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Subject: RE: Hostility on this list :-(
From: Chris (quilley_at_shaw.ca)
Date: 2002-08-15


I tend to agree with you on this one Rob (maintainer of the faq Rob) Today I
had 100 emails sitting in my inbox (only two of which were spam). Granted,
50 were from a linux users group I am a member of, but that leaves a good 40
to 50 all of which I didn't read. I didn't read them because it seems that
whenever I take the time to read the emails from this list they tend to
already be addressed elsewhere (either in previous emails or in the faq(how
many times have I seen OGG threads on this list???)). How to fix this
problem? Maybe make the faq and the list of things to be implemented in each
release compulsory reading in order to join the list?? a moderation system
that restricts the number of emails allowed from people determined to be
dumb asses' or a waiting period before you can post? I'm not really sure amy
of these solutions would work or would be acceptable. Probably the best
solution is for people to flex a little common sense before posting (however
seemingly unachievable that goal is). I rarely post to the list because I
rarely have anything of importance to add to the discussion that hasn't
already been said. Lately it seems (to me atleast) that very few people
outside of the actual people coding rockbox have had anything useful to add
that hasn't been said before and that gets frustrating because there has
been talk of splitting the list up into a couple of mailing lists and
personally I feel that the list is manageable as is, as long as people take
the time to listen instead of just post "man this feature would be so KOOL!"
or "how do i fix this locked hard drive problem (that is addressed in the
faq)?" emails.

I too speak for only myself,

Chris

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-rockbox_at_cool.haxx.se [mailto:owner-rockbox_at_cool.haxx.se]On
Behalf Of Robert Hak
Sent: Wednesday, August 14, 2002 8:48 PM
To: rockbox_at_cool.haxx.se
Subject: Re: Hostility on this list :-(

Robert,

I'm going to speak up for me alone. (Im not one to speak for others)

Have things been a bit more hostile? Yeah, maybe. But I'll be the first
one to say that its not a general feeling. Basically, I have tired of ppl
asking for/making requests for additions that have been stated in various
places to not be things that are possible, or that we wish to pursue at
this time.

Routinely we face things that are answered in the FAQ (of which I am the
maintainter, so I take it's not being read as an afront to my work), and
in the growing list of previously requested ideas. A quick purusal of the
requests list on sourceforge list _3_ seperate requests for a bootloader.
(God for bid ppl do the work of scrolling back)

As for the discusions on the mailing list. You are correct that it is for
the exchange of ideas. The one failing point is that this project
belongs/is controled by one individual. If others feel like taking our
work and diverging, they have that right. If not, then they will have to
suffer with his final decision. Beyond this, when statements are made as
to _why_ we don't do this, and the discusion continues, it just becomes a
waste of energies better well spent. In other words, the 'discussion'
quickly begins to feel like a fight with a child. "Why? ... Because I
said so..... But I don't agree. So why?.... Because I already told you
why..... Thats not good enough."

Having 15 messages in my mailbox about a topic that had been put to rest
for all intents and purposes is ridiculous.

We are simply facing the same problems that all projects with a growing
user base faces.

Regarding the rudeness in general. I feel this is a common action, and
serves its purpose. If you don't agree, please look at:
http://www.tuxedo.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html and you will get
a better idea of _why_ these things happen.

Thats my .02 cents (american, your rates may vary).

Rob
/Adi

On Thu, 15 Aug 2002, Robert Tweed wrote:

This post is just a rant, inspired by the fact that a lot of people are
immediately saying "show me the code" or similar, whenever anyone posts a
suggestion here. Now, I can understand that no-one wants drawn out threads
about stuff that is never going to happen, but I think that the primary
purpose of this list should be to encourage the free flow of these ideas,
and to discuss design and engineering problems *before* writing any code.

I personally am *not* going to contribute any code to this project at any
time in the near future. I'm a competent programmer/designer and can offer
ideas, but I just don't have time to set up a development environment or
write any code for Rockbox just now. Therefore, if anyone tells me to show
them the code, they won't get any, because I am not writing any code just
now. However, if anyone needs some creative ideas to solve a difficult
problem, I just may be able to help.

I thought I'd just say what I am thinking at the moment, because lately this
list seems to be getting more and more hostile for some reason. I think this
may turn away a lot of people who would otherwise be making a useful
contribution here, even if they are not submitting any code. I mean, there
are probably a few non-programmers here with good ideas about UI design, but
they aren't about to implement those ideas by themselves.

If people want to talk about design issues, they should be allowed to talk
about them *as design issues*. For instance, the thread about directory and
filename structures is basically about UI design. If people want to discuss
those ideas until they can come up with a UI feature that works, I think
that is a good thing. If people make stupid suggestions they should be told
that those suggestions are stupid.

However, everyone should not merely be encouraged to create an optional
add-on, which is most likely badly designed, adding unneccessary weight and
obfuscation to the program. We should be trying to make good design
decisions as well as writing solid code; and the people that do one will not
necessarily be the same people that do the other. If everyone that has
commented on directory structures adds an optional module for viewing
directories, we'll just have a confusing sprawl that takes up precious bytes
when a single, simple system might have satisfied everyone.

Maybe we'll even come up with a UI feature that becomes standard on all MP3
players because of its ingenuity? We probably won't see any useful
innovation like that if people aren't allowed to discuss their ideas, and
everyone is expected to just implement every random thought that pops into
their head.

- Robert

   ===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===
                    Robert E. Hak
            http://orion.ramapo.edu/~rhak
   ===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===+===

"The idea that Bill Gates has appeared like a knight in
 shining armour to lead all customers out of a mire of technological chaos
 neatly ignores the fact that it was he who, by peddling second-rate
 technology, led them into it in the first place."
        -Douglas Adams, author



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