Developers, Community, Progress

Thomas Hruska thruska at
Fri May 2 08:52:11 EDT 2008

Sascha Vogt wrote:
> Hi
> PS: I'm neither a Pidgin dev nor more involved in the project apart from 
> posting once a month in here. But in general I believe the following:
> - OSS is created by people for themself. Not for a community, not for 
> getting money and not for getting the respect. So it should primarily 
> fit _their_ needs.

Every piece of software starts out this way (commercial, OSS, etc.): 
The programmer designs the software for themselves and is usually a 
fairly simple product.  What the programmer rarely realizes is the 
onslaught of users that want the program made for specifically them and 
think they are the only person in the world that the program is made 
for.  What really grates a programmer's nerves is that the user usually 
has the audacity to say "this change will bring a million more users to 
your product".  Lies.

The best policy for all types of software is to only add features 
requested by users that the programmers ALSO want to maintain because 
they themselves really want the feature.  The "eat your own 'dog food'" 
rule is critical.  If the programmers aren't going to use certain 
features, then there will be bugs that won't get fixed in those features 
and therefore it was pointless to make the feature in the first place.

IMNSHO, the programmers for Pidgin can develop whatever features they 
feel like developing and can pick and choose whatever features THEY are 
interested in.  User complaints and requests, therefore, are technically 
not important and can be ignored on a whim.

BUT, programmers should not entirely ignore user requests/complaints. 
Grouping requests into all-encompassing features that cover _many_ 
user's needs versus just adding a feature to handle one whiny user makes 
a better overall product.  That, of course, usually requires significant 
thought but powerful, unique, and innovative features are typically the 
result.  Programmers enjoy making new and exciting features, they hate 
maintaining them.

The more features a product has, the more annoying the users of that 
product become.

Thomas Hruska
CubicleSoft President
Ph: 517-803-4197

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