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The "Doctor Who" Model of Open Source

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the chemistry-in-a-phone-booth dept.

Programming 116

Glyn Moody writes "Open source projects are generally fine when there's a long-term leader like Linus; but what happens when nobody is able or willing to run things for extended periods? Peter Murray-Rust explains how the open chemistry group known as the Blue Obelisk has evolved what he calls the 'Doctor Who Model of Open Source': 'You'll recall that every few years something fatal happens to the Doctor and you think he is going to die and there will never be another series. Then he regenerates. The new Doctor has a different personality, a different philosophy (though always on the side of good). It is never clear how long any Doctor will remain unregenerated or who will come after him. And this is a common theme in the Blue Obelisk.' Could other open source projects learn from this experience as long-term leaders start to move on?"

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WTF? (5, Insightful)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 5 years ago | (#28390249)

Doctor Who? We're talking about a contrivance that was used to explain away actors leaving a show. Meanwhile, in reality, open source projects leave a lot of code that may or may not be well-documented. Changing project managers every few years strikes me as rather difficult, although I guess if you can maintain interest in the project throughout, it could still be a success. Still, it seems like a warning sign to me, kind of like when a movie has 5 screenwriters or 5 editors.

Re:WTF? (1)

sesshomaru (173381) | more than 5 years ago | (#28390339)

Yes, if fact the first time it happened, it was because the Timelords had "changed his appearance." I don't know why they feel this need for a pseudo-science fictional explanation, it's never bothered James Bond.

Re:WTF? (1)

darth_borehd (644166) | more than 5 years ago | (#28390947)

You're thinking of the 2nd to the 3rd Doctor regeneration. The 1st Doctor to 2nd Doctor regeneration had no other explanation other than he was fatigued and worn out.

Forced Regeneration? (1)

Dr. Zed (222961) | more than 5 years ago | (#28393647)

I thought his first regeneration was forced upon him by the Time Lords. Something along the lines that he was long overdue.

I found it intriguing that the story got tagged with both timeywimey and dontblink. That was my favourite episode out of the new seasons.

Any way, about changing leaders in a project, it's not like they would just pick a random hacker off the street. Presumably, someone working on the project, who already knew the project well enough to lead it, would step up. This is one of the strengths of community development. People can stay in a project long enough to 'scratch their itch', and then exit gracefully without felling like the project is going to fall over and sink into the swamp.

Re:Forced Regeneration? (1)

Spacelem (189863) | more than 5 years ago | (#28395035)

Nope, quite definitely the second regeneration.

William Hartnell (the 1st Doctor) dies at the end of The Tenth Planet due to fatigue and old age, and regenerates into Patrick Troughton's 2nd Doctor (in what is in my opinion still the best regeneration sequence of any Doctor).

Patrick Troughton's Doctor is forced to call upon the Time Lords for assistance in The Wargames, and they punish him for meddling by forcing him to regenerate, returning Jamie and Zoe to their own timelines (and leaving Jamie in Culloden, with everyone around him dead), and removing the time circuits from the TARDIS, thus grounding him on Earth for a while.

Next episode you see Jon Pertwee's 3rd Doctor fall unconscious out of the TARDIS. And the show is in colour!

Re:WTF? (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391007)

I always thought James Bond was just an urbane sounding code name for whoever was agent 007 at the time.

Re:WTF? (2, Interesting)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391871)

Nah, there was continuity between all movies, including ones played by different actors (until the Daniel Craig ones, which is why it was called a "reboot"). For example, Roger Moore's Bond lays flowers on Tracy Bond's grave in For Your Eyes Only, even though it was George Lazenby's Bond who married her (in On Her Majesty's Secret Service).

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28394869)

Even then, as they're still based on stories that Fleming wrote, which have their own continuity, it's possible to consider the Craig Bond movies as being roughly in continuity with the other films, albeit in a severely time-warped fashion.

