From: Sam Trenholme (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Fri Apr 05 2002 - 18:00:21 EST
> If there are legitimate reasons to reject a patch,
> they need to be articulated, at least briefly.
When Linus Trovalds rejects the patch, he says
nothing. Doesn't even give the kernel contributer a
hint as to why the patch was rejected.
I have patches which were rejected by the AbiWord
crew; I know why those patches were rejected. They
did not have to give me an explanation; I did not
expect one. I have a patch for bug 3018 which fixes
the bug; but is not suitable for including in the main
AbiWord tree. My first patch for bug 3007 was not
suitable for inclusion either.
Anyone is free to add a patch to the bug; if you sent
a patch that was rejected by the AbiWord team, you can
still attach the patch to the bug that the patch
For the record, Bryce, I do feel that this is a
legitimate bug which needs to be fixed; I have not
found one bug which you have reported which was not a
legitimate bug. That said, Open Source software
devlopment works differently than proprietary software
With proprietary software development, all one can do
is scream loudly before a bug gets fix. With open
source software devlopment, the bug will not be fixed
if the developers do not feel it is important to fix
the bug; this is offset by the fact that anyone can
quickly become a devloper for the project. If one is
not a programmer, one can pay someone else to supply
Another advantage of open source software devlopment:
There is no line of technical support reps whose job
it is to make it as difficult as possible to converse
directly with the devlopers. When you reported a
Linux kernel bug, you got a response from Alan Cox
himself. If you reported a similiar kernel bug in the
Windows NT kernel, you would get no farther than
talking to a technical support rep, who, while being
nice, would not actually get anything done.
Of course, there are advantages to talking to a tech
support rep. No matter how rude and uncivil the
person is talking to the technical support rep, the
person has an obligation, based on the values our
society has, to be gracious to the complainer.
With open source software, however, there is no
obligation to stay polite if someone is being rude;
the open source developer is free to respond by being
rude to the complainer. Of course, any respectable
open source developer will simply give the complainer
a frank answer: "No".
The complainer is free to continue whining after
hearing "No". However, such whining will usually
result in the complainer getting flamed by other
people. Comre this to the technical support rep of a
proprietary software solution, who can not, under any
circumstances, give a whiner a rightful LART.
But I am digressing here. Bryce, if you attach the
patches to this list (given that the patches are small
enough), I will put them on a web page of unofficial
I even understand the mind of an open source devloper
enough (being one myself; my project is MaraDNS) to
understand why a given patch is rejected.
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