status of not having a project manager.

It dates back to the days of the fork in nov/dec 2008.

Old Discussion:

Wolf, from my (tiny) experience and observation of open source projects and also from a lot of conversation with some friends that are involved somehow with FOSS, I think things are a little bit different from traditional projects. Some software engineering and project management rules simply don't apply, for example: people work in what they like and they think that is necessary, not on what the PM ask them. If you order this person to do something else, probably (s)he will leave. And I see it happening with you right now: you have your ideas and experience and want to do things in the way you like (or are used to or the way you think is right), but some people showed some resistance and tried to change the way you would like to work. So you get frustrated and resign to the PM role. It's exactly what happens when the fun is over and all my points are about trying to keep and increase fun. Sorry if I made a mistake with you. I look forward the fun and learning that you can aggregate to NextWiki. -- GilmarSantosJr

I am not frustrated, but sad. Why should I, my future and wellbeing is not related to this project at all. I was just volunteering my spare time. That's all! Go ahead and I will be watching closely about your progress. Sorry to say so but it seems thatyou haven't understood my intentions, which might be my fault and I APOLGISE for that! BTW I was an industrial not software project manager wearing safety boots, leather jacket and a helmet, not sitting in a cozy office. Good luck!!! Wolf PS: I deleted my Wikiname from the TWikiAdminGroup myself

Answers and my view to the comment on ProjectManager

Thanks for all the answers. I know that you are busy but needed to stir up things a little bit as there otherwise would not be any discussion at all.

I have not read all new posts thus something I write below may be obsolete. I do not want to offend somebody, but just make things clear!


I do not think that this project could experiences better culture. IMHO the project runs into danger to get one or more new BDFL. I do not think that removing ALLOWTOPICCHANGE is good culture. You have to ask that person before, because you should be aware that is is made on purpose (if that purpose is good or not). Don't do that again!

When you decide to vote for a decision the try to stick to it and discuss it in a professional manner. Every decision can be revised, which is absolutely fine with me.

You should never express threats. That is absolutely unprofessional!!! I do not take any offense from them, but find them just annoying, since they are unproductive and do not lead anywhere.

WE the community of many years never used ALLOWTOPICCHANGE. Except in very rare cases! Anyone registered on the wiki can edit anything. That is a basic principle behind wikis. And the way we have done in this community for nearly 10 years. -- KennethLavrsen.


At the moment this project experiences several crisis', one is communication. I suggest that IRC should only used for meetings or day to day help. Otherwise it is too time consuming and ineffective. Hence I suggest not using email, where possible. It is ineffective, since it is not documented on the wiki. Use the wiki wherever you can, but structure content.

Yes. That is actually my concern. Like this web was created with no open discussion. Just few lines on IRC and boom, we have a secret web. -- KennethLavrsen.

Added 08.11.08-14:00GMT:

To avoid misunderstandings: It is not necessary to have a forum (e.g. phpbb3) for the project management. Part of it could be used, though (closed space).

I do not understand why everybody is against a forum. Other competitors use one (see below). Please consider implementing a forum to structure communication. This would not exclude the wiki for certain communications.


Actually the project is in exactly that stage as I predicted to some members of the community on the 28th. A project like this cannot be run in an open wiki manner. The consultants may agree as they know lots of clients who started with wild wikiying and that asked the consultant for help. My only client is in exactly that position. faced that problem as you know. As a newcomer you do not find any good information and support web is crap. Knowledge and project management means structure, structure structure...

There is always space for a web, where people can play around - no objection. But the rest needs strict organisation and structure of content.

Few here playes around. I see lots of good initiatives to build up the infrastructure we need. Still lots to do but it is progressing. -- KennethLavrsen.


This project needs leadership. I suggest that you vote an interim governance group of 4-5 members max. To define goals and strategy. The project manager will not be part of that group, but see that their goals will be achieved timely in a structured way.

To do project management I need to do it my way (according to common definitions of project management) - no discussions.

We are working hard on getting the association formed. Will happen within few weeks. See Community.Association, AssociationArticles, AssociationBylawsTaskTeam, and AgendaInitialGeneralAssembly. We are moving fast - but without rushing. -- KennethLavrsen.

