Developer Update Timescales Discussion

Reply to: MaidSafe Dev Update 15th December 2015

@iJRN asked for this to be public so after sending the PM I’m reposting here…

@Al_kafir,

Yes it is my opinion, but it wasn’t just opinion. You present the
thing as being resolved much earlier in the thread, whereas each of my
posts (right down to post 100) was a response to someone again repeating
the theme of wanting timescales (already answered as you point out),
saying at this stage it should be possible but not addressing reasons
given why it isn’t etc.

MaidSafe have long known that we want more detail on this, and
whenever people again ask the question they say they’ll give more detail
on timescales as soon as that’s possible. So this was not something
new. You’ve been on this forum a long time now - how many times have
people asked for this, and how many times have MaidSafe responded with
more detail on timescales?

What they have responded with is a lot more detail in the form of
roadmaps, sprint goals, tasks on Jira and so on, allowed us to follow
things in incredible detail on github, provided superb regular weekly
updates on progress. But, perhaps for for the reasons I gave, have had
to remain very cautious about saying how long things will take,
including sprints.

They have revealed that sprints are intended to take about 2-3 weeks,
but will take as long as necessary. And we soon saw that the reality
varied a lot from sprint to sprint. Some took a 2-3 weeks, one might
have been completed in a week - I can’t remember exactly - but we had
one take four or five weeks I think.

Now Rust-5, is very much anticipated because we get to play properly,
is also critical to the success of the project, but has taken even
longer and is still going. So it is not surprising that we have had
signs of anxiety and impatience, and speculation about what this means,
with several people asking for more detail on timescales generally, or to
the “launch”, or for this sprint etc. and some rather unhelpful speculation
on the situation.

MaidSafe tried estimating delivery dates for for the public test
network at least twice that I know of much earlier in the project (one
of which you witnessed about a year ago), but they failed for whatever
reason. This was not good for the project I expect you will agree, and
so for the last year they’ve been resolute in their caution about
raising expectations they might then not meet.

At the same time, every time there have been requests for “when”,
they’ve repeatedly said they’ll give more detail as soon as they are
able. For this sprint, what they (still) say is “a few more weeks”. If
one person had asked "how long do you think this sprint will take now?"
and they’d just said that, there would not have been 100 posts on the
topic, but that isn’t what happened.

No-one has said you shouldn’t ask or post anything you want. Its up
to each of us to judge whether what was posted on that thread, from all
points of view, was helpful or not to MaidSafe and the project. I think
some of what was posted was unhelpful, and I saw a building up of
distrust and demands on the issue, which I felt I could address. What
got me started was the post by Tonda, and it affected the tone of my
first post on the issue, which has obviously detracted from the message.
That was an error.

You ask whether I know from the devs themselves what they think about
this. Pretty obviously they are wise to stay out of this, so I haven’t
asked and I don’t want them to tell me things that it would not be fair
for me to share in order to justify what I’ve said. Regardless, not knowing this doesn’t
affect the validity of my experience and reasoning. They are wise to
keep out of this and I fully support them in leaving the community to
debate this amongst ourselves.

I’m telling you what I know from having worked as a developer and
occasionally project manager on complex projects like this for decades.
Given what I know about this kind of development from doing it in a
similar environment (in small teams and in a startup), on similar
projects (speculative, innovative, using new tools, techniques to build
unproven solutions), I felt it important and useful to share that
knowledge with people who don’t have experience in this area, or as we
saw, didn’t always appreciate the difference between tasks that can be
estimated reliably (something similar to what’s been done previously)
and those which can’t (never been done before).

So no, I don’t know what the MaidSafe devs think about the debate or
what I’ve said, and I don’t need or want them to get involved in this.
If people don’t agree with me, that’s fine as always, but I like to
respond where I think things are incorrect, incomplete, misunderstood
etc.

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Why do you create a new topic for this and not continue talking at the OP? People will lose track of the conversation if you continue here as you only tagged me and Al Kafir.

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I replied as linked topic because I regard it as off-topic and I think of limited interest. Unfortunately the “reply as linked topic” feature hasn’t created the links it should have to enable people to follow it so I’ll add those manually.

BTW I was also asked by one of the other mods to do this after he saw your post - but I would have anyway for the reasons I’ve given.

