Appropriateness of posts to this list (Was Re: evince crash)

Kevin Fries kfries at
Thu Dec 6 18:55:40 UTC 2007

On Thu, 2007-12-06 at 12:03 -0500, Scott Kitterman wrote:
> I think you misunderstand my point.

No I got it.  And I think that that thinking is wrong and dangerous to
Linux in general, and Ubuntu in specific.


> My concern is the idea that "because a user said they want it" is a meaninful 
> metric in a largely volunteer project.  In Free software projects, the 
> meaningful metric for what gets done is what the people doing the work think 
> needs doing (and this applies to all types of work, not just development, in 
> the project).  Volunteers can't be ordered.  They have to be convinced.

If I don't get my steak the way I ordered it.  I buy my steak from
elsewhere.  Ubuntu with no users, is not anything but an exercise in
ego.  What the customer wants is the only real metric.  You need to
understand that as a developer, and I live with that every day as a
Consultant, Designer, and Implementer.

Which of those priorities you wish to work on, however, is completely
your own decision.  But the customer MUST set the priorities of what
needs done in the bigger picture. And, the customer MUST set the list of
features that need to be implemented.

Rule #1 of Business: Its not about you.

If you do not make your customers wishes and desires #1 on your priority
list, your competition will.

Lets not forget, Ubuntu is a business product, distributed by a real
business.  Therefore, its not about you... or me.  Its about the
customer.  Making the customer feel like they have to talk you into
something, is just not good business.  This is why I spend so many hours
providing help to ANYONE who asks.  Even people I would rather not.  Its
not about me, its about Ubuntu, and what is best for the project.

Even more so in an all volunteer endeavor, egos must be checked at the
door.  Developer's egos, designer's egos, and consultant's egos.  We as
the people trying to make this a success, need to listen to the customer
so that there will be more of them.  Its the one true advantage we have
over Microsoft which is notorious for blowing off their customer to do
what is in their best interest (Can we say Windows Genuine Advantage, or
Digital Rights Management... I knew we could).

You allow the customers wishes to be the only real metric because you
place Ubuntu and Linux's needs before your own.  Otherwise, are you
really helping?

Kevin Fries
Senior Linux Engineer
Computer and Communications Technology, Inc
A Division of Japan Communications Inc.

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