Are developer egos a problem in the open source development model in general?


Response from Con Kolivas to APC magazine:

I think any problem with anydevelopment model has multiple factors,
and ultimately, it is humans that make decisions. I won't comment
on the humans themselves.If there is any one big problem with kernel
development and Linux it is the complete disconnection of the
development process from normal users. You know, the ones who
constitute 99.9% of the Linux user base.The Linux kernel mailing list
is the way to communicate with the kernel developers. To put it
mildly, the Linux kernel mailing list (lkml) is about as scary a
communication forum as they come. Most people are absolutely terrified of mailing the list lest they get flamed for their inexperience, an inappropriate bug report, being stupid or whatever. And for the most part they're absolutely right. There is no friendly way to communicate normal users' issues that are kernel related. Yes of course the kernel developers are fun loving, happy-go-lucky friendly people. Just look at any interview with Linus and see how he views himself.I think the kernel developers at large haven't got the faintest idea just how big the problems in userspace are. It is a very small brave minority that are happy to post to lkml, and I keep getting users telling me on IRC, in person, and via my own mailing list, what their problems are. And they've even become fearful of
me, even though I've never viewed myself as a real kernel developer.Just trawl the normal support forums (which I did for Gentoo users as a way of finding bug reports often because the users were afraid to tell me) and see how many obvious kernel related issues there are. I'd love to tell them all to suddenly flood lkml with their reports of failed boots with various kernels, hardware
disappearing, stopping working suddenly, memory disappearing, trying to use software suspend and having your balls blown off by your laptop, and so on.And there are all the obvious bug reports. They're afraid to mention these. How scary do you think it is to say 'my Firefox tabs open slowly since the last CPU scheduler upgrade'? To top it all off, the enterprise users are the opposite. Just watch each kernel release and see how quickly some $bullshit_benchmark degraded by .1% with patch $Y gets reported. See also how quickly it gets attended to.

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Author: anisinha

A computer nerd trying to be poetic and a philosopher

2 thoughts on “Are developer egos a problem in the open source development model in general?”

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