The Problem of Sunsetting Ubuntu Brainstorm

Yesterday, it has been suggested to sunset Ubuntu brainstorm. While the arguments on the surface make a lot of sense, a bigger problem seem to be not as much in the focus of the discussion as it maybe should be.

Ubuntu is in a tremendous danger of losing what is understood to be a "community" distribution. Well, community in the sense of a wider community that is substantially larger than Canonical (it can always be claimed Canonical as being a community :-))

The replacement for Ubuntu Brainstorm is supposed to be launchpad. Certainly not a very user friendly, nor a very efficient platform for this purpose. After having done a lot of bug triage some years ago, and discontinued it due to the experience that most of the bug reports on launchpad are just ignored or shoveled around, it seems unlikely that a lot of "wishlist bug reports" being submitted to launchpad instead of Ubuntu Brainstorm will be picked up.

Furthermore, launchpad does not seem to be a very effective place to deal with ideas that need to evolve until they become what can be implemented.

As a result, for better or worth, this action potentially will be seen by outsiders to the Ubuntu community as well as members of the Ubuntu community that already feel disenfranchised as additional reasons why they feel that they easy cannot easily contribute to Ubuntu, or why their contributions are ignored.

This may not be fair, but this is how life is. Most likely it would look visually better to replace Ubuntu Brainstorm with a platform that works better and solved the raised issues. However, it does not seem that either the motivation or the resources for such a solution exist, irrelevant how beneficial it would be.

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Comments

I do not think it will have a impact in reality I think if you look historically not many ideas if really any have been adopted from brainstorm. I think either wishlist bugs or a new improved platform could be a better solution then brainstorm.

It may be that it did not work as well as it maybe should. However, it was a very important show of community involvement. Not everybody is able to implement ideas, nor to get them accepted.

As I said, if it did not work, it would be important to figure out why it does not work as expected and what could be done about it. If the ability to participate in such way is just taken away it creates the appearance that the community does not have any input.

Well, I go out of town for two measly days, and someone tries to sunset Brainstorm. Since I check the Planet before catching up on Ubuntu-devel, thanks for letting me know!

I think the arguments make a lot of sense for sunsetting Brainstorm...from a developer perspective. However, the purpose of Brainstorm is to enhance the entire community. From the community perspective, I think Brainstorm still has a lot of value.

Thanks for helping to express that value.

I would certainly love feedback from the developer community on how Brainstorm can be more relevant and useful to devs.

Ian Weisser
Brainstorm Admin

The problem with brainstorm is that developers never paid much attention to it. I did go through it a few times when it was new, but I never found anything I thought worth volunteering my time to work on that I hadn't already considered. I agree with your assessment of Canonical versus the broader community, but I don't think sunsetting brainstorm is a particular example of it.

Brianstorm came about very quickly shortly after Dell rolled out their brainstorm to great acclaim and success. Canonical jumped on the bandwagon without a lot of thought and then got distracted when they moved on to the next shiny object. That's another Canonical pattern and one this is a great case study for.

I agree Scott. I am more concerned about the perception it may create than about the website itself. However, I do think it would be important to find something similar to Brainstorm that does work, and it would have been good to replace it with that, instead of just leaving a vacuum.

> I am more concerned about the perception it may create

Its a bit too late to worry about perceptions now.
And to be honest, I really dont think they care.
Too many times they've fumbled very simple things and have blown off those that were once collaborators.

True believers wont care so they can feel justified to simply use a popular meme and say that 'haters are gonna hate'. Its simpler that way since the onus is placed on the 'haters' who are presented as unreasonable people.

I think Grasslin did an amazing intro about this in one of his blogs where he explains that he holds no animosity but hates being lied to and about by others.
Which I think is hilarious really since Canonical and Bacon boy prize themselves as being communicators supreme but cant be bothered using these skills with those that share (used to) the same ecosystem.
Maybe its having a Microsoftie as Canonical VP, maybe its simply mistakes after mistakes after mistakes but when you right book about how to communicate with communities I would presume youd be eating your own dog food and put that in practice. But communication is more than simply control the direction of the discourse as media handlers like Bacon like to do.

Side bar about massaging the message:
While we all know that Ubuntu has gone out of its way to distance itself from any other desktop than Unity and having cut any funding to Kubuntu, its pretty funny to hear Bacon speak of Ubuntu and 'its other flavours' when trying to get community members to do free work.
When its business time, the others dont exists anymore now but when its time for free work, then were all a big happy Buntu family.
I think thats in Pop Psych 101 for Dummies.

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