Tuesday, August 5, 2014

In The Spirit of the Open Source Community

This post will probably annoy the hell of you and many people that are too far away from reality in OSS land.

This is related to this reddit post and the insane amount of people going to the extreme.

First of all, I'm not going to pretend or be that guy that's always chiming on how open sourcing stuff is always better, or why open source software is good. Let's be frank here, there's a high chance that most people saying that:

1) Aren't developers. Yea, yea, you played with code before, but what are the chances that you have contributed to an open source project yourself? Oh, don't mind me! I know there are people that contribute to some projects; I dare say that the people who say that however, doesn't. But let's take a more realistic step, how many people have developed a full open source solution AND profit from it. Besides the top guys from Red Hat and other companies? I've rarely read successful stories. There are bills to pay, people.

2) They aren't objective when it comes to commercial software. One of the things that I really, really detest about the open source communities is that, no matter what the whole discourse feels like an slap to developers that want to make a living with open source. Everyone wants free of charge software. Appreciation? Hell no, fix the bugs first you lazy dev! Also, what is the matter with that code you just wrote? Do you even know how to program at all? [insert dozen of negative (vitriolic) comments about how useless is the developer, because you know, doing it for free wasn't enough for them]

3) The famous phrases:

"The good thing about open source is that the code is open for everyone to audit, improve. So if there's a bug or a feature...". Well, the thing about that is that I've seen old and new open source software plagued with bugs and guess what? Nobody has come in and fix them. It's not always the case, and people shouldn't rely on that every time. Even popular software like GIMP has bugs in some part of its UI (usually minor bugs) and chances are that no one will do it themselves.

"Then I can fix a bug myself" -- ... really? I've always felt the need to yell "bullshit" when users state that. Especially when it comes to projects that have a huge codebase.

4) Micro$oft is evil, they make terrible software and the drivers sucks. -- The first part I want to say is all relative to which software is in question. Honestly? I've RARELY had problems with software on Microsoft Windows. The second part, the drivers aren't created by Microsoft (I hope you are getting the gist). Is Microsoft fully at fault? Not really, of course you are set to believe whatever stuff you want.

What troubles me so much about these type of people is how irrational their hatred is against Microsoft (almost as if Ballmer came in personally and beat the crap out of his/he family, stabbed the dog and killed his/her grandparents). I just can't participate in a community that have this sort of people in it. Sure I can tolerate a dozen (hopefully not at the same time), but 100 or 200? I'll just hop to another community in the hopes that there are rational human beings.

Also, it doesn't help that the time spent configuring your desktop which I would say it takes hours, depending on what you want to do with it, and the fact that sometimes software have annoying bugs in them (Hello, Nepomuk and KOrganizer) takes a lot of time to search the cause and solution.

Why do I bring this up? Because it hurts me. I want to create a project, open source it and you know, profit from it. The reality is that that won't happen because for some reason people take it as granted that if it's open source then they won't have to pay shit, nada. Sadly, I'll be stuck in a software company writing proprietary software while keeping my kickass open source solution as a pet project. Isn't that usually how it goes though? Everything starts small, suddenly you see all sorts of individuals poking around the mailing list or forums that they want support and you know you don't have the time because then there's this thing called family and your full time shift is draining you to hell.

I suppose I should go to r/linux and tell them how frustrating it is. Of course that won't happen. I do expect people to understand me; however I don't expect majority to agree with me, or even acknowledge the problem. Of course all these what-ifs and assumptions won't get me anywhere, but most of us know the drill. It's like going into r/skyrim and tell them how much the game sucks and you know that people there will downvote you to hell, even if you have legitimate reasons. But you know, if you aren't open sourcing your code it means you are a pretty shoddy programmer. *facepalm*

While the tone of this post may sound "angry". Which I'm not really, sad would be my current state.

It's pretty easy to talk about ideals and burn people in online communities. Hell, I expect to get a load of shit in the future because that's how it usually goes, sadly.