Oct 20, 2012

Open Source Culture: Problem #1

I like how Canonical decided to be more open about secret projects they work on. At least that they now involve some people outside of Canonical to get feedback is great. I think a lot of problems with the new "Amazon Suggestions" feature could have been avoided like that. Sometimes it just takes an outside perspective to see some problems.

And I don't think it is a problem between Open Source and secret projects. Sometimes this is a much better approach then to be open from the start. It's more about the psychological side than code improvements or testing. Often Projects fail because motivation of the contributors fades away. People just tend to move on as they loose interest.

That's why I really dislike bad comments to some newly released code. It's new, surely it has it's problems, just like anything new has. At least some others seem to share my opinion. I think Jono Bacon put it right on his blog:

The Genesis Of Free Software Projects | jonobacon@home: "when sometime decides to create Free Software either as an individual or as a company, they have the right to create the first iteration of that feature however they choose. Their investment of time, money, or both in building Free Software earns them a right to put together a first cut that meets their needs…this is the very nature of scratching an itch."

Comments like "you should have used X instead!" are just wrong. Especially for things that are open and you get for free. Even more so if the one releasing something didn't event get paid to do so. The only thing these comments do is discouraging someone which cares about free and open software. So people writing such bad things are only discouraging other people to do such tings. You are destroying your own system here.

This is something I still see way too often on blogs. This is really bad for open software ...