Competition - Openness

Have a look at other Wiki- and OSS sites. You cannot access everything. If you want to be that open, why sending me emails? Write everything in the Community Web and let Peter and his friends have some fun. Always be aware that the war like blogging action against Peter and TWiki may well work the other way around. People like when something goes down the drain more than the good news.

This project is in competition to other projects like Confluence, Plone, Deki .. to name a few. Do they send you letters to follow their discussions and development in every respect? Or do you want Peter to just say thank you for each new idea?

My view is: The development should be open to members, who participate or want to participate in that area. The same accounts for the task teams. Those who partcipate gets all informations, all others don't.

Again: All visitors should be informed, but only about news, milestones achieved, targets achieved. They also should have their say by making proposals, but only those who proactively work, gets the full lot of info. To seperate the general tasks from community and development tasks I need the Tracking web - no discussions.

This project is an OPEN project. So was TWiki. The old core team that Peter appointed did not even work in secret. All was in the open. This is how we always wanted it in this community. -- KennethLavrsen.

OSS versus Company?

Sorry, but I cannot follow or understand that argument. We need some democracy to elect a leading group and to vote for some release features. Forget about the rest. The Greeks invented democracy to control the population and it still works. It doesn't work, if you want to achieve a goal.

You need people getting things done and not lamenting about border or colors of the new web design. There are more important things.

We need task teams, with a team leader achieving goals. Each team decide in their area. Important matters have to be decided by the board or by vote of the community. The project manager structures their work and supports them, but does not interfere (other then giving hints or point direction).

This is what we are building up. See Community.Association, AssociationArticles, AssociationBylawsTaskTeam, and AgendaInitialGeneralAssembly. -- KennethLavrsen.


The project needs good marketing. From that perspective I do not think it is a good idea starting with just a new release version on obvious reasons. Please try to see the product from a clients perspective.

This fork is the TWiki project under a new name. To get customers to cross over, get our bug fixes, updated plugins, new plugins, they need a download. This project is vapourware until we have a download. This is why we need the 4.3.4 that I was 1 week from releasing before we forked released - rebranded. -- KennethLavrsen.


There is a point where you have decide where and how to go. Do that now and then go, but then stick to it for a while. The project does not have weeks for endless discussions about PMs role. Time is on TWiki.nets side and they know it.

Then help with the release instead of making new webs. This is where we need help. There are plenty of open bugs and plenty to do on the rebranding. -- KennethLavrsen.

Final statement

Please do what you think it is necessary. I do not want to create trouble or making mischief. Before one of you leave better elect a new PM. It is ok, since a PM cannot work without any support or being acknowledged. Thus let me know how to proceed.

In case somebody thinks I want to play a big leadership role here, that is not true. In case that I haven't understood the goal of this project, I apologise. If you do not have competitors, I am not the right PM (Old habits die hard wink ).

In case you want me to be PM, I will set up several Groups for each task team one and then remove myself from TWikiAdminGroup.


PS: Instead of sending emails you might consider to have a chat on Skype: nzsamurai

I know you meant it well Wolf. But you touched some of the basic values for some of us with the ALLOWTOPICCHANGE and a secret web. We have always believed in openess. Our competitors know what we do and what we plan, yes. And that is OK. We are not a commercial company. We are an open source project consisting of unpaid volunteers. We all left TWiki because that project was changing to a commercial thing, closed, undemocratic, exploiting volunteers. We have a tradition of allowing 14 days for feature proposals etc. Not 1 or 2 days. We need to have the time to think about our position and to have debate before decision. And in the case of the Tracking web, it has been a secret that few noticed was there. And I still believe this web should be deleted and the few topics here moved back to Community where they belong. I may have strong language and strong opinions. But I have a lot of heart and soul invested in this project and the past year been one of the main contributors on the 4.2 branch spending all free time I have on it. I love this project and the idea begind it and I cannot just let it die or be destroyed. I feel I have to protect the values. I would love to skype with you. I will call you in the weekend. I do not know what you want GROUPS for for task teams. If it is to lock content then NO THANKYOU. We want the topics to be open for editing to anyone registered. Locking guest is OK. We want to avoid spam. If it is to enable emailing or similar to the groups then YES PLEASE. -- KennethLavrsen.
Topic revision: r12 - 01 Feb 2012, OliverKrueger
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