waiting for professional grade

Lindsay Haisley fmouse at fmp.com
Sun Dec 6 00:48:09 GMT 2009

On Sat, 2009-12-05 at 18:18 -0600, Brian David wrote:
> That is absolutely not the appropriate response.  The right response
> is, in fact, what a lot of devs on this list do, to their credit.  It
> is to ask those with criticisms to participate in development in some
> way.
> A comunity developed project is not well served by telling people to
> go take a hike.  And no project anywhere, community-developed or
> otherwise, is well-served by deflecting criticism with flippant
> responses.  

I pretty much agree with this in general.  The "appropriate response"
that I mean is an answer to the charge, voiced usually by people who
don't understand F/OSS, which goes something like "If Linux people want
to get more market share.... etc., etc."  Linux isn't about market
share.  Generally, F/OSS progresses by virtue of effort in a gift
economy, and developers rightly don't care about market share.  So your
point is well taken in that the appropriate answer to "this software
should ...." is "then jump in and make it ....".

On the other hand, for people who are looking for a tool to do a job,
and are not programmers, and are not satisfied with a F/OSS A/V package,
getting involved with development may not be a realistic option, and for
them "go buy Pro Tools" is not flippant, but very possibly good advice.
It's not the responsibility of F/OSS developers to program according to
the specs dictated or required by users.  Those who do get caught up in
development are often involved in what all too often is a perpetual Work
in Progress, which is one of the pitfalls of F/OSS development.  Some
projects, which are well managed, are usable and mature, even in
unstable or SVN versions (I work on the Bluefish HTML editor, which is
one such project thanks to Olivier Sessink's capable leadership).
Others have a perpetually unfinished feel, even in stable versions.
ALSA was a wasteland of arcane data structures, bad or absent
documentation, bugs, incompatibilities and other gremlins for years.  It
seems to be a bit better these days, but it took a _long_ time.

Lindsay Haisley       | "In an open world,    |     PGP public key
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