(In other words, if the series continues along the same pattern, Bond will have many of the same major events and challenges as he did in the films of the 60s - 90s, but decades into the future -- meaning that the methods and politics used may change somewhat.)

Re:WTF? (1)

Mr. Jaggers (167308) | more than 5 years ago | (#28396639)

Actually, James Bond was the author of Birds of the West Indies, published in the 30's.

Don't you know your ornithology??

Re:WTF? (1)

BobisOnlyBob (1438553) | more than 5 years ago | (#28397677)

I'd love to see a play on that in the films. I bet James Bond himself knows much about the Birds of the West Indies, not to mention the Girls of Eastern Europe and the Ladies of Russia...

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28393885)

Perhaps it's because James Bond has no personality?

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28398469)

No, the regeneration of the Second Doctor was by the Time Lords, for breaking their laws of non-interfearance. The first regeneration was after he collapsed in the Tardis after fighting the cybermen.

Re:WTF? (5, Insightful)

Marillion (33728) | more than 5 years ago | (#28390507)

Just as Doctor Who is bigger than any one actor who plays the role, many of the "Big Things" in life are always bigger than those who run them. Corporate Executives should do well to remember that.
This isn't the same thing as saying anyone can just replace anyone. Matt Smith has some large expectations to meet when Tennant turns over the TARDIS key.
Linux is a great example. Linus doesn't do as much day-to-day programming in the kernel - he hasn't for years. None the less, there are dozens of people who do. Linux will continue long after Linus stops working on it.
I think there is a great danger if there exists a Cult of Personality in an organisation. While I firmly believe that Apple can do well after Steve Jobs leaves, he has built a Cult of Personality that will immediately cripple whoever follows.

Re:WTF? (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#28390643)

Hasn't crippled Apple so far with Mr. Jobs being on medical leave for more than 6 months.

IMHO, Scott Forstall should be the next Apple CEO. He seems to have the Steve Jobs charisma and the Steve Gary "Woz" Wozniak tech side.

Re:WTF? (2, Funny)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 5 years ago | (#28390645)

"he has built a Cult of Personality that will immediately cripple whoever follows."

Jobs certainly embodies Apple and is the person most people associate with it but whoever immediately follows Jobs will do fine. It's the guy after that who strangles his companions and gets put on trial where he is his own prosecutor that will struggle.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28390735)

Couldn't they find someone less effeminate looking than Matt Smith to play the Doctor? Or is it on purpose so a woman playing the Doctor's last regeneration will be more acceptable? I wish they'd find a way to bring Eccleston back.

Re:WTF? (1)

Excelcior (1390167) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391941)

Hey, as much as I love David Tennant, I'm actually really looking forward to the 11th Doctor. I think he has a quirky enough personality to really pull it of.
Besides, historically The Doctor has always dressed/worn his hair lost somewhere between the genders. It's his wit and bravery that really define his masculinity.

Re:WTF? (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#28396631)

I'm sorry, I thought I was reading Slashdot, but I appear to have stumbled onto the Daily Mail.

Re:WTF? (3, Funny)

theaceoffire (1053556) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391163)

"While I firmly believe that Apple can do well after Steve Jobs leaves, he has built a Cult of Personality that will immediately cripple whoever follows."

^_^ Ah, that's where your wrong. Steve Jobs plans to die battling an army of Microsoft servers for freedom and puppies... he will change the Cult of Personality into a Cult of Martyrism, led by his dying wish to crush evil and defend new ideas!

O.o and bam, they replace him with NO one, and every new Mac is "In memory of our brave, noble leader".

Re:WTF? (4, Funny)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391355)

If you are reading this then you are part of the resistance.

Re:WTF? (3, Funny)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391075)

I agree, Dr. Who is probably not the best analogy for the model they are describing.

Instead we should consider that the project leaders are like the drummers in the band, they set the rhythm and tempo at which the project moves.

