FreeRunner delayed a further 6 months?!?!??

Lally Singh lally.singh at
Wed Mar 19 01:44:01 CET 2008

On Tue, Mar 18, 2008 at 8:28 PM, David Lefty Schlesinger
<lefty at> wrote:
> Lally Singh wrote:
>  >
>  > When someone says "this should get fixed" the *last* response to give
>  > is "fix it yourself."
>  Clearly the words of someone who's never attempted to complain about the
>  lack of a driver for their special hardware on the Linux kernel mailing
>  list. "Fix it yourself" is actually a pretty common response in open
>  source projects when the "fix" that's being demanded is a relatively low
>  priority in the grand scheme of things.
>  Fact is, there's never a shortage of things needing to be done, and the
>  folks who are being paid to work on OpenMoko no doubt have a long, long
>  list of things that they need to fix already. So your options amount to
>  "fix it yourself", "do without" or "wait". That's the reality of open
>  source projects, particularly those at an early stage, as OpenMoko is:
>  if you're convinced that what you need is a high priority, then the
>  expectation is that you'll "put your money where your mouth is" and
>  start contributing.
>  (Of course, if you'd prefer, you could go to a platform like the iPhone,
>  so when you demand that you need to have, say, cut and paste
>  capabilities, the response will effectively be, "Tough" or "No, you don't.")
>  I'd be interested in hearing about the open source projects you're
>  familiar with, particularly those where the response is "How high?" when
>  the demand is "Jump!"

Oh sheesh.  Why are you trying so hard to poison this project?

Read the rest of the response.  I said the proper response is "please
file a bug report."  Or shove it on a wishlist.  Someone spent time
trying to contribute to the project with their own ideas, and the last
thing you want to do is throw it back in their face.  At minimum,
you'll throw away a user, at worst, you've lost a significant
potential contributor.

The wish list can be 10 gigabytes long, that's fine.  As long as the
user's been brought a little into the fold, and suddenly we have a
bunch of nice little places for new developers to join in the project.
 A wish list (or bug report list) and a "getting started with
developing for project X" is how you get people in.

Open source projects are even more dependent on marketing in their
day-to-day activities than regular commercial endeavors.  Nobody's
(usually) getting paid, nobody's *got* to do the work.  All you have
is making each other happy working together.

H. Lally Singh
Ph.D. Candidate, Computer Science
Virginia Tech

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