A Week of Fist Shaking at BOFH and Open Source Developers

The past week was one of the worst in recent computer experiences I’ve had, surpassing the Leopard install. In fact, the last time my experience has been this bad was when I last fiddled with website software. I was going to abandon the whole server transfer/upgrade plan due to the issues the upgrades were causing, but I remembered the transfer itself should be fairly trouble free. I’ll only upgrade a minor version; not a whole version, which would require adding a lot of code to custom modules Jesse wrote. Should be.

I can appreciate the time and effort invested by those who work on open source projects, but developers who complain that users aren’t migrating to their latest efforts quickly enough are both arrogant and naive. Customers prefer to be able to continue using the data they’ve stored in the current versions to losing them when they migrate to the newer ones. I’m pretty sure it’s the same for OSS users. Much as I love writing code, I have enough to write already thank you very much. And I don’t appreciate having to spelunk through your code to figure out what those data structures you’ve added are supposed to do (”ooh, shiny, new!”) just because you’re too lazy to write the docs (”the code are the docs!”) and impatient to play with your new ideas.

Although the site I inherited from Jesse used a CMS system distinct and incompatible from the one I had selected when I started my own, I didn’t want to switch it around or try doing new things with it because I felt the continuity was better than taking the time to rebuild a site from scratch. But now I can appreciate Jesse’s decision to do such a thing. If I have to spend the downtime upgrading parts that already work well just to get the features needed for other modules, I might as well fix it to my own needs and ignore the chaos that OSS developers are creating in the system. Now the whole NIH question is thrown out the window. It’s no longer a matter of, “Oh, I can do a cooler system.” Now it’s a question of the developers themselves causing users to abandon their system. A question of distrust and self-preservation.

Hopefully, any remaining misconfigurations in the website will be rectified before a second person notices it.

If you sent an email in the past 24 hours (of 2007-12-05) and you haven’t gotten a response already I apologize, but you’ll need to resend it. My site host doesn’t transfer files, emails, settings, or the like between accounts; and well, it has probably been crushed by the lumbering floes. In fact, if you’re waiting for a response from me on anymatter, please jog my memory with another email.

Anyway, at least the site now has some breathing room, and I can continue improving the products.

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