Most bands have only one drummer through the life of the band, because the drummer's style defines the band so much. If that drummer leaves the band, or spontaneously combusts, the band often drifts into obscurity. This is much like many OS projects. There are exceptions, of course.

The most obvious exception in the world of bands is Spinal Tap. So I think we should call this the "Spinal Tap" model, rather than the "Dr. Who" model.

Plus, you get dancing dwarfs on miniature stonehenges, and versions that go up to eleven.

Re:WTF? (2, Informative)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391529)

Most bands have only one drummer through the life of the band, because the drummer's style defines the band so much. If that drummer leaves the band, or spontaneously combusts, the band often drifts into obscurity.

Admit it...you're a drummer. And you just made that up. Name one band that went under after the drummer died/left. Genesis? Even the Who survived the loss of Keith Moon.

Re:WTF? (1)

An ominous Cow art (320322) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392113)

Led Zeppelin.

Re:WTF? (1)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392259)

Yeah, they broke up, but I think they were on their way out anyway. Although I think Rush is an exception. I can't seem them going on without Peart (or any of their members, actually).

Re:WTF? (2, Informative)

An ominous Cow art (320322) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392733)

Maybe the drug use would have eventually ended Led Zeppelin; it's hard to say. But they consciously decided to give it up after Bonham died.

I agree about Rush. From what I've read, if Neil Peart had left for good after the tragedies in his life, Rush would not have continued as Rush.

Re:WTF? (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392965)

Genesis doesn't count. Any band that replaces Peter Gabriel with Phil Collins as lead singer deserves to be relegated to obscurity, and I'm not sure it has anything to do with the loss of Collins as a drummer. Or maybe I just don't like Phil Collins, no matter how catchy his pop hooks are.

But here is one big example: King Crimson. They just weren't the same when Giles left and Buford came in... no matter how good Buford was with Yes.

BTW, I'm not a drummer. And I don't really think that the drummer is the leader of every band. But I thought it'd make a good joke, so I admit made it up. There. Happy now? ;)

Re:WTF? (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#28396747)

Any band that replaces Peter Gabriel with Phil Collins as lead singer deserves to be relegated to obscurity, and I'm not sure it has anything to do with the loss of Collins as a drummer.

They didn't lose Collins as a drummer. And I'm not sure that Genesis could be described as being relegated to obscurity after Gabriel left ;)

Re:WTF? (1)

Philip_the_physicist (1536015) | more than 5 years ago | (#28398691)

And I'm not sure that Genesis could be described as being relegated to obscurity after Gabriel left ;)

I think the fans just wish it had been.

Re:WTF? (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#28399095)

When Collins became lead singer, he drummed only during some of the longer instrumental solos... the primary drummer was someone else at that point.

Re:WTF? (2, Informative)

mwilliams666 (1399301) | more than 5 years ago | (#28393177)

Phil Collins never left Genesis. He just changed positions

Re:WTF? (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 5 years ago | (#28396665)

Indeed, and what's more, he didn't stop being their drummer (apart from on live tours, and even then he drummed during instrumentals).

Well, except for when he left in the mid-90s. And then Genesis did drop into obscurity (although it was probably more the loss of him as a vocalist, than a drummer).

Re:WTF? (1)

Doomdark (136619) | more than 5 years ago | (#28395619)

Not that all that many recognize it, but Hanoi Rocks [wikipedia.org] was another band that did call it quits after drummer (Razzle) died.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28397545)

... Carpenters? *ducks*

Re:WTF? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28392441)

Doctor Who? We're talking about a contrivance that was used to explain away actors leaving a show.

I think that was his point. At some point, actors and developers leave. They get tired of doing something, they want to try something else, they get pissed off at the audience/users, or get hit by a bus. If you have an ensemble cast (e.g. ER) it's easy to shift things around and continue even when all of the orignal people are gone. But what about a single-main character show/project? What happens when the main actor/developer, the guy the show/project is built around, leaves? Most of the time, that's it. The show/project is ended, with no new episodes/releases, and get's relegated to a "best of" DVD in a bargain bin somewhere, and everyone moves on.