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Yeah - keep it public,

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I think I said it was resolved to mine and others’satisfaction, not really presenting anything.other than that

OK…so some others were continuing to ask for timescales, after we’d been told by devs when to expect timescales you mean? OK…I didn’t notice this, but can accept that. So you were basically continuing to engage in this debate?[quote=“happybeing, post:1, topic:6370”]
saying at this stage it should be possible but not addressing reasons given why it isn’t etc.
[/quote]
Ah…OK…got you, as I said I didn’t notice…I was satisfied by earlier answers so wasn’t paying attention to ongoing debate properly.[quote=“happybeing, post:1, topic:6370”]
MaidSafe have long known that we want more detail on this, and whenever people again ask the question they say they’ll give more detail on timescales as soon as that’s possible
[/quote]
Yes, more explanation was needed I think. What’s the timescale on it becoming possible to give a time-scale? What would make it possible? Just saying,[quote=“happybeing, post:1, topic:6370”]
So this was not something new.
[/quote]
No…[quote=“happybeing, post:1, topic:6370”]
how many times have people asked for this, and how many times have MaidSafe responded with more detail on timescales?
[/quote]
I don’t know the answer to these questions.[quote=“happybeing, post:1, topic:6370”]
What they have responded with is a lot more detail in the form of roadmaps
[/quote]
But both of those changed and a new one is being created, so currently we don’t know the roadmap - logically…just saying…not a criticism.

Did you read my comments around this and communication with non-coders?[quote=“happybeing, post:1, topic:6370”]
But, perhaps for for the reasons I gave, have had to remain very cautious
[/quote]
perhaps… :smile:[quote=“happybeing, post:1, topic:6370”]
They have revealed that sprints are intended to take about 2-3 weeks, but will take as long as necessary.
[/quote]
Yes, I think I understand this - after rust 5, there will be a series of sprints for various things that will be in a roadmap - some sprints may take longer for various unforeseen reasons - I get this, which is why I was satisfied with dev answers given[quote=“happybeing, post:1, topic:6370”]
So it is not surprising that we have had signs of anxiety and impatience
[/quote]
No, it isn’t - from all sides really…leading to worries being expressed emotionally, people getting prickly and defensive etc - all perfectly understandable.[quote=“happybeing, post:1, topic:6370”]
MaidSafe tried estimating delivery dates for for the public test network at least twice
[/quote][quote=“happybeing, post:1, topic:6370”]
but they failed for whatever reason.
[/quote][quote=“happybeing, post:1, topic:6370”]
This was not good for the project I expect you will agree
[/quote]
I’d say it had some negative effects, but delays were explained and we’re still all here. This also seems to pre-suppose that this was definitely the worst thing to do, with the most negative effects and that not giving time-scales would be problem free - I don’t believe it would be.
To take your argument back to the crowd sale - would it have been beneficial to the project to announce to all potential investors that no time scales would be given? Why wasn’t this argument used then? The argument seems to be that we fell off that horse twice…it hurt, so we ain’t riding again - ignoring all the negative impacts of not riding or having a horse (how tortured an analogy was that!..lol).

Not quite sure what the problem is here - the 100 posts? Yes, people went on debating each other for some time after initial concerns appeared to have been addressed/explained.[quote=“happybeing, post:1, topic:6370”]
No-one has said you shouldn’t ask or post anything you want. Its up to each of us to judge whether what was posted on that thread, from all points of view, was helpful or not to MaidSafe and the project.
[/quote]
Is it? I didn’t realise the criteria for making posts was being helpful to Maidsafe and the project - forum rules seem to suggest they just have to add to the conversation, not be trolling, abusive etc? People will have their own opinions on the matter, same as you really.[quote=“happybeing, post:1, topic:6370”]
I think some of what was posted was unhelpful,
[/quote]
By me…or others? I admit the “helpfulness” of the “Staff photo” might not be immediately apparent… :smiley: - but it was I think. I joked to try and lighten the mood of what was a quite heated topic…loads of things I post aren’t particularly helpful to Maidsafe though…[quote=“happybeing, post:1, topic:6370”]
What got me started was the post by Tonda, and it affected the tone of my first post on the issue,
[/quote]
Yes, I understand that and appreciate the honesty. We all get fired up and upset from time to time - I still do too…remember when I used to be a total nightmare?..lol. The project is something you care very deeply about…that’s obvious…hence the tone comes across as overly defensive - perfectly understandable. :smiley:

