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A problem commonly encountered when somebody in charge of a company or political movement, or... do not see problems happening before it is too late because people dissatisfied just go to the other shop, use another product, or go to another movement without having the guts/bothering to warn the manager.

Similar in some ways to the Sacred Cow Syndrome, see Moo at the end of http://michael.yoon.org/arsdigita

-- ColasNahaboo - 05 Aug 2003

Projects that have quietly left

... quiet leavers like Gentoo-wiki, which is set up as Twiki-base in TWikiInstallation ( TWikiInstallation20030103083322 ), but currently runs on TikiWiki. I wonder how many more are like this one. Nice project for a volunteer with plenty of time wink

-- PeterMasiar - 12 Aug 2003

and less quietly

People who have quietly left

Scan down TWikiContributors - who do we no longer see contributing? Quite a few. I wonder why.

Now look at CoreTeam - it has been commented that MikeMannix has gone to live on a farm, but he is still listed as active core team. Why? Anyone heard from GrantBow? He always had good ideas - I know he went to work for the company that PeterThoeny works for, but with the privileges one gets from being a CoreTeam member I assert that it is reasonable to expect regular comment from each member.

and less quietly

  • MichaelSparks - (for the history, check CoffeeBreak).
    • Sometimes you try to leave, and are stopped. Shucks, looks like I'll have to stick around and make life better. I think the concept of FriendlyForks however deserves talking about however. ;-). -- MichaelSparks - 13 Aug 2003

-- MartinCleaver - 13 Aug 2003

It is always good to listen to potential issues. The CoreTeam is taking action based on this, see updated AppealToCodevCommunityByCoreTeam.

The number of twiki-dev subscriptions is an indication of developers' interest in TWiki. We always had subscriptions and unsubscriptions, the trend is growing. There might be a temporary drop if a forker draws some developers to a competing project, which at this time is not a surprise because of the confusion started by TWikiOrgInBreachOfGPL. The degree of corse depends on how critical developers value a rapid and stable advancement of the TWiki project.

For those who prefer to see the glass half full version on this topic see BeAwareOfQuietAdopters smile

-- PeterThoeny - 18 Aug 2003

The spirit of the quiet leavers warning has more to do with those who quietly leave twiki.org, who silently stop contributing to twiki's evolution, than with people who use twiki-the-software. This is does not belittle the BeAwareOfQuietAdopters topic, in any way whatsoever, it just doesn't speak to quite the same issue.

-- MattWilkie - 18 Aug 2003

Here's a view from a quiet leaver:

It was mostly lack of time that made me drop my TWiki projects.

Second, I found the TWiki code too unmodular to quickly get anything running.

Third, getting it installed was far too much of a challenge. Having to edit Perl code just to get it to run proved to be an, ahem, challenge - I hadn't done Perl before in my life (and Perl made a bad impression on me). This in itself wasn't a problem for me, but I was tempted to recommend it to other people, only to remember that they were essentially nonprogrammers.

Fourth, getting it designed was nearly impossible then. I spent hours just determining what color to use for each subweb. Skins were new and experimental at that time, and I couldn't use them, so I gather that this area has improved since then.

Fifth, I noticed an unhappy tendency to place all kinds of meta information within the pages. This opened up the road for all kinds of problems, such as unmaintainability for administrators with a nontechnical background, problems with page caching, and efficiency.

Sixth, it allowed (and, as I can see right now, still allows) full HTML markup. Sites that allow anonymous guests to insert malicious HTML flatly deny the responsibility that they have wrt. casual visitors.

The latter point is what still keeps me from both installing and recommending TWiki.

Which, I think, is a pity because I quite like it.

-- JoachimDurchholz - 11 Jul 2004

Here's an update to the above: this time on the reasons why I didn't return.

Recently, a friend of mine wanted to start a project that could benefit from a Wiki. He's reasonably computer literate, which means he can administer his own Windows XP machine without too much help...

Well, then I was wondering: "Is TWiki the Right Thing for him?"

The answer was: "Well, maybe... it will be a bit of a strain on him, but he'll manage."

Still, I felt uneasy. It was essentially a community project, for having fun together in a literary way. "A bit of a strain" didn't match exactly my idea of having fun.

Then I continued wondering: "Wait, he won't be the only person using the Wiki. Is it the Right Thing for the people who will (hopefully) come visiting?"

This time, the answer was a clear "No". The people who'd be visiting the site would be adept at writing, but HTML would be beyond them. Worse: some of them would be able to write HTML, rendering the pages uneditable to those who can't and destroying (or at least massively restricting) one of the key reasons why one should use a Wiki in the first place!

TWiki also has fallen prey to "creeping featuritis". There's just too much of everything: web forms, classification stuff, a Wiki-specific markup that's already more than would fit on a single page of paper (try to explain the "heading" syntax over a phone...), WikiWebs, plus plus plus... and no way to switch off what isn't needed. No way to grow into the feature set.

Another set of reasons was related to installation. I still dread installing TWiki again: there's too much that can go wrong, and too little diagnostics that helps pinpoint the problem. Also, TWiki as it comes out-of-the-box comes with a structure that's perfectly suited for continuing TWiki development, but it's not suited for populating it with one's own initial content. Know what pages exist, weeding out the unneeded ones, rewriting the needed ones for the new context - that's a whole lot of work I'd have to do.

-- JoachimDurchholz - 16 Jul 2004

Those who forget the past are condemmed to repeat the same mistakes

Bumping this up

-- RafaelAlvarez - 04 Aug 2006

I am, in fact, close to being one of those quiet leavers. The title is ironic, as it appears that being quiet is preferred, which rather implies that leaving quietly is preferred as well. And i'm quite sure that there are some who would be happy to see me go, although i hope that there are some who would rather I didn't. (I hope there are some who feel differently).

I have a stake, both practically and emotionally, in helping TWikiFns get into 4.1, so i am not quite gone yet. It would be best to email me rather than expect me in #twiki, however, in part given what has happened in #twiki and in part for purely personal reasons.

-- MeredithLesly - 08 Aug 2006

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