Continuing to discuss such topic as Open source programs development
being a hobby, today I'll tell you about a thing developers like me
have to face with daily. Compared to this, the lack of appreciation that Mishoo wrote about is nothing. It'll be
Imagine yourself that on your leisure, for free or maybe even at your
own expense (in some sense) you write software, and then give it out to
others, absolutely for free and with source code. There is also a
special file shipped with the program, which contains answers on the
most frequently asked questions. But once, some John Doe appears asking
on e-mail (or even on ICQ) exactly the things that can be easily read in
the very FAQ. Needs to say, he doesn't appear only once, but on a
regular basis, and not alone, but with a whole group of the same dumbasses.
Here is an example:
Is it normal for the 4.9.8 cvs version to compile to a 20mb file? I used
./configure --with-ssl --disable-konst --without-intl Should I be doing
something to get rid of debug code or something like that?
So, my answer was the following:
Is it normal that you haven't read the FAQ?
It's not even about the question. It happens that someone doesn't find
documentation in the package or just forget about it. But let's see what
one who thinks that whole the world owes him does on receiving the
contrary question about the FAQ.
Yes, if it's what I wouldn't expect to be a "frequently asked
question". But, especially as a developer, it's not normal I'd be
a smart ass to a (former) user.|
Love(d) your program. Good luck with it.
What we can see here is that he feels offended, also there is an
allusion on obligations I may have, plus an absolutely mortal argument.
Just a real threat. He doesn't use centericq anymore. The sense of my
life has just been lost forever. To be or not to be..
The idea of free software got so common that some people started mixing
up who owes what and to whom. I can quite agree that a user is free not
to feel any obligations toward a programmer who wrote some application.
But I have never heard that a free software developer would ever be
obliged. It seems just weird to me that someone can suppose something
I would be really glad if people who affirm that they don't use the
program anymore would really switch to something else. I totally welcome
such decisions, because as result, there are less people who think I'm
indebted to them.
Actually I'm saying that in order just to warn beginner open source
programmers what they can expect in the free software development apart
from positive things like satisfaction and feedback from thankful users.
I would also like to say a few words about the latter, because due to
them developers get their everyday portion of enthusiasm.
Since the moment I started working on centericq, I made a lot of friends
exactly because of this very program. With the majority of them we have
never met in the real life, because they live rather far away from here and
their geography sometimes is very varied. Nevertheless, I do know that I
can rely on these people. Some of them helped me a lot when I was
through difficult situations. Also, I had a chance to meet some talented
developers, authors of exciting programs and libraries.
Here is a life example. When I moved to Bucharest, shortly after
starting my new job here and finding an appartment, I felt a need in an
internet connection for my new home. I remembered that one of people I knew due to
centericq worked at a major ISP in Bucharest. I addressed him in order
to find out something about the situation on the market here. First he
provided me with a good dial-up, and then when it came to a permanent
connection, asked me to contact him as soon as the contract is signed,
so that he could ask the installation guys to come faster. Actually I
only needed so that they pull a cable into my house and plug the signal
in. I could quite handle a cable modem setup on my own.
The lady from the customers care office of "Astral Telecom", who took
care of my contract said that normally connecting a cable took 20
working days, during which their team should come. Due to Gabriel's
efforts, they came on the second day. Since then the connection between
my home and the global network is permanent. The 128k with unlimited
traffic cost me $29/mo. I'm also very happy about the quality. Moreover,
it's the fastest connection I have ever had at home.
Finishing here about the positive sides of open source, I want to say
thanks to Evgeniy Medvedev, Rodney Moss and Bjarni Einarsson for their donations.
Probably you have already heard about my special interest to the country
called Albania. After I met several daughters of this Balkan nation, I
decided I should definitely take a closer look at the country, thinking
of visiting it one day. But while still getting ready, I surf through
web sites with photos from there. Places from near the city of Shkodra
remind me of Crimea, the wonderful place where I've been this summer and
want to go once again at least. The impressions of the peninsula which I
still haven't yet written have partly gone and some lost their
actuality, but I'll try to write something anyway. Right now, as soon as
I finish this very text. But if you're curious to see other places in
Albania, here you can find an
absolutely amazing gallery with photos of this country.
Finally, if we've already touched upon (photo-) art, here is a small ad.
It'll be about painting which is the main activity of my dad. He's an
artist, and also a teacher at the Kharkov academy of arts. A while ago I
made a simple web site for him. There were reproductions, a list of
expositions, some articles by art critics.. The site URL was painter.com.ua, until
UANIC changed its rules and made .com.ua domains paid. After that, the
site existance was over for some time. Some time ago I found some time,
returned the domain to me and put back dad's site. A bit later we're
going to add more reproductions, and give the site a better look in
general. Nevertheless, it's already possible to browse it, and also to
send us e-mails, ask questions and make interesting offers. Invitations
to take part in expositions and orders for pictures are extremely
That's it. Now I'm really going to start writing a note about the travel
to Crimea. Immediately.