@cketti Yes. And also: If the tool they built mattered to you, maybe not just move along trying to look for "another alternative" but actually trying to figure out how to keep that alive, how to revive, fork, maintain, fund, ... a process that keeps this project from fading away because the lead developer had to pull out of it? In the end, a lot of this current dispute feels much more like consumerism than real "FLOSS community". 😟
@csepp Agreed. But ... I bluntly think it needs both awareness and preparation on both ends. It needs "customers" or users that pay attention to what they use. But maybe it also needs developers who think about things such as, well, "continuity" or scalability. Like: Who or how to handle situations of load? How to fix that security issue that can't be postponed while you're on vacation? That kind of stuff. One-man-shows aren't a good idea here it seems. Communities could help here.
@cketti @z428 Well, it has a bit more layers than that. First, the user might not be aware of the risks. The license is not enough IMHO, after a certain adoption threshold, if the readme doesn't communicate the (lack of) support or stability, then the fault partially lies with the project lead(s).
It's like feeding birds. If they get used to it and then you take away the bird feeder on a whim, it's not the bird's fault. Obviously that's an exaggeration, but hopefully you get what I mean.
Like, if the dev is burning out, they can communicate that before they completely give up on the project.
@csepp @z428 Developers generally don't trick people into depending on their software. If you do depend on it, that was your choice. If you didn't foresee that the software might be abandoned at some point, that's on you. Really, that's not specific to FOSS at all.
But with open source software you at least still have the source code and can continue development (or pay someone to do it for you).
> that's on you
I find that assigning blame is less useful than trying to figure out how to avoid the problem. 🤷
No one claimed anyone is being tricked, the point I was trying to make (maybe badly), is that it's possible to communicate issues in advance, before they pile up.
And yup, it's not specific to FOSS, all projects should be transparent about their sustainability. That only reinforces that issues should be communicated in advance, whatever their nature may be.
Also maybe I underestimate people, but I don't think developers have a clear perspective on how well regular folks understand how software projects are developed.
Realistically, just complaining about their lack of understanding won't make most of them understand. The most effective way to make this information reach them is via the channels where they read about updates and docs.
> That only reinforces that issues should be communicated in advance, whatever their nature may be.
You're asking for people who already basically work for free to do even more work, so that you aren't inconvenienced too much.
I'd say you can certainly hope for that, but you shouldn't expect it, much less demand it.
Adding a simple sentence to a readme is not a lot of effort. 🤷
Nor is writing a short "hey i'm having difficulties, don't expect a new release any time soon".
And no, that's not why I'm asking. *I* understand software development. A random person who downloads [insert software name] from a repo (or even from an official project page) might not. I hoped that was clear.
Devs and users alike are not exempt from societal norms or having to communicate and listen.
IMHO preventing contributor burnout is a more important problem than treating it after it already happened, simply because prevention is nearly always the better solution to any given problem.
If the dev feels like they are expected to do free work, they can lessen the expectation by telling their users they can't work on the project, instead of working on the project until they burn out.
@hypolite I don't really disagree but think you missed my point. A lot of FLOSS advocates, these days, still claim people should choose FLOSS software instead of proprietary offerings also because FLOSS is more "sustainable" and doesn't leave you at the mercy of a corporation that might discontinue a service at any given time. I wonder whether at this point we should either be more honest (and stating that this is the same or maybe even worse for ... 1/2
@hypolite ... projects driven exclusively by individual volunteer enthusiasts in their spare time) and/or try to strive for actually _getting_ to a point where this sustainability is even possible. Like: What would it take to make FairEMail, Friendica, Pleroma, Diaspora, ... more "sustainable" than, in example, Twitter or Flickr that have been around for 10+ years...? 2/2
@heluecht Yes. But GNUSocial also is a good example for what I meant: For most people I, in example, know on Twitter or Flickr, they have had "stable" accounts and reasonable stable networks there for > 10, in cases for > 15 years. I know _very_ little (no?) people that have been active with a stable crowd for that long in any of the open networks, no matter whether identi.ca, gnusocial or Diaspora, let alone using this as their main means of communication... 😐
@heluecht Yeah, was thinking Google+ too (or the myspace decline). Not suggesting that this can't happen with corporate players, but point is that it is not _not_ going to happen with more open systems either. That's what sort of concerns me. Or, well, no, "concern" is a wrong word. It feels a bit sad because "we"(?) could possibly do better here.
GNUsocial has been pretty much on its way down with ActivityPub and Mastodon around. My instance has closed down a few years ago. Similar things seem to happen to Diaspora at the moment, for the same reason. Who should I possibly have donated to? The developer of the software? The admin running that particular instance back then? What kind of impact would my donation have made do change that (or even to prevent right that from happening)?
@hypolite How did we manage to get things such as Wikipedia, Debian or larger GNU/Linux distributions to "fly"? Of course at least Linux, too, is suffering from fragmentation and having way too many different "just because" - reimplementations of virtually everything, but maybe in the last couple of years we just unlearnt how to focus on shared goals? I'm not sure here, and maybe this sounds more harsh than it is intended to, yet still it feels quite ... weird.
@witchescauldron I'm not really sure, to be honest. Not even sure which side to start with... Maybe the FLOSS movement has aged poorly because some of its ideas and approaches don't work that well anymore in days of #surveillancecapitalism? Maybe, worse, current FLOSS to quite some point has even made ethically disputable business models possible in the first place?
@hypolite @heluecht @z428 @witchescauldron @cketti
re: "Do what you can"
That's pretty much what I said, just focused on the communication aspect. 🙃
Like you said, "do what you can" should also be taken to apply to non-code contributions, including writing docs, helping out on issue trackers, and keeping the community healthy. If it improves things, it's worth doing.
@hypolite @heluecht @z428 @witchescauldron @cketti That's where guidelines come in handy. In my eyes, it's not much different than adding a CoC, or using issue templates. It just makes things smoother at very little cost to the contributors.
If just jumping head first into the project and not managing expectations leads to burnout, then I don't understand the opposition to preventing that, especially if the dev's enjoyment of their work is so important.
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