Hmmmm…I think it does really, for the previous reasons and alternative “opinion” I gave. It’s a valid opinion, the same as my example valid opinion…that’s all.[quote=“happybeing, post:1, topic:6370”]
They are wise to keep out of this and I fully support them in leaving the community to debate this amongst ourselves.
[/quote]
Which is what we are doing and what we should be doing - the devs can pick the bones out of anything said, gauge opinion etc - it is a very helpful thing in itself for Maidsafe I think - whatever people’s opinions are. :smiley:[quote=“happybeing, post:1, topic:6370”]
I felt it important and useful to share that knowledge with people who don’t have experience in this area,
[/quote]
You are an asset to Maidsafe and the community and your input and commitment do not go un-noticed or un-appreciated…maybe something I’ve been remiss in not saying before. :smiley:[quote=“happybeing, post:1, topic:6370”]
If people don’t agree with me, that’s fine as always, but I like to respond where I think things are incorrect, incomplete, misunderstood etc.
[/quote]
That’s great and don’t stop…I won’t either…let the debates continue!..lol :smiley:
Edit:
Not sure why these posts have been moved off front page to off-topic by mods - clearly it is very on-topic relevant and of interest to the general community? What’s off-topic about it?

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I didn´t say a lot in the other thread, but somehow I feel urged to comment on the way how some community members treated other community members who discussed the need for timescales. In reaction to posts that discussed timescales I read a lot of posts which addressed the Maidsafe team like “Everything´s fine. I trust in you, don´t stress out, I know you are going to do just fine”. I think it´s rather this type of comments that put people under preasure, since it clearly demonstrates a profund doubt about the project if the mere discussion of timescales causes this kind of reaction.

I still believe that the fact that there are no timescales at all is what causes most trouble, because some people start to believe the testnet will come in one of the next weeks update. Of course, it was just for the fun of it, but wasn´t it you, @happybeing, who asked people to quickly finish their websites due to progress that have been made back in October(!)? Also look at the “launch speculation” threads. It´s this kind of simmering with excitement that creates unrealistic expectations, not the discussion of timescales. I said that it was much better to give a timeframe that leaves enough time for all sort of unpredictabilities. Speaking of weeks rather than months is again putting more pressure than it is helpful.

So I believe it´s really counterproductive how some people deal with concerns about the unwillingness to make estimations when the original product was announced a year earlier. Not being able to discuss doubts without causing a backlash of “everything is fine” comments raises doubts about the project.

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This is now in off-topic and comments removed from front page again - I don’t understand what’s off-topic about it, or why it is thought uninteresting to the community, given that the last thread had 100 posts and nobody has asked to shut the conversation down. Surely this is on-topic, of interest and relevant?
I’m becoming concerned that now not only any critical/questioning conversations/issues concerning modding have been moved off front page, but now also similar conversations about Maidsafe have been too – I don’t get the logic and it leaves mods wide open to accusations of shutting down conversations they just don’t like……come on….first continue by PM, then in off-topic? Why?

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LOL! For real? Think of the thread relevance of this very post…could that not have been private?:sweat: My post is indeed contradictory but also expletive. Those will likely pass, as they try to (in effect) avoid more questioning by stimulative pondering. The system isn’t perfect, but I’d prefer a greater density of structured relevant data than easily re-positioned data convolution. Feel me?:relaxed: Oh, and did I tell you previous silica deposits in my interstitial cell repository seems to be reverting to the unusable. Inorganics and its callous emotion void deterioration seeks my post organic uniformity.:wink:

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Dude, I love you.:neutral_face: Please don’t nuke me!!! :frowning:

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Due to popular demand, I’ve changed the category from off-topic to development. My mistake, it didn’t seem the right place at the time, and I’m still not sure it is but it will do.

There are various sources of pressure, and I’m sure watching us get excited is one of them - but at the same time it is a positive source of encouragement and inspiration. I’m quite sure the Devs would not want us to hide this in order to alleviate pressure.

But this doesn’t mean that a thread of the nature we had was therefore, not creating pressure, or also good in write the same way.

Speaking more generally now…

Maybe the Devs don’t mind what happened in that thread either - maybe I’m being over protective. That’s OK - this can keep us busy and let them get in with the important stuff, which they are most into anyway I’m sure.

