Update about Brainstorm

As can be read from Jono's blog, Brainstorm has basically effectively been discontinued. It strikes odd, that this decision was made seemingly so rapidly, and it seems without a lot of community input, despite it was a community tool.

Of particular interest seems to be the reasons given for retiring this tool.

Jono explains, that a tool like Brainstorm does not fit the traditional way of how Open Source operates, which, as to Jono's explanation, is to scratch one's own itch. This seems to be in some way contradictory to Mark's musings in which he laments the 1337 crowd, which it seems, does exactly that.... scratching their own itches.

In some way, it seems very confusing when one tries to follow the direction of Ubuntu lately. Ubuntu has not been scratching the itches of your's truly for quite some time. Does this mean, your's truly should retire Ubuntu? Or develop something else that truly scratches the itch? If so, all the synergies will be lost. We will create an even more fragmented environment that already exists. We need to think about if we can be on one train, or if everyone wants to be in an individual car?

It is confusing why Ubuntu is so focus on mobile devices? Do those mobile devices or Ubuntu on those mobile devices scratch the itch of the people how contribute to Ubuntu, or was this direction and strategy mainly taken because it is the emerging market, while the desktop is at least stagnant?

Personally, your's truly has no purpose for those mobile devices which seem to be only good for one thing... touching like and +1 buttons. None of the daily work done on this computer can be done on a mobile device. It seems very odd to neglect the source of income for some play that society wastes their time with to forget about their work. However, this puts your's truly apparently into the 1337 crowd. (Looking around for rolling eyeballs)

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Comments

I think for anybody who has been watching the bigger picture for a few years can see that BrainStorm has just become a place where stuff gets dumped, ignored and forgotten. The only people that use it are the desperate (please fix this bug!) and the over-enthusiastic (I think this is the best idea ever!)

In order for the system to work properly there needed to be better controls:
- Community moderation to keep duplicates down (and off-topic bug reports out)
- People to say "Yeah, we can't do this". There's a lot of upstream stuff that would either conflict with upstream or just wouldn't be compatible.
- Somebody to maintain the design.

That has been the situation for years and that state has scared developers away from it. It's just a glorified wishlist. There's no scope for having a really sensible technical discussion on there to develop an idea through to a blueprint or code.

It's not an impossible task to tackle but I do think the existing version does have to be sacrificed to get there.

There is no problem with the arguments. The issue is the absence of an alternative. Are there any plans to implement what you are proposing here? Or is it like Jono says, everybody should organise themselves to get their itches scratched?

As a non-Canonical, non-developer volunteer who has contributed *lots* of time to Brainstorm, I say most solemnly that the underlying assumptions and logic behind the discussion so far are sound. Brainstorm has NOT achieved its promise. Other methods of participation and feedback ARE more effective.

Could the dicussion have been handled better? Sure, there's a perception of heavyhandedness that people will latch onto. That's a management issue, not a goal. It's false perception - I've been trying to drum up more developer participation in Brainstorm, grow realistic ideas to improve Brainstorm, and more improvements for *years*...without notable success.

Some people will latch onto the problems of Brainstorm as an example of "Ubuntu/Canonical/Mark doesn't listen." Untrue. Lots of listening goes on in many venues. Ubuntu and the community have changed *lots* since Brainstorm went live in 2008. AskUbuntu, virtual UDS, G+, huge improvements in the Forums and Launchpad, and formalization of the roles of Teams, their IRC channels and Mailing Lists - all that after Brainstorm. And lots of listening happens in each of those venues.

Thanks, for the post.

To clarify, my primary point is about taking things from ideas to reality. A website that simply captures ideas that no one looks at is not that useful - it doesn't actually help deliver those ideas to user. My point was that we can better equip our community with the skills to make their ideas a reality and form small groups to implement them. I don't think this makes us less of a community...quite the opposite...I don't want our community to depend on a false prophet that provides the illusion of ideas transitioning to reality when it doesn't.

Thanks for the clarification, Jono. I think this is a very important discussion that needs to be held, and it is very good to get different perspectives. I think Ubuntu, and maybe the wider Linux community is at a fork in the road and we should be all aware of the different ways that the path may lead us.

I guess the reference to the false prophet means Brainstorm being a false prophet creating the illusion that ideas will be implemented if the votes are high enough?

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