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[03.08.04] Danube tales
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[24.11.03] negatives, positives and landscapes
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18 Aug 2001 :: The new version of centericq has been released. It was fun indeed to make it support Hebrew and Arabic :).. [ more.. ]

09 May 2001 :: Now konst.org.ua is hosted at the Simple End User Linux project site. Thank you, guys... [ more.. ]

04 May 2006 :: In the rest of my notes I wrote about two trips: to the nearby New Jersey, and to Pennsylvania, which is a bit further from New York. In Pennsylvania, there is a town called Intercourse. During our whole stay there we laughed at its name just like Beavis and Butt-head would do... [ more.. ]

[ 24th Nov 2003 ] negatives, positives and landscapes | 2 comments | leave a comment |

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 about idiots.

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 like that.

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.

Positive

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.

Landscapes

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.

Fine-art.net

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 welcome.

That's it. Now I'm really going to start writing a note about the travel to Crimea. Immediately.



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