I’m not saying people can’t or should not ask. I’ve explained in great detail above (in my response at the top of this topic) what I was responding to and why. And that if someone had just asked when this or that would be done, and MaidSafe had said, we’ll let you know as soon as we can, and that was that, then fine. All to be expected, and not a great source of pressure in itself. But what we have in that thread was not that, so I responded to what I thought was unhelpful, and have explained several times why.

I’m aware that the forceful manner in which I responded might have triggered some of the responses in the thread. I think strong feelings should be OK here within limits of respect etc, but all the same I’ve acknowledged that was to me a mistake, several times now, and apologised for it (as well as explained why that happened).

I have other things I need to give time to now, so I may not respond immediately or indeed any more on this. Also, because my intention was to help MaidSafe and I think that time has passed on this issue. Whether it did or not is something for me to judge, so I’ll reflect on that for the future. IMO it’s everyone’s job to take responsibility for what they do and reflect on the impact it has. Nobody needs to listen to a word I’ve said, but I’m glad many do.

This is a great community, and worthy of the project, so I’m privileged to be a part of it. I’m sorry I get too big for my boots when I feel strongly, and I hope you’ll forgive me for that. I do good things too :smile:

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@Al_Kafir having written the above before reading your post I just want to acknowledge it and say thanks for the kind things you’ve said, and for your honesty about what you see, think etc. I don’t agree with all of it (surprise! :smile:) but I don’t want to debate anything you say further, so I’ll leave it there.

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I personally don’t mind too much (but appreciate your words a huge amount Mark), I know it did affect some folks in house a bit negatively and cause some mild panic. All Ok though I think after I posted a reply. It’s part of the job I think to see the critique and also to be thankful for the support as well as well placed criticism. A large part of the team don’t see the forum as much as many in the community especially in last 3-4 weeks when a bunch of us went into special forces mode :slight_smile:

So thanks everyone and I know the team do feel the anticipation and frustration with timescales. It is like standing in a pub with a friend you can say what you feel, but when we are more public we try and tread more carefully. Especially where there are people trading on safecoin and suchlike. Not all of these folks will be able to be as open and honest and perhaps even take things out of context to affect prices which can have a bad impact on good people.

So not berating traders (far from it) but just saying why I don’t get too involved with things that affect predictions.

What we are trying very hard to do is allow a clear visibility of progress so we can be measured against past performance figures (sprints help a lot). This should be better but routing did go astray and got caught later than it should have and caused a mini blip, a few week fix. It happens and during those times the team get very focussed and less inclined to say how long it will take. Like back in the lifeboat, we could never give a figure of how long a rescue would take, we could state on average it was X minutes, but that does not really help anyone, some rescues took many hours/days and were a great success, many took minutes, but regardless a timescale per rescue was no use at all. This is very similar. However, none of us cancelled dinners for 48 hours in advance etc. as rescues were unlikely to take that long, most of the time … I think that is the message here really, very unlikely to be long at all, but no promises of dates. Even if we could say there is an x% chance of 1 week and Y% of two weeks etc. many would be happy, but some would use it to hang us at the same time. So to keep a focus on getting to the finish we sometime choose a cautious and limited amount of info. A balance we will always get wrong for some, understandably.

Hope that makes sense.

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Been an active developer i would say that maidsafe is correct in saying they will provide more detail later. This because coding is a progressive thing which has no definitive constraints to work with. Hence the varying measures in delivery based on time and output.

Am sure the dev team would like to say something like in ABSOLUTELY 2 weeks we will have done this. But they can’t commit to that, reason been issues arise and scope of implementation changes in between. Hence rather than disappoint they are inclined to say in ABOUT 2-3 weeks they will deliver. This creates room to accommodate any difficulties that may arise.

Long story short, Its my firm belief that Maidsafe is doing a good job and updates the community in a timely manner.

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@dirvine David, I think we’re all looking forward to standing in that pub with you and the team, literally or metaphorically! :smile: :beers:

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It´s not about “hiding” excitement. It´s about creating unrealistic expectations, for instance by pointing people at progress in Jira and asking them to hurry up before testnet starts…

Some of us questioned the strategy not to announce any development timescales. Only that caused others to respond with rallying calls and downplaying the discussion. To me that´s a sign of weakness and doubt even though the community members state the opposite.