But it doesn't have to be that way. Even though "the Face of X" is gone, you can still keep the show going. A new actor/developer can take the reigns as the lead. Sure, the personality may be different, and the philosophy and attitude may change a little, but the major premise and purpose of the show/program is still the same, and it still does more or less the same job it always did. When Doctor Who first did the "regeneration" thing, and even now when they do it, it is a big risk. - Will the audience like the new Doctor? Will they be disappointed that the old Doctor is gone? Will people still watch, or will they think it has jumped the shark? You put a brain-dead bozo in the role of the Doctor, who completely changes the tone of the show, and you're likely to lose your audience.

The trick is to plan for the change. We know now that the Doctor regenerates and that the show stays more or less the same, despite the fact that the actor changes, so we are willing to accept it. I think that's the lesson we should learn from the essay. Set up your projects so that it's role driven rather than person driven, so that when the lead developer quits, a new guy can easily slide into the lead developer role, with out having to be a clone of Steve/Guido/Larry/Linus. If your main developer quits, it doesn't mean you have to abandon the project. The project can go on, even if the guy who it (originally) was all about quits.

Re:WTF? (1)

hot soldering iron (800102) | more than 5 years ago | (#28394265)

During one of my rare waking moments in college, my Intro to Business instructor told us that businesses have life-cycles, like anything else. The right CEO to get the company off the ground and growing may not be the right CEO for an established, mature, organization. Likewise, when a company is dealing with a major sea-change of society and technology, it will take a pretty wiley CEO to get the company through it.

An OSS project is the same. The leaders that got things "going and growing" may not be the best for maintain and update. Each leader is different and will handle things differently. Some good, some not-so-good, but definitely different. That's not always a bad thing.

And after 12 regenerations ... ? (4, Funny)

Burb (620144) | more than 5 years ago | (#28390251)

After 12 deaths, you need hyper-advanced aliens from another planet to grant a new regeneration cycle? Does Davros take over? I'll explain later.

Re:And after 12 regenerations ... ? (2, Funny)

dword (735428) | more than 5 years ago | (#28390629)

For more information, download the nightly builds at 11.

Re:And after 12 regenerations ... ? (5, Funny)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#28390679)

And that's the easy part. Try downloading a tar file from some crazy Dr. Who open source project and finding it's bigger inside than out... oh, wait...

Re:And after 12 regenerations ... ? (1)

Keybounce (226364) | more than 5 years ago | (#28399185)

So you compressed it, and since every compression algorithm has to have some bad case that expands and gets bigger ...

Re:And after 12 regenerations ... ? (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 5 years ago | (#28390955)

you need hyper-advanced aliens from another planet

What, like Gallifreyans? [wikipedia.org]

Feudalism (4, Funny)

Bastard of Subhumani (827601) | more than 5 years ago | (#28390283)

Feudalism with a herditary monarchy. Trouble is anybody who works on open source projects doesn't breed, so you'd have succession wars all the time.

No change there, then.

Re:Feudalism (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391565)

Feudalism with a herditary monarchy.

Should that read HURDitary monarchy?

Re:Feudalism (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392531)

Feudalism with a herditary monarchy.

Should that read HURDitary monarchy?

...and that's a GNU/monarchy, thank you very much. :p

Re:Feudalism (1)

Bastard of Subhumani (827601) | more than 5 years ago | (#28399457)

Only if it's a project that'll never be finished.

RBS, Linus, Guido Python, Larry Perl (5, Informative)

thehickcoder (620326) | more than 5 years ago | (#28390291)

with characters such as RBS, Linus, Guido Python, Larry Perl, etc.

