RE: workshop, to have or not to have
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Wed, 22 Jun 94 15:11 CDT
In the midst of Stuart Staniford-Chen  most excellent essay on 
community workshops I uncovered an amazing truth I want to call 
everyone who is doing programming attention to:

>Similarly, if people say, "I might be interested in building some furniture
>for myself if we had a workshop," it's probably safe to ignore them.
>Significant, sustained use of the shop will almost always come from people
>who are burning to do it, not just interested.  Evidence of serious
>commitment is: the workshop is the main reason they're moving in, they
>already build furniture in their garage and have lots of tools.  Etc.  You
>get the picture - just that it's important to plan for the likely
>eventualities, and not the fantasies.

This is true of most all the sorts of "peripheral" common elements 
which come out at programming time like espresso machines, hot tubs, 
large gardens, pottery and art studios etc.  At Sharingwood we plowed 
up a large piece of land to do a community garden based on the 
statements of folks: "I might be interested in doing gardening if we 
had a big community garden". Guess what is now a big patch of weeds?  
Look for evidence of serious commitment from people before leaping into 
group common purchases.

This doesn't mean you can't plan such things for later.

Rob Sandelin

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