[Nottingham] A few talk titles

Joshua Lock incandescant at gmail.com
Mon Dec 10 03:27:02 UTC 2012

On 4 December 2012 09:13, Jason Irwin <jasonirwin73 at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 04/12/12 16:09, Joshua Lock wrote:
>> I do strongly believe that as people who choose to use free software,
>> and are educated as to the nuances of Free, we have a social contract
>> to provide constructive feedback.
> And the same can be said of proprietary software.

Yes and no. Usually one pays for the proprietary software in some
other way (advertisements, data, money). Whilst I do try and file bugs
as appropriate against any proprietary software I use I don't feel the
obligation I do with Free software where I consider the constructive
feedback to be payment for the software I use.

> Also consider Torvalds.  How do the Nvidia or OpenSUSE teams feel about what
> he's said?  If one of the leaders in F/OSS can't be a good F/OSS citizen by
> your definition, what hope is there for everyone else?

I'm fairly confident Linus has been quoted as saying people shouldn't
emulate him. I'm also fairly certain the Torvalds *does* file bug
reports and provide constructive feedback, which in some cases he then
follows with a monster flame throwing.

> Perhaps this is where the F/OSS community sort of back-fires.  People have
> raised bugs, tested fixes, offered ideas/patches/art etc and so feel
> (however peripherally) somehow involved in the project and "owning" at least
> part of it.  Then, just to make up an example, Shuttleworth says "We're
> integrating your web camera with Amazon so the best tie for your shirt can
> be recommended to you", people feel "their" project has jumped in a
> direction they don't like and the emotion comes out.
> I've actually read posts in support forums I frequent threatening developers
> because some bug or other manifested.  I may like a good strop at times; but
> that's just beyond the pale!
>> "I paid 99p for this and it crashed once, despite running perfectly
>> the other 20hrs of game time. What kind of loser releases software
>> which crashes? 1 star review. Burn in hell idiot."
> And the response from the seasoned F/OSSer should IMHO be:
> "Well, there's the code and the build scripts; you fix it."
> Actually you touch on something that I think other's have mentioned. There
> appears to be a entitlement when people get something for free/little and
> they blow-up like you point out.  Expensive applications/OSs crash, yet
> remain strangely popular.  I doubt Ballmer gets many "What kind of loser
> releases software which crashes? 1 star review. Burn in hell idiot." emails
> (or maybe he does?)

One would imagine he does, though someone on his staff probably
filters them away.

I'd guess the cost is a filter too, though I have no evidence to back
that hunch. There certainly seems to be something about that free/Free
price tag (in addition to the anonymity of the internet) that affects
people. I'd expect several papers to have been written about it at
this point.

I've also heard it suggested that the Free software idealists are more
emotionally invested in the software they use. My experience reflects
this, though I have nothing to cite.

> Maybe a rant is just that, a rant.  Safely ignored, or filed under "Attempt
> at humour failure".

My position is that I like to encourage fellow technically literate
Free software enthusiasts to strive to a higher ideal, and at the very
least to be aware that their rants can have consequences. I've known
of several folks who leave the Free software community because the
hostility is too much for them.

I also advocate the position as much as a reminder to myself. I've
spent most of my recent "spare-time" hacking filing and triaging bugs,
despite my initial instinct being to rant somewhere and get back to
coding on my own projects.

> As an aside: Cinnamon on Ubuntu is a really nice combo, although I mourn the
> loss of wobbly windows.  Simple tastes, me.

It's amazing how many folks do miss the wobbly Windows. Time to create
a Franken-desktop with Compiz wobbly

> As a further aside: I just accidentally discovered that I can highlight a
> section of an email, click "Reply" and Thunderbird uses the selection as a
> the quoted body.  Outlook doesn't do that.  Neat.

Really? That's a shame.

Joshua Lock

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