Um..... RMS, Linus Torvalds, Guido van Rossum, Larry Wall

Re:RBS, Linus, Guido Python, Larry Perl (1)

Rocketship Underpant (804162) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391681)

I had a friend who enjoyed calling him "Linux Torvalds" to the consternation of his Linux-loving roommate.

Re:RBS, Linus, Guido Python, Larry Perl (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392557)

Ah, but did he pronounce it "LEE-nooks"?

Re:RBS, Linus, Guido Python, Larry Perl (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28392379)

Obviously this is a play on names:
Larry made Perl
Guido made Python
Linus (should've been Linux)
RMS = RBS = Richard Batshit-crazy Stallman

Re:RBS, Linus, Guido Python, Larry Perl (1)

dasheiff (261577) | more than 5 years ago | (#28393207)

>>with characters such as RBS, Linus, Guido Python, Larry Perl, etc.
>Um..... RMS, Linus Torvalds, Guido van Rossum, Larry Wall

First of all RBS is like Voltimort you can't say his name.
Second, we are all on a first name basis with Linus.
Third, Python has clearly become the programming language of choice.
Fourth, except to take down a system wall isn't really used. Perl is used slightly more often.

Re:RBS, Linus, Guido Python, Larry Perl (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#28397813)

Actually RMS has now merged with RBS. Collectively, they're now known as the Royal Bank of Stallman. You can put money in, but only if you agree that anyone can take it out.

(this is a joke, by the way, and should not in any way be taken as a criticism of RMS, his principles, or the Free Software movement)

The "Doctor Who" Model? (3, Funny)

Itninja (937614) | more than 5 years ago | (#28390305)

You mean the model where something is only deemed entertaining because everything else is either soccer or BBC news? And after a decade or so people just stop caring and the the whole things becomes a kind of national joke? That model?

Re:The "Doctor Who" Model? (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 5 years ago | (#28390351)

As dorky as Doctor Who might be to a lot of us, it wouldn't be such a staple of television if it were a ratings distaster. Somewhere out there enough people are watching it.

Re:The "Doctor Who" Model? (1)

bickerdyke (670000) | more than 5 years ago | (#28390701)

What is this "soccer-thingy" you're talking about?
Never saw anything like that on a british channel.

Re:The "Doctor Who" Model? (2, Interesting)

Eevee (535658) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391115)

Association football. It's that thing happening down on the pitch between the outbreaks of fights up in the stands between rival gangs of hooligans. From wikipedia: The term soccer originated in England, first appearing in the 1880s as a slang abbreviation of the word "association"

Re:The "Doctor Who" Model? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28394531)

You mean the model where something is only deemed entertaining because everything else is either soccer or BBC news?

I thought it was cheese or snow.

That's all well and good but what if you get a tit (3, Insightful)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#28390389)

For example, that Eccelson chap was a good first pick. When he sharted off to go do other things, Tennant was a good replacement. But now that Tennant is ready to pass the baton, the new pick they have looks like a total tit with his flock of seagulls hair. We might be stuck with a Doctor firmly entrenched in the 80's with all that entails. Simply naff.

Re:That's all well and good but what if you get a (2)

chriseyre2000 (603088) | more than 5 years ago | (#28390537)

Eccelson was the ninth pick...

Re:That's all well and good but what if you get a (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391155)

I don't mean to pick on you, but I think you are being overly picky. He meant the first pick of the modern Dr. Who.

Re:That's all well and good but what if you get a (2, Funny)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 5 years ago | (#28393559)

You mean Eccelston wasn't even considered for the part back in 1963 (when the first series started) when he was -1 years old (born in 1964)?

Funny ... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28390405)

a reborn project is what the open source community already calls "forking".

WT?

-Hackus

where does microsoft play in all this (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 5 years ago | (#28390511)

the daleks?, cybermen? somebody has to be the badguy in this show...

Re:where does microsoft play in all this (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28390675)

Cybermen. Embrace, extend, extinguish. The Daleks usually skip the first two parts, though in the case of the Bad Wolf arc finale-duology and at least one of the Cult of Skaro episodes, they've taken all three steps.

