[ntp:questions] Re: [ntp: questions] Twiki, answers, faq ?????

Dale Worley worley at dragon.ariadne.com
Thu Aug 28 21:16:15 UTC 2003

Steve Kostecke <kostecke at ntp.org> writes:
> I set-up the TWiki. It took a substantial amount of my _volunteer_ time.
> The end result is a tool that many of us find to be increadibly useful.
> Speaking as a volunteer, I find it to be extremely demoralising
> to have my hard work on the TWiki, and other parts of the ntp.org
> infrastructure, be continually subjected to ridicule and hostility.

Urgh, please be a bit more thick-skinned!  Infrastructure is always
problematic -- it takes a lot of work, but things that some people
find great others find difficult.  At the very least, any *visible*
infrastructure has the problem that anyone who uses it has to spend
time learning how to use it.  (That's more significant than you think,
really, and I'll bet you knew how to use some Wiki before you started
installing the TWiki -- so you don't even realize the learning time.)

A better way to approach this is to look at all this dialogue as an
opportunity to figure out how to polish the rough edges off your
inventions.  People's complaints may be phrased crudely, but if you
read closely, you'll see what is important to them -- indeed, it's
about the only way to discover their concerns.  Adjusting the
infrastructure to reflect those concerns appears to be a minor matter,
but it can make *huge* differences in ease-of-use.  In the long run,
it's the difference between things that are Really Good and things
that Get The Job Done But Are A Pain To Use.

It's also useful to remember that (per Fred Brooks) it takes 3 times
as much effort to make a product as it does to make the program that
goes into the product.  The NTP community is now large enough that all
of this stuff is now *products*, and 2/3 of the effort is dealing with
all the niggling little matters that make a product good.

And it's only when it is productized that people *really* appreciate
your efforts.


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