• When Open Source shows its weaknesses


    Open Source is not always an idyllic picture of the world. It is also populated by demons, just like anywhere else. You can get from Open Source the same type of frustrating experience you get from commercial software. Sometimes even more.

    Point in fact: My attempt top report a bug, ends up in one of my most frustrating experiences in a long while. This is what happens when you meat an idiot in Open Source: https://github.com/vivien/i3blocks/issues/259#issuecomment-336647062

  • Hi Krugar

    Everywhere one deals with people, there’s are always a few black sheep. In cities, in software development, in religions… So yeah bad experiences can happen.

    I don’t agree with the way you handle this by posting this hate topic. You’ve had a bad experience with someone and you try to influence other people’s opinion about this person by calling him an idiot and start a witch hunt. Please let’s not make this fine forum into a facebook hate group.

    Don’t forget that we can all have a bad day on which we can be a**holes. No need to drama queen about this after one experience. Let’s just appreciate all the effort that this person puts into free software for us. I know it can be a negative experience if you are doing the effort to report a problem (which a lot of people don’t even bother doing) and there’s no appreciation. I think you deserve as much appreciation for that effort than the developer writing the software.

  • @EarthMind said in When Open Source shows its weaknesses:

    I don’t agree with the way you handle this by posting this hate topic.

    I don’t care if you agree with the way I handle anything, mate. I call idiot, when I see idiot. If that bothers you, that perfectly fine. But it also means I didn’t post here to turn strangers against stranger.

    @EarthMind said in When Open Source shows its weaknesses:

    Let’s just appreciate all the effort that this person puts into free software for us.

    Not this type of free software. And this was the reason I posted. You see, when free software experience becomes the similar as commercial software, you know something is wrong. In fact It can get even worse. Because with commercial software, I don’t have tech support call me a liar and questioning my programming experience when I phone them about a program error.

    Contrary to what your bleeding heart thought, I’m not here to turn anyone against anyone else. You can leave your safe space now, precious. I was instead trying to initiate an Off Topic debate on the weaknesses of Open Source and the fact we need to be ever vigilant on how we behave towards our users also on Open Source.

    Instead of developing that horrible culture of expecting to be thanked and respected even when we clearly don’t deserve it, we should strive to make Open Source a real positive experience for users that means something, instead of becoming a worse culture than closed commercial software. Because, trust me that was only a small example of a much wider problem that is swiping across many small open source projects (but also some big ones…

    I don’t ever expect anyone to thank me of anything @EarthMind. So shouldn’t you. All I did for Open Source and all I will do on these few years I have left, I will do it for my users, not myself. So next time you tell someone to be thankful of developers, think of the meaning of the word altruism and what it should mean for Open Source.

  • @Krugar to be honest, I think you express your point of view in a harsh and unpleasant way, but man, you’re damn right to be pissed off.

    The coder of i3blocks should justify why he uses fixed sizes for that struct… it’s easier for him? It’s some kind of limitation of his code? It’s damn faster doing it this way?

    Telling you to replace that fixed size for the one you want is not a solution at all.

    Maybe you don’t remember, but C is not that great when dealing with memory buffers… (tbh, it’s a pain in the ass, and I do not understand why people still code apps with this nightmare).

    Having said that, expressions like “measuring dicks” do not help… believe me. Think twice before writing when you’re angry or people will not take you seriously as you will become “the angry guy who you can’t talk with”.

    (I know you didn’t ask my advice, I hope you don’t mind me giving it).

    Cheers!

  • @karasu, thank you for a more levelled response that doesn’t just immediately assume anything about my intentions.

    @karasu said in When Open Source shows its weaknesses:

    Having said that, expressions like “measuring dicks” do not help… believe me.

    Mate, on that bug report without any provocation, my knowledge was questioned and I was called a liar. And you think I didn’t help? In case you didn’t notice, that was my way of saying I stopped caring.

    Anyways, moving on to the more interesting discussion…

    @karasu said in When Open Source shows its weaknesses:

    The coder of i3blocks should justify why he uses fixed sizes for that struct… it’s easier for him? It’s some kind of limitation of his code? It’s damn faster doing it this way?

    I may be wrong, like you said the original developer had yet to speak. But I think that is an example of arbitrary developer constraints that end up removing program features, instead of allowing the user more control over how they use the program. It’s an expected design in closed source software, where strict control over user experience is desirable as a means to reduce the surface area for possible bugs. But it’s becoming also a trend in open source non-commercial software for apparently no reason at all. Which is profoundly sad.

    Assuming the user kb100 is right and I can indeed change that variable value without side-effects to the rest of the code, it is either that or that constraint is old code that has been forgotten.

    But like I said above, I stopped caring. The bug has been reported. They can do whatever they want with it.

    What I do find disheartening is what I think is the downward slope of many of the Open Source principles that turned it into such a great movement. And I don;t mean just the relationship between untrained programmers (or wannabes) and their users. But also the quality of many of the projects and the fact many use Open Source as their 5 minutes of fame or as a resume booster, and do not otherwise respect, understand, probably even know , the ideals behind it.

    Which invariably ends up in projects like these – semi-abandoned by their authors and poorly represented by whatever maintainers were left behind, resulting in a bad user experience that makes one often question if Free Software is indeed better than commercial software. There are of course god examples in Open Source. I am just witnessing a steady rise of the bad apples though. Or maybe that’s my grumpy self.

  • @Krugar said in When Open Source shows its weaknesses:

    (…) and I was called a liar. (…) that was my way of saying I stopped caring.

    I understand, but such language won’t accomplish anything, trust me (neither calling you a liar, of course).

    makes one often question if Free Software is indeed better than commercial software

    Ethically I’m positive it is… but in quality I don’t think you can make a rule about it.

    where strict control over user experience is desirable as a means to reduce the surface area for possible bugs

    This is what Gnome feels to me, and that’s exactly why I don’t use it.

    Which invariably ends up in projects like these – semi-abandoned by their authors and poorly represented by whatever maintainers were left behind

    This really worries me, but I don’t see what can be done about it.

    Cheers!

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