Re: Loss of enthusiasim for AbiWord

From: Sam Trenholme (
Date: Fri Apr 05 2002 - 18:00:21 EST

  • Next message: James Jensen: "Using DJGPP"

    > 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
    the patch.

    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
    AbiWord patches.

    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.

    - Sam

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