Thoughts on the PostgreSQL EU non profit.

I was talking with a peer about the particular PGEU problem that I am currently arguing on the following thread. I wanted to see if I could explain my position outside of the thread to allow the thread to stay productive.

I am aware that there are variable levels of cultural idioms in all countries. Americans have theirs, Canadians, Germans... all of them. Whenever I make a comment about the succinct nature of PeterE's responses, the response I get back is, "He's German". It's not derogatory, it's a statement of a particular cultural perspective.

I on the other hand am trying to look past cultural divides. This isn't about Europe or America or Japan. This is about PostgreSQL. I don't care if you are a Platypus from Australia, if you know and love PostgreSQL I want you involved.

To take it back to a practical example. I posted the following email about PostgreSQL Conference East a while back.

One of the responses I got back was, "Why do Europeans care about a United States conference?" My response to that was and still is:

"It is not an United States conference. It is a PostgreSQL conference being held in United States".

Because we are all members of PostgreSQL you should care.

I specifically ignore (much to others dismay) cultural, racial and sex boundaries because I believe those boundaries are the implicit basis for most problems created within the world as a whole. When I apply the philosophy of no boundaries to PostgreSQL we have (initially) three distinct micro communities:

  • EU
  • JPUG
  • NA (north america)
    (note there are others that are forming like Pg.BR)

I believe it makes absolute sense to have legal organizations in place that represent the community. They should however be representing the PostgreSQL community as a whole, while being strategically located within their particular geographic region.

The problem arises when you limit who can be active within a particular organization. When an organization generates artificial limitations based on cultural divides you are not representing PostgreSQL as a whole. You are representing a subset of PostgreSQL which will in the long run creates rifts and weaken the global fabric of the macro community.

I see this to some degree within the JPUG community already. They barely participate in the larger community. (There are some even larger cultural and language concerns that assist in the divide but those concerns don't exist for the EU community).

The macro community of PostgreSQL is based on the idea of meritocracy. The tallest order being an invitation to -core. Through the hard, diligent, responsible and respectable work of the contributors you garner different levels influence, respect and responsibility.

The current path of the EU micro community is that the meritocracy is limited. Someone from Chile could in fact become one of the most beneficial members to the the EU community and yet never be in a position to authoritatively influence the direction of the micro community itself. That removes a lot of the attraction to crossing regional divides and creating bonds between the micro community and the macro community.

If we continue down this path we are going to end up with a bunch of micro communities that have zero distinct tie to the larger macro community of We as a community will be worse for it.