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Re: List intolerance VS advocacy
[NOTE: long inline rant. Unless you've been following the thread with
interest, suggest you hit 'd' and continue to something more constructive.]
On Thu, Jun 13, 2002 at 02:12:01PM -0600, email@example.com said:
> In response to firstname.lastname@example.org
> |the OpenBSD project is really not
> |interested in increasing market share, gaining a reputation among
> |businesses, generating corporate sponsors,
> No matter who is involved and what motivates the developers, recognition
> through either market share, pride in a good job or whatever, it is an
> afirmation to see something you produce become successful. How you measure
> that may be different.
One more time ... I don't think the developers could really care any less
whether there is any recognition of the project outside of those involved in
the project. It just doesn't matter to them. They're doing it because the
project is good for _them_, and because they enjoy doing it.
> At some point, any project needs an infusion of replacement $OBJECTS be
> developers, dollars or devices.
Yes, the project requires donations of time (developers), skills
(developers), hardware (users/developers/contributors) and money to cover
bandwidth, etc. (users/developers/contributors).
In and of itself, that fact proves nothing.
> |or even knocking off Microsoft or other OSes.
> Here we agree. Not a subject to fork up this thread.
> |This seems to be a difficult concept to grok, as this question comes up
> |every month or two on misc@, but the answer remains the same. We do this
> |because we like it, and if you like it, great. If you don't, great.
> People care, just about different aspects. When the official website states
> "Five years without a remote hole in the default install!" it is a
> of pride. If you didn't care, you'd be working for M$ or some other
> company with defective values.
It's a statement of fact. Yes, the development team is proud of that record -
but what does being proud of one's work have to do with being motivated by a
desire to gain market share, recognition, fame or wealth?
> |Don't expect any change in behaviour or in the project either way, unless
> |you are contributing such changes yourself (as opposed to merely
> |requesting them).
> Please define 'contribution'. By that do you mean "only those that 'create'
> software?" That's like saying "I pay taxes so I 'do' own the road so get
> of my way".
That is exactly what I mean. If something in OpenBSD is not to your liking,
you are free to submit a diff or fork the project and create your own. This
is how OpenBSD started, after all. If you want to make changes, SUBMIT CODE.
Otherwise, get involved in the project, participate in discussion and
ultimately accept the decisions the developers make. They write their own
code, and are beholden to no-one for it.
Nick Holland really said this much better than I; please read his short
speech on this exact issue before replying. Really.
> It is attitudes like this that feed the problem. While some newbie may not
> $DEIGHITY's gift to coding, they may be excellent at documentation and
> interested in helping do so with some feature(s). Thus enabling someone
> better skill to do more code/debug/$FUNCTION.
In that case, they are free to provide docs, etc. They are also free to make
suggestions to $developer about current projects, or future ones. And as the
developer is the one writing the actual code, he/she is free to ignore the
suggestions, or explain why such a thing has already been suggested 15 times
in the last month, and why it was initially decided against.
Nobody is stopping anybody from contributing anything they want to the
project. But (and this is the key) _contributing something does not grant the
right to demand anything in return_.
> You lose because the community is weakened. In a volunteer organization,
It is not. The project existed before 90% of the current 'community' (myself
included) had ever heard of it, and if we all disappeared tomorrow, the
developers, at least, would continue to produce the project for their
personal use - _like they have always done_.
> help is hard to find. Nobody is superior, we just have different talents.
We all have different talents. However, some of us are _definitely_ superior
when it comes to things like writing drivers, kernel code, packages, porting
software and doing all the other bits that make up an OS. I am not one of
those folks, so I get out of the way and enjoy the results of those who are.
> Besides, sometimes those "feature requests" are really good ideas.
Indeed they are. And in 99% of cases, the 'feature requests' have already
been thought of by the developers. If they are not being worked on, it's
1) it really isn't such a great idea (example: the recent thread on MAC
filtering in the pf code);
2) it would take too much in resources/time to implement (i.e. results not
worth the effort expended);
3) nobody is interested in working on the idea
4) interest exists, but the hardware in question is not available to the
developer(s) for testing/coding (frequently the case with new driver
> |The most critical (and generally the weakest) piece of any security
> |platform is the humans running it.
> Yes. This is a cross platform issue... just like attitude... oh wait, that's
> people-issue too ;-)
*nod* Different attitudes for different projects. I like the OpenBSD
attitude, and even if I didn't, I'd _still_ use it, because it fits my needs.
"Use the best tool for the job, whatever that tool may be."
> |If a new UNIX novice can't figure out how to use the tools
> That is why they should be encouraged to move to sources of assistance, not
> slain on sight.
If they have figured out how to install the OS in the first place, and
figured out how to subscribe to the mailing list, they have ALREADY
OVERLOOKED the vast majority of the information they will ever need! Is it
really too much to expect the same folks that go through the site looking for
the details on the mailing list to go through the rest of the site and read
the (prominently offered) FAQ and documentation? I don't think so.
I am not saying that I condone, or even encourage, flaming newbies or those
asking FAQs. I personally think it's a waste of breath/bandwidth. However, I
understand why it happens, and the onus is on the new users to learn how
things work for themselves, not on those of us who have already done _just
that_ to regurgitate knowledge to them.
Again, please PLEASE read Nick Holland's bit on this topic (URL above). It
clearly and succinctly sums up what I have been trying to say.
> Continued offences notwithstanding.
> |'RTFM' is one of the oldest phrases in the community, and it rings just
> |as true now as it did when it was first coined.
> RTFM has more than one meaning. Interchange Manual with Message - often the
> original question has information _demanded_ by the list in subsequent
Much of the time, people asking questions need to learn basic conversational
skills. Example: "$foo doesn't work! Help!" is a variant on a commonly-posted
message. That kind of message is a total waste of bandwidth. It conveys that
a problem exists, but does _nothing_ to enable anyone that might be
interested to help the querist solve his/her problem. Sorry, but I'm a firm
believer in the "you must be at least this tall to ride" rule as applied to
the Net. Some basic skills are just necessary. If you don't have them, that's
fine; none of us are born with this knowledge. But this is not the forum in
which to expect an education in how to ask good questions, basic UNIX skills,
mailing list etiquette, and the like.
> The bottom line is, if a list member has something constructive to say then
> they should please do so. If they are going to give of their time to
_Absolutely_. I strongly encourage anybody with something constructive to say
to speak out.
> then they should make sure they are not wasting its value as well as
I agree; as I said above, I personally consider flaming to be a waste of time
and energy. But frequently replying with the URL or manpage reference
necessary has about the same effect wrt repeats of that query in the future,
or queries of the same type by the poster in the future.
> Some of the responses/flames are as bad as the original spam (hence why I'm
> not responding to all the messages in this thread, I have no propriety over
> the subject I just see a few bugs in the subroutines).
Yes, the flames resulting from a FAQ are generally a bigger waste of time
than the original post. We're all human, and we all have a finite amount of
patience. The longer we're around, the less we have left. I guess some days
people just grow tired of expecting others to be (rational, polite, clueful,
willing to do their homework) and being constantly disappointed.
Yes, it would be better to simply not reply than to flame. But sometimes you
just can't help yourself.
Scott Francis darkuncle@ [home:] d a r k u n c l e . n e t
Systems/Network Manager sfrancis@ [work:] t o n o s . c o m
GPG public key 0xCB33CCA7 illum oportet crescere me autem minui
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