Someone mentioned that providing timescales is not rocket science and you commented that SAFE is in fact rocket science. I don´t know if that´s the case, maybe it is…but what I know is that rocket science as every other project oriented science works with roadmaps and strict timescales. It is not so relevant whether you meet the deadline - it´s relevant that you communicate how you intend to do it. That´s also why it was never a problem that the last roadmaps failed - it is a problem that they weren´t exchanged with better ones. Without roadmap and some sort of timescale project becomes intransparent no matter how many development updates you publish.

Personally I wouldn´t mind if Maidsafe launches a usuable network in 2017 or 2018. To me that´s better than not launching at all. In some cases it may be better not do any coding for one month and focus on how the project can be lead to success. I wouldn´t mind waiting, but I mind not knowing how it is going to be done. The fact that people worked on this project over a decade can be both: an indicator of good development and an indicator that it could easily take 10 more years. Same as the decision to switch to RUST may be understood as smart move or as flippant decision. For now as spectators we cannot say that for sure. Time will tell.

But what do I know? Maybe the team has an awesome timescale, but doesn´t want to reveal it for some reasons.

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Somewhat O/T but bear with me as it drifts back on topic.

Is there a page anywhere that details work that non-Rust folks can do?
I do not have the time or intellectual resources to learn Rust to a useful standard in a useful timeframe. So I’m really not much use on JIRA and the bounty side of things.
But there may be other work that I or others can do that is not solely focussed on Rust. Proof-reading etc.

Can we as a community shoulder some load that will allow the Troonites to spend as much time as possible on Rust code ?
Apologies if I havent looked hard enough in the right place.

Anyway if/when such a page exists, I propose that anyone asking about timescales is pointed at this page and told to come back and ask again once they have completed a couple of tasks.
Hopefully we get less pressure on the devs and the project as a whole works more efficiently because the devs are concentrating 100% on code. Also as more of us contribute, even in a small way, we get a better sense of community and to me at least, that matters.

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Never let your feet run faster than your shoes.
Scottish Proverb
keep slayin+ @dirvine

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Asking critical questions is in fact a service FOR the sake of the project. In your description it really sounds like a disservice. Why doesn’t that surpeise me?

Repeating again that ANYONE in the other thread who discussed roadmap/timescale complained about developers working to slow. We discussed transparency.

Looking at your proppsal it is clearly you who builds pressure by implicitly issuing the fear that developers waste their precious coding time…

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I’m sorry if it comes across that way.
Perhaps I should have phrased it better - my suggestion was meant to reinforce the idea that we are all in this together, whether as dev, trader, enthusiast, wannabe farmer, whatever - and as such if you ask how long its going to take, the answer is " Can’t say with 100% certainty but definitely a little bit less if we all lend a hand".

There is a difference between asking critical questions and continually pestering folk over deadlines that most of us now realise are impossible to predict.
I am 100% in favour of the former. As you say it is a service. Asking the same critical question over and over again is NOT a service, it’s counterproductive.

Spot on. This is a forum for openly discussing all aspects of the Safe Network, Devs have even stated themselves that it is helpful to them to assess community input etc. The defensiveness and “don’t go there” attitude of some and particularly the way these contentious topics, (usually seen as critical to devs or mods) comments and threads are moved about, is disturbing to say the least - it’s all this and various suggestions to move from full public view by way of PM, creating new pages, putting in off-topic, putting roadblocks to information/discussion, hoops to jump through etc, that causes the most potential harm to the project I think …much more than any open discussion about anything - it smacks of censorship and I believe this is becoming a more common perception as time goes on.
I think this is a massive shame and massively hypocritical, given what the Network is supposed to be all about. Nobody is tapping the devs on the shoulder or PMing them, just discussing on a forum - sod all distraction to devs!
This is all a similar response to when I drew attention to the fact that the modding recruitment process was also anti-thetical to the de-centralising of authority/consensus/governance vision of the Network - again, a group of people pinning badges on each other without any community input, immediately loses all credibility or legitimacy in their authority to basically shut conversation down. The inherent dangers of potential clique forming behaviour etc were pointed out, but again, this was all interpreted as personal attacks or unwarranted criticism and the whole topic category taken off front page.
All of this bollocks is the biggest threat to Safe as far as I can see…its becoming a pattern now and I’m finding it all leaving a bad taste in my mouth. Eventually, the way its going,(almost there) if you want to discuss any of the above or make constructive criticisms of aspects of development or modding , you will only be able to do it away from the front page, to a smaller audience, away in off-topic, or now Meta…shame… :tired_face:.

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