Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-factory (661 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-factory] The Future of SaX2
  • From: Rob OpenSuSE <rob.opensuse.linux@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 2 Dec 2009 19:02:25 +0000
  • Message-id: <ce9d8ed60912021102p3c19e386t84b736b89c53e66c@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
2009/12/2 Larry Stotler <larrystotler@xxxxxxxxx>:

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?

What if the experience gained by the release of 11.2 and
auto-configuration was used when considering the decision?

Frankly looking at forums and around, the X11 auto-configuration has
been a success, and I would like some money for every time a new
openSUSE user had had an issue with graphics, and needed to be told to
go to do an init 3 and run sax2!

Everyone is better placed to say, we don't need sax2 now, whereas if
Novell ppl had put sax2 in jeopardy beforehand it would have led to a
lot of wasted time, based on (mostly) groundless fears. What I have
used today, instead of sax2 isn't perfect, but is near enough to not
have worries for future on this.

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.

If the programs important, then with the code, you can pay someone to
maintain it even if you lack the skills to work on it yourself. If
sax2 or KDE3 development was vital to businesses wouldn't it be
possible to fund the work? How many of the vociferous community
moaners actually ever compiled KDE3 for themselves even once?

Not having updates, does not mean software stops working the same as
the day before, it's moth balling was announced.

Now, one key difference, is with FOSS you can demonstrate noone can
shutdown your software. With commercial software, you're relying on
say MS not deciding with something like Genuine Advantage to pull the
plug on your release, or decide you broke your EULA.

Those businesses you convert may have been stiffed by commercial
software vendors in the past, exploiting their "sole sourcing" to
increase their fees unreasonably.

 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).

KDE4 made mistake of not co-existing gracefully with KDE3, so users
could try it out, and then go back to KDE3 day to day once the
curiousity & craving for novelty was satisfied. I agree the KDE team
in openSUSE made a mistake making KDE4 the preferred KDE in 11.1, with
KDE3 relegated to "Other".

Hopefully this spectacular embaressing experience, teaches other FOSS
projects not to repeat over-optimistic promises based on vapour-ware,
and to neglect compatability during transition for end-users.
Trusting the distro's to do it, doesn't work.!!

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.

But Sax2 is not a program any sane end-user wants to run regularly,
it's a nice configurator for old X11 servers based on a static config
file. If the code has been written by GNOME & KDE already, then
what's the point in duplicating the effort?

Putting the time into FOSS graphics drivers, and improving the X &
audio stack will satisfy many more ppl, than maintaining & developing
"living fossils".

Talking about the Windows world, how many are using the same virus
scanner, spyware and word processor that they used 8 years ago?

Asking permission to drop something in advance, is a recipe for time wasting!
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