Re:where does microsoft play in all this (1)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 5 years ago | (#28390799)

Microsoft should be the Daleks, because Steve can be Davros. After all, they are both closely associated with their chair...

Re:where does microsoft play in all this (3, Funny)

Chrutil (732561) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391195)

the daleks?, cybermen? somebody has to be the badguy in this show...

Well, if anyone is the daleks my pick would be Oracle.
Running around pointing and screaming "Exterminate" is totally Larry Ellson'ish.

Re:where does microsoft play in all this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28392573)

Definitely Cybermen. Especially since Bill Gates is usually portrayed as a Borg, and the Cybermen were Borg before the Borg.

Not even the later-model Luvic Cybermen either. The original-series model Cybermen, who became increasingly unstable as the series progressed.

So, you're telling me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28390533)

... that every two weeks development and research will stop because the friggin' Daleks are back, and the Cybermen have destroyed the lab and upgraded the research team AGAIN? Sounds like a bad idea to me...

A Change of Direction? (2, Funny)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 5 years ago | (#28390579)

And if the project lays dormant for a while and comes back in a completely new direction that doesn't even match up with where the project previously was, they'll just make up a "Time War" to explain away the differences.

Re:A Change of Direction? (1)

darth_borehd (644166) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391013)

The Time War was covered in the Big Finish audio productions.

Re:A Change of Direction? (1)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391575)

When? I've kept myself fairly familiar with Big Finish and am not aware of one set in the Time War. In fact, in their own FAQ [bigfinish.com] they state:

We are unable to feature the Time War in any of our stories for the reasons given in the previous answer.

The previous answer being:

The terms of our licence with the BBC allow us to only produced 'Classic' Doctor Who. This means that we can only use the first eight Doctors and their companions. Anything connected to the new series - even characters who are no longer featured - cannot be used by us in a Big Finish Doctor Who production.

What about the other models? (2, Funny)

uncledrax (112438) | more than 5 years ago | (#28390671)

I dunno, I think there might be something here, but also expand on it:

The Dalek model: One strong personality creates the project, and gets it to a first release.. then the other developers overthrow him, split the project, wage holy war upon the rest of the world (and each other), but occasionally bring back the original founder for their own reasons.. overall the project won't die since it's still popular with the masses even though everyone knows it's evil. (I submit 'Joomla [joomla.org] /Mambo [mambo-foundation.org] ' for this model)

The Cybermen Model: Have a basic idea/product, but adapt it to every possible platform known to man even though there's little change between them. (I submit as an example the 'Nuke' CMS)

The "Brigadier Sir Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart" model: A project led by a Scottish project lead for the sole-purpose of getting tax credits [slashdot.org]

The Big Two. . . (2, Insightful)

Fantastic Lad (198284) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391215)

The Master Model: Ego-maniacal evil super-geek genius builds a kind of cool but scarily 'wrong' empire with no moral center, which woos the sheeple into obedience and generally locks down the whole of creation, apparently because lots of people being free and happy is a bad thing. I'm sure there's at least one world-spanning all-mighty software company out there which follows this model, but it is better not to utter its name aloud. . .

As for the Cyberman Model. . . A design ethic which envisions Smooth, Sleek, Uniform technology with the mission-statement of dumbing down and alleviating humanity of having to think about anything difficult through the use of simple but elegant ear pods? Whoever can pull off con jobs of that size and scope must also be an evil genius super-geek, though probably one who is somewhat easier to sympathize with. After all, he just wants to remove suffering and complexity from the human equation.

Open Source is very Doctor Who. Cobbled together from shared resources by a rag-tag team of unpaid geniuses who seem to derive altogether too much enjoyment from life while spreading the fruits of their labors far and wide.

The Doctor is Dead, Long Live the Doctor!

