Thread: When open source does not win

  1. #1
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    When open source does not win

    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: label= directive crops text after a certain limit * Issue #259 * vivien/i3blocks * GitHub
    Last edited by Mario F.; 10-14-2017 at 12:32 PM.
    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  2. #2
    Lurking whiteflags's Avatar
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    I also find it odd that the label string space is so small, especially if you're meant to decorate it there.

  3. #3
    Programming Wraith GReaper's Avatar
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    Them suggesting that you should just change a hard-coded limit is an ad-hoc, terribly hackie solution. Even if the program was designed to operate that way, with arbitrary limits, it's a dumb solution. When designing this program, they went with the easy solution( fixed sizes ) as opposed to the best solution( dynamic sizes ). As kb100 said, they made some assumptions about the users' input, and those assumptions were wrong. Instead of upping the limit I think they should rethink the whole design of this project. But that will never happen.
    Devoted my life to programming...

  4. #4
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whiteflags View Post
    I also find it odd that the label string space is so small, especially if you're meant to decorate it there.
    I used i3status up until very recently so I'm not entirely sure. But I'm very confident the label field wasn't initially decoratable with markup. Pango only came later.

    In any case, it was a bad design decision from the start. That hard code limit is a typical 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. But it's becoming also a trend in open source non-commercial software for apparently no reason at all.

    And just like GReaper mentioned, judging from the responses and by the fact the project is not being maintained by the original programmer anymore, this issue is pretty much staying. Which really reveals the weaknesses of open source development. And we are going to experience an increase in this over the years as the Open Source idea keeps being disfigured by people that look at it only as either their 5 minutes of fame, or a resume builder.
    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  5. #5
    Informer -Adrian's Avatar
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    I've had it happen numerous times that maintainers aren't interested in critique or elaborate suggestions; one has to move on before getting too invested/angry. Having your own work being "improved" by someone else can feel like a personal attack, and I'm not sure how well I'd handle that myself.

    However, I've also encountered the opposite, maintainers who are very open to anyone who offers concrete improvements (even small ones), a real winning mentality.

    @Rahtgaz we thank you for your input but it sounds like you don't have any experience with computers or programming.
    Oh, I bet that rustled your jimmies!

  6. #6
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Adrian View Post
    Oh, I bet that rustled your jimmies!
    Maybe not as much as you think.
    That kid and his argumentation in the whole thread reveals his ignorance of even the most basic design and coding principles. I'd take it more personally from a peer of mine. I don't deny I'm a proud old fart. Make no mistake. But even in my pride I know when to snort at the pubescent wannabes, and to only lock tusks with the real bulls.

    Quote Originally Posted by -Adrian View Post
    and I'm not sure how well I'd handle that myself.
    What are you even talking about? How can there be in doubt?
    What is your objective going Open Source? It has to be a sense of service or duty towards someone else or a community. It is the only reason you should be there and the only thing we want you to be there for. And with that sense of altruism in mind, you will never have any doubts about the way you will always welcome contributions to your code.

    Just please don't turn out like so many of the open source prima donnas that are populating places like github these days. Don't expect people to thank you or be thankful. That's not what Open Source is about. It isn't about gratitude. It is about community service.
    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  7. #7
    Informer -Adrian's Avatar
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    What are you even talking about? How can there be in doubt?
    What is your objective going Open Source? It has to be a sense of service or duty towards someone else or a community. It is the only reason you should be there and the only thing we want you to be there for. And with that sense of altruism in mind, you will never have any doubts about the way you will always welcome contributions to your code.
    I wasn't talking about your example, if that's what you think. Imo it depends on the situation. If you have your personal pet project and someone gets intensely involved in redesigning it (improvements beyond your skill level), that can certainly bruise one's ego. If i was a gardener happily planting things for the community, and suddenly some landscape architect swept in, uprooted my plants and built something greater for free, you can bet I'd be piᶊᶊed. That's just human nature.

    I've ran into articles that were so full of grammatical errors that sending in a pull-request would be a raised middle finger to the autor, i.e. "you can't speak/write in English.", so i left it alone.

    Yes, ideally the common goal stands above all but it's unrealistic.

  8. #8
    and the hat of copycat stevesmithx's Avatar
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    I can understand your frustration, however you might be surprised that this mentality is widely prevalent in open source. Some developers state this explicitly on their Github page. Something to the tune of "Don't come complaining as I am doing this for free in my spare time. However, you are free to modify it as you see it fit". My guess for this mentality - they (open source developers) starts enthusiastically in open source and gets tired of a flurry of requests from newbies that they get too cynical to identify a genuine useful request from the not so useful ones.

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