Monday, September 21, 2009

Projects: be open or die

So i search for poppler on google and find http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/blfs/view/svn/general/poppler.html a page from the Linux From Scratch project that mentions how to build poppler. I spot a couple of factual errors there and after some searching i see i have to mail lfs-dev@linuxfromscratch.org which i do.

After an hour or so i get a mail saying my mail has been rejected to enter the mailing list.

After querying the admin of the list i get "IIRC, you are not registered with the list." That's it, not a "please for bugs use thisOtherService this list is for core contributors", not even something like "Please register, we prefer people to do so it makes sure follow ups are not lost", nothing.

So good luck with the project, if you don't want to include fixes it's up to you, but you should make contributing easy otherwise you'll end up with no incoming people and you'll project will die sooner or later.

I'm glad KDE community is generally more welcoming than that.

13 comments:

Diego said...

Well, take the time to read carefully:
http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/mail.html
«You must subscribe to a list before posting.»

So, try to be a bit more accomodating...

Albert Astals Cid said...

@Diego: So i need to subscribe to a list to report a bug? No thanks. And if i need to subscribe the administrator should say it and be kind, makes life easier to everyone.

Anonymous said...

Normally you have to register on bugs.kde.org too to report bugs ...

Diego said...

I think "IIRC, you are not registered with the list." can be read also the other way round: "You need to register to post.".

Regarding the registration: as said by Anonymous, you need to register to b.k.o too, so I don't see the problems.

As for being kind, you're not proving of being better than them: what's really wrong with registering? You can then even unscribe subsequently (unlike b.k.o)!

Albert Astals Cid said...

The difference is huge, in bugs.kde.org i only receive answers for what i want, that is the bug i reported, for that mailing list i'll get a huge number of mails i don't care for.

rhk said...

I feel your pain: http://risto.kurppa.fi/blog/the-open-source-project-that-made-me-annoyed-angry/

Diego said...

Albert, sorry, but that's false too. You can turn on the "Vacation mode", just read at the bottom of this page:
http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/mail.html

I think you're a bit exaggerating the whole problem just because you didn't receive a kind reply from one single administrator.

Seriously, take a deep breath and think about it. It's not that important.

Regards,
Diego

Lee_B said...

I agree. It seems to be a common expectation that, to report a bug, you must subscribe to a list, or at least be willing to help fix the bug. I've always thought that a very strange notion -- essentially, you have to join the project in some limited way before you're allowed to say that anything about it could benefit from improvement.

Ian Monroe said...

Mailing lists admin should allow through on-topic posts from people off the list. In mailman you can then check a box and allow future postings from them. It is just good policy.

Ian Monroe said...

@Lee bug reporting is different then just giving a correction like what Albert was doing. If you're not willing to spend the time to help fix the bug (eg respond to requests for more info, to try different things) then you'd really do everyone a favor by not reporting it. Likely someone else with the issue who has the time will have the same bug.

Albert Astals Cid said...

@Diego: I'm not saying LFS is going to die, i'm just saying that projects should be as open as possible otherwise you loose potential contributions. In this case i had a valid contribution that didn't need more followup, just accept the mail into the mailing list and if someone needs to answer me he can mail me directly, and it's been lost by the rules, that's bad for everyone.

Lee_B said...

@Ian: sorry, but I still disagree. I would never expect people to fix or even help fix bugs in my software. If they spend the time to give me even the slightest hint that something is wrong, then I (try to) appreciate it, and take what I can from it. I don't expect people to care about my project like I do -- especially if it's broken for them in some way; that's just egotistical.

Lee_B said...

Err, poor choice of words there. What I meant was that *I* would consider myself to be too egotistical, if I had done that. To each their own, of course. I'm just saying, personally, I think it's a strange view to take.