As many of you know, in late 2009 it was decided by OSM and the project leadership to contract with Andrew Eddie and Louis Landry and to pay them for working on the Joomla! project. This was a very big step and was only undertaken after much discussion and careful consideration. There was strong agreement in the OSM and project leadership for this decision. Formal and informal polling of community members found a substantial majority in favor of the concept, with a minority opposed to it. Some of those opposed had strong feelings against it.
From the start, the plan was for Andrew to focus on coding for version 1.6 and for Louis to help support Andrew but also to work on longer term and infrastructure projects. This general plan is still in place today, although some of the specifics have changed over time as version 1.6 has moved from alpha to beta.
The Production Leadership Team (PLT) was tasked with the role of setting the priorities for this work and providing supervision and oversight. Initially, this was done informally. Recently, we have instituted a more formal process whereby the PLT has started issuing monthly reports to OSM and the community on the work completed and goals going forward.
What does this mean to you? Just this. The PLT makes the decisions about what gets worked on and the priorities going forward. So, for example, if you have ideas or concerns about what either of these individuals is working on (or not working on), you should express them to the PLT, not to Andrew or Louis.
If you don't like the whole idea of paying them for doing this work, then you are absolutely entitled to that opinion. But again, your difference of opinion is with the project leadership and the OSM leadership, not with Andrew or Louis.
I only wish the PLT could take the credit for the fantastic work that these guys have been doing during this time. But that credit goes to them alone.
In a community as large and diverse as ours, there are always going to be disagreements. This issue is particularly sensitive and one on which people can have very strong feelings. I hope that people on both sides of this issue can work together and keep their disagreements respectful.