Time for a break...

Kevin M Stange kevin at simguy.net
Mon May 21 12:24:41 EDT 2007

Ethan Blanton wrote:
> I am not going to respond to most of this point-by-point, I do not
> believe it is constructive.  There are a few things, however, I would
> like to clear up.
> Gary Kramlich spake unto us the following wisdom:
>> Note, this email, and I apologize now for it's lack of brevity, is the
>> result of a discussion that took place in devel at conference.pidgin.im
>> tonight, so if you were not present, the majority of this will not
>> affect you nor make much sense to you.  For those of you that were
>> there, here's the real story, and why I did what I did.  Also, there is
>> harsh language in this email, if you are sensitive to such language, I
>> apologize, and advise you not to continue reading.
> The argument yesterday was about the removal of win32 support in
> Pidgin.  I fully support it, and I think we should do it.  I don't
> think it buys us anything as a project, and it is certainly a support
> nightmare.  With the complete core/ui split in 2.0.0, there is no
> reason that some enterprising party cannot come along and develop a
> native win32 client.

I recognize that removing win32 would certainly encourage new
development of a native client, but I don't think it's a good idea to
drop our builds before this happens, as the outrage it will generate
will be terrible.  Not to mention that someone is going to still need to
keep libpurple compatible with Win32 (perhaps the patchset could be kept
out of tree, but I don't think it should).  There isn't an overabundance
of hackiness in the Pidgin UI for Win32, in my opinion, and I don't
think its maintainability is unreasonable.  It turns out GTK+ is our
biggest problem on Win32, and eventually getting Win32 away from GTK+ is
wise, but at the same time, Tor Lillvqist is working on Evolution for
Windows (for Novell?), and GTK+ has been steadily improving on the
platform as a result.

>> This is goodbye again, maybe temporarily, maybe permanent, maybe just
>> discussions, maybe project.  Anyway it goes, these issues need to be
>> addressed, because we are not headed down a path that ends well.
> Gary, as you mentioned, I really don't have time for Pidgin, and I
> make time where I should not.  If you wish to have the discussion of
> whether I am more of a detriment than not, have it -- if the consensus
> is that I'm in the way, then I'll get out.  I have considered bowing
> out for various reasons at numerous points in the past, and this is as
> good as any.  I, honestly, have what I wanted out of Pidgin, and I've
> had it for years now; the "scratch an itch" equation is weak for me.
> Any concerns about IMF aside, I am obligated to carry out one more
> year there.  I will do this regardless of my day-to-day participation
> in the project.

I hate to see anyone leave over these types of debates.  It is not an
unreasonable discussion to suggest that Win32 is not a worthwhile
platform to support, I suppose.  I firmly believe that it is a platform
we should support, at least until a native Win32 client appears which is
*mature* enough to provide full functionality.

I think that critiquing others work is helpful, and constructive
criticism is good.  Ethan, your demeanor manages to sometimes come
across as more condescending than many are comfortable with.  I don't
know if that's really how you mean it, or if you're just being as honest
as you can.  I can certainly say that you have at times, aggravated me
as a result of things you've asserted.  Sometimes I feel like you
consider your opinion to be the only valid perspective, and that is
perhaps where problems exist.  I know you prefer a concrete
counter-argument to convince you if you're wrong, but I don't think
things are always black and white enough for that.  I think that mindset
shows up in everyone from time to time, and users don't seem to enjoy it
when it appears.  The result of such a perceived attitude on a topic is
often a hard-line opposition, often weakly argued, and inducing
frustration and anger toward the developers, and it ends up with a
discussion like devel at c.p.i had yesterday or a ticket like #414.

I like Pidgin's developer team, and I agree and disagree with various
members all the time.  I don't want to see people leaving in disgust or
anger.  I don't know how to solve the flaring of tempers between members
of opposing viewpoints, but I hope there's a solution that doesn't force
anyone to have to go away.


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