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Re: [E-devel] Continuing the website saga

On Wednesday, 20 September 2006, at 16:59:10 (-0700),
Ben Rockwood wrote:

> 1) Since moving to XSM updates have almost complete stopped.  The
> changes in the last 2 years are all trivial.  (Minus the redesign work.)

I'm trying to forget the past transgressions that may have occurred
and focus on the future.  You and I have talked about this in person
as well as on IRC, so you know how I felt originally about everything
that happened.

But it's done, and it's over.  Andy has made a solid commitment to not
only listen to constructive feedback on XSM, but to really drive it in
the direction we need it to go to fill the current gaps in our

I've come to realize that continuing to beat the same old drum as
before is just as political and counterproductive as some of what
inspired my frustration in the first place.  The band has left the
field; it's time to stop banging the snare.

> 2) XSM is, speaking only for myself, slow and non-intuitive to work
> with.  Simple news updates take 30 minutes or more due to rebuilds.

You're 100% right that it's not instantly intuitive.  That's one of my
gripes too.  XSM seems to have a very powerful content assembly
paradigm but lacks an adequate way of presenting this power to the
uninitiated.  This is an issue that must be addressed, and I think it
will be.

Speed is also a common complaint which is about to be rectified.  Andy
assured us that it's a heckuva lot faster on a local box, and I have
no reason to doubt his word.  Besides, when the new box is ready, the
facts will speak for themselves.

> 3) No one has stepped up to the plate to work within the current
> framework, and honestly I haven't heard anyone say they like it or
> are willing to maintain it in XSM.

I know devilhorns is willing, morlenxus seemed open to it with some
feature requests added on, and I believe the other get-e.org folks
have already been using it for quite some time.

Granted, none of them have taken care of e.org like you did.  You're
still a very valuable asset to the team.  But we can't keep swimming
around in the same pool forever; the argument has to end, and we must
press onward.

> 4) Final decisions on what happens with E.org is Raster's call.  I
> haven't just yanked down XSM and done things "my way" because its
> not my call, its ultimately his.  I brought up discussion about
> switching off of XSM over a year ago and the discussion fizzled out
> on the "leave it alone" note, I didn't rock the boat.

Understood.  But I also understand this:  E.org is better off with you
than without you.  By far.  But for better or worse, we're using XSM
right now.  And while I greatly value your past contributions, more
willingness to cooperate is going to be necessary going forward.

> 5) I don't care WHAT we use.  Flat HTML is fast and easy and we'd
> have an updated site in less than a day even with the site on SF.
> So long as the choice is easier and faster to work with I really am
> not going to press for any particular solution.

Then are you willing to at least give XSM another try once it's moved
to our new server?  What if Andy gave a quicky XSM tutorial on the
mailing list?  Would that help the UI issue at all?

> Bottom line, the site gets a noteworthy amount of traffic on a daily
> basis.  No one is updating or maintaining the site.  This wasn't the
> case prior to XSM, I'm not saying it was perfect but work was at
> least happening.  Tell me what you want to move to and I'll do it.
> The point is here that I'm willing and able to do the work.  Tell me
> what you want and that no one will freak out when I do it and off we
> go.

This seems a lot more cooperative than before. :)  Are you willing to
give XSM another shot if that's how we decide to do it?

> ... besides, Michael, you know me.  I don't tend to lone-gun things
> or dictate.  I'm here to help, others will help, I believe, if we
> have a better framework, lets just get the site working reasonably
> again.  I've had "Fix E.org" on my TODO list for over 2 years!!!
> I'd like to finally get on with things.

Here's another idea.  If you're not wanting to work with XSM, perhaps
you could create/edit pages in raw HTML and have someone else enter
them into XSM for you.  Would that work?

> PS: I think I miss mails like this from you, mej, the most.  You da man
> Michael. ;)

I try. :-)


Michael Jennings (a.k.a. KainX)  http://www.kainx.org/  <mej@kainx.org>
n + 1, Inc., http://www.nplus1.net/       Author, Eterm (www.eterm.org)
 "If the President knowingly lies to the American people, he should
  immediately resign."                         -- Bill Clinton in 1974