This is after reading the latest post from Bob,
I think this debate is a common one in the open source
community, and it’s important to remind, from time to time,
the basics of our society. What I say here is quite general,
so don’t blame me saying, “common in that project it’s not
the case”, and etc.
Every work implies an effort, whether it is born out of
passion or out of necessity. And a worker needs
resources to perform the work, material or financial
(the later being of course a mere abstraction for
acquiring the former).
For that there is an excellent (so evident, yet clever)
representation of the needs:
In open source and mostly non-commercial software,
people are assuming that the developers are doing it
because they like it, so there is no need to thank, to
give feedback, or to give resources for the projects.
And not only that, they expect that the developers are
as productive and reactive as the ones employed full time by
a company. I’m voluntarily making a generality here, I’m
aware that many open-source software don’t suffer from that.
We can assume that when the work is done for fun,
the worker is not expecting as much as one who would
do it because he has to do it.
For me there would be 4 levels of ‘participation’ to a free
Acknowledgement: I downloaded your software and
I let you know that I’m happy or not about it.
I might also be grateful for the work provided
(it’d take like 10 seconds to write it down).
Material participation: I may not have the knowledge
to get involved in the project or to report bugs, but
I can help you in other way I can (money, machines,
making a website, writing doc, publicity, etc.)
Beeing a member of the project
If at least point 1. was respected for 50% of cases, it’d be
amazing already, because even if I do a project for fun,
I’d certainly not do it if nobody has interest in it (or maybe
doing it for myself only, in that case I’d not share it).
Also I’d suggest another thing, which may seem a detail but
could improve the quality of our exchanges here. Each one
could use an appropriate signature to the email so that
we know who he/she is: a software developer ? a scientist ?
a spare time developer ? a complete newbie ?
This would avoid inappropriate messages and confusions. The purpose
is not to judge the others of course but to clarify who one is. For example
if I need some advice on open-source licenses I’d probably ask
David Olofson because his signature is clear about it.
Well, this is maybe a little bit out of topic, I’m aware of that.
But there’re so interesting people on this mailing list, coming
from different horizons, having different levels of experience,
that I wanted to share my vision with you.
To conclude, each one should open his eyes and become aware of
what is the reality of things, the causes and consequences, that
nothing comes out without an effort.
Software engineer for research, pianist