[OOTB-hive] Perception of Order of the Bee

Ole Hejlskov ole at phpfreak.dk
Thu Oct 16 21:15:38 BST 2014

Hi Richard

I really appreciate your honesty and this is *exactly* the kind of communication 
we need between the Order and Alfresco.

The statement about the fork is going away, like Oksana said, as we have been 
over it a few times, but you also have to acknowledge that when we founded the 
Order there was a great deal of FUD in the community. Everyone was scared of
Alfresco’s next move, and the gap between community and enterprise only 
seems to grow, without any clearly defined statements about the future of 

Our main concern, at the time, was that Alfresco was closing the source down, 
and if that were to happen someone would have to take charge.
Do we want to do this? No, of course not. 
No one can phantom the amount of work there’s involved in maintaining a fork of a 
project like that.  If we’re forced to do so, we might just do it, but we should *not* 
focus on that. 

We are all about collaboration, coordinating efforts and helping Alfresco be even 
more open in every meaning of the word. That is where our focus is, and the
mission statement should reflect that.

From the time we launched the Order everything went SO fast. We grew to 30+ 
members in the first week, and we’re at 80+ members now. We quickly got
recognised by Alfresco, and there has been great commitment from Alfresco’s side,
but we are still a very young organisation and we are still figuring everything out.

That being said, there are still some people in the community (and the Order) who 
only sees problems, and does not really (or simply refuses to) believe that Alfresco 
is serious about their open source commitment. 

To all of those who still have doubts please remember that trust is a two way street.

Alfresco has embraced us, given round applause at summit and overall received 
us with their arms wide open. We should repay the favour by trusting them, and 
continue to build a strong and communicative relationship.

I really feel that the future will be much more transparent and open. There will be
a few mistakes along the way - on both parts. We just have to continue to be
open and honest with each other.

I hope this addresses your concerns. Feel free to forward the email to anyone who 
has doubts about the true nature of the Order.


On 16 Oct 2014, at 19:37, Richard Esplin <richard.esplin at alfresco.com> wrote:

> Boriss' email about Summit prompted me to share a concern. I completely agree 
> with Boriss' upbeat view of Summit and the role played by Order of the Bee. It 
> was very positive.
> I want to caution that we need to be careful to emphasize the cooperative 
> relationship the Order of the Bee has with Alfresco Software.
> Those who have read the list archives know that the goals of the Order of the 
> Bee are very complimentary to the goals of Alfresco Software. The founding of 
> the Order was motivated by concerns that Alfresco Software was moving away 
> from its open source roots, and the organization of the Order prompted 
> Alfresco management to examine that perception and to formalize the role open 
> source plays in our current strategy. Alfresco leadership did not feel that 
> they were moving away from open source, but they recognized that they had 
> stopped emphasizing it as they focused on increasing the go-to-market 
> capability of the company. Alfresco Software now intends to renew its 
> investment in our open source and developer communities. This is an important 
> result.
> However, I have heard a few Alfresco employees (not management) refer to the 
> Order of the Bee as "a gun to the head of Alfresco threatening to fork if 
> Alfresco doesn't meet their demands". This perception is not constructive as 
> it undermines our cooperative relationship.
> Alfresco management recognizes that the governance of Order of the Bee 
> provides a useful assurance to our customers that Alfresco is truly an open 
> source alternative for content management. We also recognize that no product 
> will meet everyone's needs, and one of the strengths of open source is that 
> people can fork at any time to meet their own objectives.
> We also recognize that many of the goals of the Order of the Bee are around 
> filling gaps where Alfresco should do a better job in nurturing our open source 
> community. We are humbled to admit our deficiencies, but we are grateful for 
> the help.
> Likewise, Order of the Bee has previously discussed forking Community Edition 
> and decided that is not part of the current mission. So long as Community 
> Edition continues to be an innovative product, it seems like a waste of effort 
> to divide the larger Alfresco community.
> The perception that Order of the Bee is a group who is hostile to the business 
> interests of Alfresco Software is rooted in misunderstandings and a lack of 
> trust. That will take time to over come.
> Likewise, I sense that there are many members of the Order of the Bee who do 
> not trust Alfresco management. Though I might not always agree with the 
> company's course, I feel that they have been transparent in setting a course, 
> following it, and explaining when it changes. I am optimistic that open source 
> is again an explicit part of our strategy. It will take time for the community 
> to see the results of these efforts, and those who only want to see the 
> problems will probably never be convinced. Our execution has always had gaps, 
> but members of the Order of the Bee can help recognize the good things 
> Alfresco Software is doing.
> Having personally spoken with the leaders of both Alfresco Software and Order 
> of the Bee, I see trust consistently growing. I recommend we be cautious to 
> create an atmosphere that nurtures trust and collaboration. We need to be 
> aware that some of our jokes undermine that trust, some of our efforts might be 
> misunderstood, and we often need to overcome a negative preconception. We need 
> to go to lengths to engage not just with Alfresco senior management, but with 
> employees throughout the organization, as well as partners and customers.
> Thank you for all of your efforts and enthusiasm.
> Richard
> -- 
> Richard Esplin
> Head of Community Relations
> Tel: +1 801 855 0866
> Mobile: +1 801 735 4220
> Skype: esplinr
> Alfresco
> Simple + Smart
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