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

Todd Deshane deshantm at gmail.com
Thu Dec 6 21:26:34 UTC 2007

Hi All,

I think this thread has gotten way off topic. Can somebody in charge
flag this thread as a "dead horse" [1] ?

I think there is some good discussion going on, but those discussions
should be taken to new, fresh threads.

I do think that in order to post to lists intended for developers to
read you should follow some of the guidelines in articles such as [2],
do some research and show that you can at least think clearly. (I
think I should have followed these rules better before posting... I
don't even know if the question was really answered anyway, other than
pointing at the guidelines, which I did read before posting at least.)

I don't really think this thread should continue as it is.

Let the developers and moderators get back to real work.


[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beating_a_dead_horse
[2] http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html

On Dec 6, 2007 4:05 PM, Kevin Fries <kfries at cctus.com> wrote:
> This was sent to me personally, and it has comments directed to others
> in the group... Therefore, I assume it was meant for the group at large.
> Kevin Fries
> -------- Forwarded Message --------
> From: Richard A. Johnson <nixternal at kubuntu.org>
> Reply-To: nixternal at kubuntu.org
> To: kfries at cctus.com
> Subject: Re: Appropriateness of posts to this list (Was Re: evince
> crash)
> Date: Thu, 6 Dec 2007 13:54:45 -0600
> On Thursday 06 December 2007, Kevin Fries wrote:
> [...]
> | 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.
> I couldn't agree with you more!
> | Rule #1 of Business: Its not about you.
> Actually, this wouldn't be Rule #1, but it is pretty much the Golden Rule of
> Business. Mark Cuban said it best a few years back, "Treat your customers
> like they own you, because they do." The hard part with this though in our
> little neck of the woods is that all of us are also customers, so it can get
> confusing.
> | If you do not make your customers wishes and desires #1 on your priority
> | list, your competition will.
> And they are (ie. PCLinuxOS, Fedora).
> | 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.
> It was all fine and dandy until this paragraph. This is the one thing that
> really could irk a volunteer to such a project. I have been around this
> community for a couple of years now and talking to some past developers and
> contributors, the one thing that was common was that "we are working for free
> while they are making money from our work." I look at it like this..Kubuntu
> is giving me more than I could ever give it. How?
> 1) I have a totally free operating system
> 2) I don't have to worry about all the other things I would have to with that
> other OS
> 3) The development community allows me to participate in which I get to learn
> the ins-and-outs of what really goes on (after a while, this is a nice CV
> bullet point)
> 4) The friends I have made in the process are totally worth every minute I
> have put in.
> | 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).
> I am 50/50 on this paragraph. I wholeheartedly believe there should be
> the "checking the ego at the door," however a little bit of ego never hurt
> anybody. For instance, look at Microsoft. They have the biggest ego of all,
> and they have yet to really fail at what they do. Going on with Microsoft,
> they do indeed listen to their customers, just because we don't see it simply
> because we are not their customers, doesn't mean they don't. If they didn't
> listen, would they really be as big as they are? I mean Apple and other
> operating systems have been around just as long. Imagine if the Linux
> community would have really listened to the complaints in the 90s, I think we
> would then be further than we are today. In our eyes, yes we do have a true
> advantage over Microsoft, but to the billions of Microsoft users out there,
> they laugh at that advantage.
> | 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?
> Very true, but one thing I have noticed from doing so is this:
> 1) Linux isn't gaining the ground with proprietary vendors. Why? because most
> distros have listened totally to the customer and have provided them with the
> proprietary solutions. This isn't helping in my opinion. And the one thing
> that really sucks with these proprietary solutions, we can't help/support the
> users when problems occur. The only thing we can do is say "oh well, that is
> what you get when using proprietary stuff, we can't help you, ask <insert
> proprietary mfr here>.
> The great thing about Linux is its scalability. It can pretty much be adapted
> to most environments. Providing proprietary solutions to the end user isn't
> doing anything for the cause, and is actually making us look like another
> Microsoft. We are starting to provide some of the same proprietary solutions
> (mainly drivers and codecs) to make the customer happy, and by doing this the
> majority of distro developers aren't aiming their efforts in helping the
> advancement of free solutions.
> I can go on about this forever. You are right when you say the customer is #1,
> and this is of course, like I said, the golden rule of business, a money
> making business. The tide is different when a great majority of your workers
> are providing their time, knowledge, and everything else for absolutely free
> (there are the exceptions of course, people like me who enjoy the freeness I
> have by using a free operating system). A month or so back Scott and I had a
> similar conversation in IRC and I was upset about it, but after sitting back
> and thinking about it, I can see his point and understand it. We all have our
> egos and that's what makes all of us unique. We are all customers of our own
> creations, so making us happy should also be an important rule. If we aren't
> happy, then nobody will be happy. So unlike a typical business, their has to
> be some give-and-take with the free software community, at least a happy
> medium. So far it has worked for Ubuntu as well as many other distrobutions.
> Scott, I do have a problem with the document you linked to about asking smart
> questions. Most of the answers I have seen in there are stupid answers or
> stupid solutions. I was always raised with the idea that there isn't a such
> thing as a stupid question, and I believe that. Just because most of us know
> to Google this or that, or know how to find solutions, that doesn't mean that
> every Tom, Dick, and Harry does. I have a professor who has multiple degrees
> (Bachelors (couple of them), Masters (up there with those too), and PhDs),
> yet he asks his students for help researching information online because he
> isn't as savvy as some of the students, that doesn't make any of his
> questions stupid. I say burn that smart questions document, as it is
> obviously from the 90s with the "STFW" and "RTFM" type assessments. Its a
> miracle that the community has survived through all of that stuff and not
> driven more people away.
> OK, </end here> :)
> --
> Kevin Fries
> Senior Linux Engineer
> Computer and Communications Technology, Inc
> A Division of Japan Communications Inc.
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> Ubuntu-devel-discuss mailing list
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