Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-factory (661 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-factory] The Future of SaX2
  • From: Larry Stotler <larrystotler@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 2 Dec 2009 12:23:17 -0500
  • Message-id: <9bb996600912020923n47ce190bqfc61dabcf38fc531@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
On Wed, Dec 2, 2009 at 6:20 AM, Egbert Eich <eich@xxxxxxx> wrote:
Let me say it this way: If you tell a free software developer working
on a specific project you want this and that feature in the project
he will most likely only do something for you if he cares about the
feature too. If he isn't intereseted you are on your own - but hey,
it's free software, you can do something about it.

You can if you are a programmer and have the time to do the work. Or
you can HOPE that someone else will step up, which often doesn't

Novell is not much different from that: Novell needs to spend money
to pay people to do work for them. Then this becomes a business decision
- and as I've already stated in my original email - business decisions
are not discussed with the community.

True enough, but it would help if the community had been kept better
informed. So far, SINCE the release of 11.2, we've found out that PPC
support was dropped, and now SaX2 has been dropped. Shouldn't this
have come out beforehand and if it did, where did it come out? On the
project lists? Shouldn't these kind of announcements be made on the
website & regular mailing lists?

And of course this business decision wasn't made without considering the
alternatives and making sure that they are viable before deprecating
This may sound hostile but it is not: openSUSE is free software just
like SaX2. If people feel SaX2 is still of great value why can't they
step up and take it over?
This was the whole purpose of my original email.
As a free software developer who has devoted a lot of his spare time
on developing free software I always found the demanding attitude of
some users very inappropriate. This is no different regarding the demands
made on Novell.

I'm not knocking Novell for a business decision. These decisions can
be hard, but they often need to be made.

Lack of ability is the biggest problem. At least for someone like me.

One thing that has always bothered me about open source(and this is
something I'm dealing with now with a project to convert a business to
open source & linux) is that the open source people promote it as
being a better alternative. However, if I switch someone to openSUSE
from Windows because they need program A or feature B, and then the
maintainers decide they aren't going to update it anymore, then you've
pushed away an important new user. Plus, a lot of new stuff like KDE4
just doesn't have compelling reasons for old timers. I totally
understand the need to attract new people, but if you are pushing
people away then you have an almost static situation instead of a net
gain. Of course, you can't cater to everyone, but it is a problem.

Personally, so long as the alternative works, then I'm not
complaining. BUT, when things are promised but not delivered it
creates a problem for the community. KDE4 was supposed to need LESS
resources than KDE3 and that evaporated real fast. Now everyone is
just told to upgrade(which is very difficult for some people
considering the shape of the economy in the world today). Some, like
my son, like a lot of the new stuff in KDE4. Others like myself just
see the fluff and don't see the point in it when we just want
something that works and is stable. KDE4 is finally becoming stable
and more usable, but it was a rough road and many decisions were made
which hurt it(and not just by the devs. distros that pushed it out
way too soon like Fedora should have known better).

In the end, an open source project still needs its community. The
developers put this stuff out to encourage people to use it. If they
aren't going to make a commitment to maintain it without a viable or
better alternative, then they are in some ways hurting the uptake of
open source software, and uptake is something we all want to see
continue. That's why we are all here. Devs and users alike.
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