The Two Elephant Problem
Oct 13, 2009, 14:03 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Dj Walker-Morgan)
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"The first elephant in the room is the existing community and
its familiarity with what had already been implemented. The second
elephant, which the developers want to bring into the room, is all
the changes that they want to incorporate into the project. The
difficulty is moving the second elephant into the room without
disturbing the first or just filling the room completely with
elephant. Elephant Approaches
"There are a number of strategies to approaching the two
elephant problem. The "push the new elephant in, in one go"
approach is the most radical and disruptive. A new version of the
project is presented to the community, complete and ready to roll,
and it is up to the community to accept the changes. The danger for
the project though is that the first elephant may decide to leave.
This was the approach taken by the KDE developers when they
committed to creating KDE 4.0. The backlash saw many users sit back
on older versions of KDE or look for alternative desktops. It is
only now, after a number of subsequent releases, that KDE is
winning back friends."