This thread is dead, Fred.

I love Open Source software, but sometimes I hate Open Source software people…

Not all of them, but that guy.

There’s at least one for every project.

He’s the guy who has attached himself to the project in some official capacity and will respond negatively to any question posted in the forum that is the least technical or sane.

You can ask “what length is a piece of string” and he won’t bother you, you can ask “Is the pope catholic” and he won’t interject.

But ask “If I pass 7 as the item count, I get a crash, but only if I pass 7” he will reply “don’t pass 7 then”…

If you don’t yet know this is that guy and explain why you might pass 7, he will respond with “have you considered using that thing instead?” – where that thing’s only commonality with what you were trying to achieve is some singular keyword such as “code” or “C”.

I’ve been trying to do some non-WWII related odds and ends to get my coding zen/fu spinning again, but I just keep on running into that guy and my “I’ll do it myself” level is almost in danger of surpassing my “reinventing the wheel is bad” threshold.

Of course, closed source is no guarantee there won’t be one, but usually the people standing to lose money from him will spot him and shut him down.

The real difference is that with Open Source he is usually the death of the project: seeing that every thread asking a question similar to theirs got the same stupid, dumb-ass responses from that guy and the actual project developers treat those threads as dealt with, next guy goes off and writes their own end-to-end solution, generously pinching as much of the source project as they need. And voila, another dead open source project

4 Comments

Now, is that guy related to the guy who is indignant that you asked a question without investing in this project by learning all there is to know about it, its history, and its community?

Hmm, I can’t really say that’s been my experience. (Or maybe *I* am that guy… ;-) Mostly what I’ve encountered are excessively terse responses about how my question was asked before 3 years ago (in a mail thread that doesn’t show up in searches) and why didn’t I RTFM.

What sort of projects are you talking about?

Yeah, DOC’s that guy. Aaah, you said open source… For a moment I thought… Nevermind. :D

OT: I’m starting my own little project to get into the dev world…I’m making an app for my phone for rowing.

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