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

Tim Shannon shannon.timothy at
Wed Mar 19 14:22:42 CET 2008

Wow, this one trolls rant has been taken way too far.  Half the emails
in my box have the subject of
FreeRunner delayed a further 6 months?!?!??

On Tue, Mar 18, 2008 at 9:25 PM, Kevin Dean <kevin at> wrote:
> On Tue, Mar 18, 2008 at 8:52 PM, Lally Singh <lally.singh at> wrote:
> >  Yup, responding to my own post.  I've got more to say on this.
> >  This'll be it for a while, I want to see how this community's going to
> >  go without me dragging it kicking & screaming.
> >
> >  Growing up in a bunch of open-source projects, a developer has to
> >  decide which ones to work with.  You can't work on every open source
> >  project you use daily -- there are literally hundreds we touch as we
> >  go.  Instead, we pick and choose.  How?  Two criteria:
> >  1. The project itself.
> >  2. The community.
> I caution you in painting pictures of the community or it's members -
> we're ALL self-centric and those self-centricities are often as wrong
> as they are right.
> My criterion to which projects to help have nothing to do with the
> community but in many cases the lack of it. My single criterion is how
> well the project meets my need. OpenMoko, for instance, didn't have
> good documentation when I joined and documentation is something I
> think is useful. My motivations to help the project come from purely
> selfish motivations - the desire to fill in the gaps that matter to
> me.
> Perhaps you allude to this, and if so, I agree. If not, then I ask you
> to tak a step back and recognize the varied and diverse reasons that
> people value Free Software.
> >
> >  If the community's really friendly and invites you in, you're more
> >  likely to contribute.  If they reply to your inquries with a bunch of
> >  RTFM, Write it yourself, or (what the rest really are saying) f*ck
> >  off, then you're not going to go near them.
> This next statement is going to reflect "poorly" on the Debian
> community but I will, at this moment, disclaim my connection with them
> so that the "bad" is my burden not theirs...
> The first day I installed Debian GNU/Linux I was told "Read the
> fucking manual". Back then, they weren't nice enough to abreviate it
> for me. :)
> You argue that every person treated "rudely" is a potential
> contributor lost. Perhaps I'm in the obscure minority but it was that
> notion of self-reliance, that "do it yourself or it won't get done
> right" mentality that pushed me to contribute. I'm not a programmer in
> the sense of any of the project's I've contributed to but I like to
> think that I DO contribute to projects by being passionate and being
> persistant.
> Every person told RTFM is a person being told to be responsible for
> themselves. Where you see it inspiring a developer to avoid I project,
> I see it inspiring a hacker to start hacking.
> >
> >  The "build it and they will come" mentality *DOES*NOT*WORK*.  I'll
> >  remind you it came from a Kevin Costner movie, which really proves my
> >  point.  You have to fight for every user.  The nice part is, you only
> >  have to be nice and helpful... Things good leaders are anyway.
> I don't disagree with you on points here. My only notice here is that
> right NOW, OpenMoko is a "typical Free Software project". Fine. cool.
> When OpenMoko goes "mass market" it will NOT be a typical project. All
> of the axioms we've learned will be wrong at that point will be proven
> or disproven but will hold no bearing on what a Free Software project
> is. There has not yet been a Free Software project that set out, from
> the begining, to bring freedom. Not Apache, not Linux. WHile they MAY
> have achieved "critical mass" they didn't set out to be Free... GNU,
> which DID set out to be Free, failed by not releasing a complete OS
> "in time".
> Again, I don't disagree with you here on principal, but I do question
> the logic being asserted - OpenMoko is the ONLY platform advocating
> use freedom and control so all of the evidence we have on one side or
> the other is questionable at best.
> >
> >  If I get a few more of these well-poisoning messages I'm out -- my
> >  efforts here would be wasted as the community would never go anywhere.
> I've always found that my desire to join and contribute to projects
> are directly related to how I see that project benefiting me. By my
> worldview, if you see OpenMoko as benefiting you, what "the community"
> does is irrelevant since YOU are the only one you can directly control
> to provide that benefit to you. I see individuals working to meet
> their needs, altruism fails dramatically when your goal is to appeal
> to the mass market. You introduce several forms of diversity that
> begin conflicting. There comes a point in that great slippery slope
> when you must choose to do EVERYTHING and upset the "minimalist" or
> leave things out and offend the people who want "thing A".
> A project founded on freedom and control, that self-same "do it
> yourself" mentlality, allows the use to do what matters to them, and
> ignore the community. Democracy is a beautiful principal if you can
> ignore the fact that the majority is not always right.
> >   If people step up and actually try to build a real community, I'm in.
> >   I think there are more than a few others who feel the same way.
> With all of my criticism, I beleive that community is critical to the
> development of ANYTHING, and Free Software projects specifically. I'm
> not a coder, but I do beleive I have the capacity to write well and
> communicate efficiently. That strength is something that is useful, so
> I contribute it. Someone who is artistic can contribute in ways that a
> structual, process-driven programmer can't begin to (though there are
> some notible exceptions whom I can put name to). To reject these
> strenghts is paramount to evolutionary suicide.
> Yes to hold OpenMoko Inc. and FIC accountable to the strengths or
> shortcomings of the people who choose to be attracted to the project
> require a mindnumbing ignorance of reality. OpenMoko (as the project)
> appeals to a BUNCH of people in a bunch of ways and no ONE is going to
> be the "right" way. Personal responcibility means engaging yourself in
> a community that may not be optimal. God forbit the "debian" elitists
> who tried Ubuntu refused to help the Windows "lusers" who thought it
> looked pretty.
> OpenMoko is about freedom - the freedom to contribute how you can or
> to not contribute at all. Where we go knowing that is on us.
> >
> >
> >
> >  --
> >  H. Lally Singh
> >  Ph.D. Candidate, Computer Science
> >  Virginia Tech
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