-FL

Re:What about the other models? (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392875)

The Dalek model: One strong personality creates the project, and gets it to a first release.. then the other developers overthrow him, split the project, wage holy war upon the rest of the world (and each other), but occasionally bring back the original founder for their own reasons.. overall the project won't die since it's still popular with the masses even though everyone knows it's evil.

We're aware of how Linux distros/forks came into being, thanks.

6th Doctor... (2, Funny)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 5 years ago | (#28390753)

So that makes Hans Reiser the 6th Doctor, right?

The Valeyard... (1)

snarfies (115214) | more than 5 years ago | (#28390757)

Don't forget The Valeyard [wikia.com] .

The Valeyard is a future and presumably final regeneration of The Doctor who turns to EVIL in order to extend his life.

See also Twiki [slashdot.org] .

Re:The Valeyard... (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 5 years ago | (#28395465)

Came to find the Valeyard reference... ...and I found it.

Thank you very much.

Personally, ... (3, Funny)

ikirudennis (1138621) | more than 5 years ago | (#28390789)

I find the "Dread Pirate Roberts" Model to be the most effective model for open source.

Re:Personally, ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28390915)

This would seem to more closely fit the "Hans Reiser" model because of the daily threat of being killed the following morning.

Doctor Who Has Limited Regenerations (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391017)

Of course, this analogy only goes so far, since Doctor Who (as stated in Season 15, with Tom Baker) only has a total of thirteen regenerations and then death is permanent.

Re:Doctor Who Has Limited Regenerations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28391799)

Yeah, but you forget the tymy-wymy wibbli-wobbly thingamajig. That saves him, but tuns him into a woman. I bet his real name is Gizelle and she went through a sex change before when she was young and looked into the space-time vortex. Due to a nearby temporal shift he half-switched gender with the Face Of Boa, who in reality was a super-manly straight guy that often appeared on posters inviting time-girls to the local strip clubs. Unluckily the Doctor was also thrown in to the time war in the middle of the Darlek invasion. Due to the change still not settling in he experienced a massive pms and a testosterone rush at the same time. The Darleks and the time lords never stood a change against such a vile beast. Ashamed he swore to himself never to reveal his tale to anyone ever. Except me of course. I caught him in a pub drunk as a skunk. Could stop talking. Until Martha came and dragged him away.

Re:Doctor Who Has Limited Regenerations (1)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 5 years ago | (#28393753)

Twelve regenerations, thirteen lives. The Thirteenth Doctor was last seen frightening the hell out of the government in the company of a large number of Gurkhas. Of course she was the Doctor from a rather different part of the timey wimey ball, so it's anybody's guess whether she's actually going to have will been existing now.

(Thanks to Dr. Streetmentioner for that last bit of grammar).

Re:Doctor Who Has Limited Regenerations (1)

khellendros1984 (792761) | more than 5 years ago | (#28395161)

I'm pretty sure that they'll find some way to grant the Doctor an extra set of regenerations, or something. It's not like they're going to just *stop* the series because an actor decides to pursue other interests.

Missing option (1)

greenguy (162630) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391085)

The "Hawkeye Pierce" model of open source is still my favorite.

Re:Missing option (2, Informative)

owlnation (858981) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391267)

The "Hawkeye Pierce" model of open source is still my favorite.

You jest perhaps... but you are on to something there!

Hawkeye disrespected petty bureaucracy, rebelled in general against closed-mindedness, thought laterally to solve problems, had fun, and always thought of the patient's need first.

That sounds exactly like the right way to run any organization!

