SamG wrote:While I don't see the closed development process that has been part of phpBB from the very beginning as being some sort of evil empire or cult thing (cults retain leaders and followers, not rotate them), I can understand why some people find it objectionable.
some cults do rotate leaders and followers: some cults are significantly older than a single person lifespan, so i would not agree that by the mere fact that people rotate something can't be a cult.
and for the record: i did not call phpbb team a cult, i just advocated against cult-like behaviors.
this was in response to the phrase:
"and a bunch of other non-public projects being discussed and worked on behind the scenes"
not to any real event or behavior.
So I dunno. I continue to think OSS isn't for everybody, open development notwithstanding.
first let me say i sympathize with your pain.
second, i can't think of any development process, open *or* closed, that would guarantee a solution to every single problem any single user experiences. it will always be a balancing act, where questions like "how many people are hurting from this issue", "how severe is the pain", and "do we even *know* how to fix it, and if so, how much work would it be" will always have to be weighed against available resources and the pressure to develop new features.
regarding open/close development question:
i sometime have a feeling that the proponent of "closed development" conflate the "open dev. model" with democracy.
i do not advocate democracy. every project has a maintainer or maintainer group, and the final decision is not by vote, not by the vocality of advocates and not necessarily even by consensus: when consensus can't be reached, eventually someone decides.
however, on the way to this decision, the different options are aired out in the open, the pros and cons are discussed in the open, contributions from "outsiders" is weighed on merit, and any joe can make a point.
with the "open dev" model, proposals are considered more valid when there is a patch that accompany them, where many (maybe even most) projects will ignore or nearly ignore any proposal not accompanied with a patch that implement (or at least outlines) it.
the spectrum of closeness/openness of projects is wide and diverse, from projects that do not accept any contribution and never discuss their plans, to extremely open projects.
phpbb is by no means at the "most closed" end of the spectrum (although it may be closer to this end than to the other): it maintain an exposed repo, it accepts (if not solicit) input from the community, it has an open bug tracker, and it endorse community contribution in the form of plugins, MODs, styles and translations, although it rarely incorporates them in the core.
so no, absolutely not "evil empire", but please try to keep the "behind closed doors" part to the essential minimum (such as security issues).