As I sat around in the keynote today, listening to Kathy Sierra go on and on about users, bits of Jono Bacon's and Zonker's talks popped up. You could classify projects as belonging to three categories - scratch your own itch, benign neglect and user centric. Most library and system developers tend to belong to the middle category, where their users are actually developers and the project waddles along according to the core dev's plans.
What that keynote actually did for me was to rationalize the use of some emotional play into a proper strategy targetting users rather than consider that an insult to their intelligence (or rationality). Well, I'd rather term it more generally as acceptance of their sensitivity and essential humanity, now. The three talks combined have given me a bit of things to think about, about the mistakes I've made over the past couple of years in handling dotgnu. Until we threw up the Southern Summer of Code, the project was literally stuck in a rut.
The talk dealt with the suck zone of doing anything, which makes a lot of sense to me. The hardest part to do is the first few bits, which everybody knows. But what was hammered in was the message of hope and of course, pride. The concept of levels and a set path upward for someone who comes in is pretty good, especially for a slightly large community - sort of mirroring Jono's breaking and entering a community comments (well, he didn't say that - but that's sort of what he meant, I think).
Happiness is a compile away !: The other thing that she talked about was about flow and meaning. I can pretty much relate to the first, which I prefer to call deep hack. And to conclude, a bunch of jokes - ending it with a high note after the heart pullers (like the puppy and the baby photos) in the middle. I absolutely loved Chris Blizzard as Volverine - a good movie that was ... oh, wait.
"This isn't right. This isn't even wrong." -- Wolfgang Pauli