Off-topic digression follows.
On 2014-03-05 05:04, Tom Davies wrote:
Imagine a schoolkid getting beaten up every day by a bully
How do you convince people of the truth? What happens if all the kids
gang up together?
In this analogy, who is the bully and who is the kid out of luck? I
understand, you intend the bully to be the corporation and possibly the
end-users, and the kid to be the free software project.
All too often with free software projects (more so in the past decade than
the one previous), it seems like there are multiple groups of antagonists.
One group is usually a corporation, and the other is a group of bullies who
make up the consensus of the developers and/or community support list. Both
sides give the impression that they want nothing to change, nor do they care
about common use cases which reveal problems.
The end user who simply encounters a problem and would merely like to do
whatever they are able to help troubleshoot something and improve the
situation gets hostility from all sides.
The end-user becomes conditioned to not want to provide any feedback
whatsoever. The community then arrives at the delusion that there is no
problem, and becomes further entrenched and hostile towards the next
Meanwhile, end-users encounter this situation multiple times, year after
year, with many other projects, eventually develop an aversion to any
interaction with free software projects. At the very least with the
community portion, anyways.
On the other hand, if a project became too popular too fast, it could
collapse from having too many users without adequate momentum. So I suppose
actively discouraging people from using the software by bullying anyone who
mentions any problem keeps the project alive at a certain stage.
Quite a perverse dichotomy. Most unfortunate. Slightly amusing.
Regardless -- and sometimes against my better judgement -- I still ping
random projects from time to time when I encounter a problem, have an idea,
or even a question, in the hopes that I get a friendly response and am
welcomed to the opportunity to help make a difference. :) Although
increasingly rare these days, it does happen, and those are the moments when
I feel empowered, inspired and elevated, if only for a brief time, until I
contribute a useful bug report or patch. That was the experience which
initially drew me to free software, back when few people knew that free
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