Re:Missing option (2, Insightful)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392705)

Actually, it's an excellent model for personal behavior, but I'm not sure if it works for an organization. Herding cats is trivially easy compared to herding Hawkeye Pierces. Any cooperation and coordination between them is ad-hoc and short-lived. No one can be a member of an organization, or claim to be qualified to lead one, while calling themselves a "maverick". :p

It could work if your job was a T.V. Show (1)

Dragon_Eater (829389) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391113)

It could work if all your projcts were episodic in nature. If you never had to revisit old code or have more that one person work on a project at a time. Think your favorite fast food place, they change managment constatly but because the problems they face never last more that a shift at a time it works out

Re:It could work if your job was a T.V. Show (1)

tibman (623933) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391689)

It's a good thing the Doctor only had to deal with the Daleks once

I have to say it now... (1)

tekproxy2 (1386447) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391327)

Does this mean open source projects will have to start worrying about the Daleks? EX - TER - MIN - ATE!

fork (1)

merrickm (1192625) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391899)

So does this mean the other Doctor born out of the original's severed hand last season would represent a fork? Which I guess would make Rose a developer who defects. . .

Don't Blink! (1)

SockPuppet_9_5 (645235) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392167)

I suppose this would make Sally Sparrow as the program feature everyone using once during the beta testing, but left out of the final RTM version.

Menudo (2, Funny)

Ukab the Great (87152) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392461)

Key members of the project being replaced after a certain amount of time would be more aptly named the Menudo Model Of Open Source.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menudo_(band)

Another sci fi strategy (2, Insightful)

nausea_malvarma (1544887) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392673)

As long as were drawing models from science fiction, may I suggest a "Last Starfighter" system of open source? We scatter special arcade games all across the world. Kid's think they are playing a simple game, when in reality they are training to become project managers of the future in the war against closed source and proprietary software. Also, Richard Stallman gets a spaceship.

Re:Another sci fi strategy (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392845)

Thats called Crowd-sourcing, and CNN and the other news outlets have been using blogs for that for the past few years already.

Fortunately Stallman will never get a spaceship, his fat lazy hippie ass is hardly space worthy.

Re:Another sci fi strategy (1)

nausea_malvarma (1544887) | more than 5 years ago | (#28395719)

So your saying well have to keep him here on earth? What a drag. We could have been rid of him.

Re:Another sci fi strategy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28399551)

Fortunately Stallman will never get a spaceship, his fat lazy hippie ass is hardly space worthy.

Hey, I find that insulting. I mean, lazy? Did you see the sheer number of fucking speaking engagements I have to run around the world to do? It's gotten so bad I can barely find 20 spare minutes to comb the gnu/beard!

  But seriously, folks, use Gnu EMACS.

Re:Another sci fi strategy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28392927)

+1

A point well made ... (2, Insightful)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392807)

Thanks for pointing out that using such a fucking horrible idea in your TV show is a horrible fucking idea for your OSS project as well.

I absolutely can not fucking stand the change of the Doctor. I understand the plot device, I understand that it makes it easy to replace the staring role if theres a problem, and I still think it is the most retarded plot device in the history of man, well short of that giant space worm in StarWars.

Just like the TV show, this sort of thing isn't a GOOD IDEA, its a great backup plan, but is fucking retarded if you plan on doing it on a regular basis, intentionally or otherwise. Bringing in new blood and ideas is fine, new leadership every few years is a good way to get no where as they all step in and prevent the work from the last guy from being completed because this new guy has an entirely different view of the world.

Re:A point well made ... (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 5 years ago | (#28394993)

Bringing in new blood and ideas is fine, new leadership every few years is a good way to get no where as they all step in and prevent the work from the last guy from being completed because this new guy has an entirely different view of the world.

So you're talking about the U.S Presidential Office model?...

And plain old democracy? (1)

Dynamus (591600) | more than 5 years ago | (#28393021)

At least big enough project could vote for new leaders. And those who vote are those who most contributed to the project. Could it work?

I fear that many projects will be assigned to me (1)

Dr.Who (146770) | more than 5 years ago | (#28397853)

based on my Slashdot ID.

wouldyoulikeajellybaby (1)

smoker2 (750216) | more than 5 years ago | (#28398283)

Classic
LOL
Best nutter^H^H^H^H Doctor evar !
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