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Re: Future Direction of GNU Hurd?

From: Paul Boddie
Subject: Re: Future Direction of GNU Hurd?
Date: Mon, 14 Sep 2020 01:46:00 +0200

On Sunday, 13 September 2020 23:57:38 CEST Richard Braun wrote:
> You seem to operate from the principle that contributors "offer" their
> work, as if they weren't doing it for themselves in the first place.

Actually, some people do volunteer their time/work/effort not because they 
will get anything out of it, but because they feel it is the right thing to 
do. Hence the people who ask senior members of the Free Software community 
what they should be working on. Why would they do that if they were "doing it 
for themselves in the first place"?

> You want your name in a project you like, you want social recognition,
> then do good work.

In my situation I didn't care about my "name in a project": I don't even 
remember initiating the discussion that led to any contribution; I merely felt 
that in that community, I had useful expertise and it would help a project I 
care about. Having said that, I did indeed get the impression, as you have 
given above, that potential contributors to that project were perceived as 
people who somehow wanted to share in all the glory. I think that says a great 
deal about the maintainers, but I guess you don't, so we will obviously have 
to disagree about that.


> I didn't mean to close down discussion, that's another instance of you
> misunderstanding.

Of course it is all about me again. I thought you declared the actual list as 
being only for "archiving purposes", but I am sure you meant something 
completely different.


> You wrote in your initial message [3] that : "One gets the impression that
> unless someone is either a top-level operating system architect and/or
> willing to burn themselves out fixing up huge amounts of existing code
> or writing new code in precisely the way envisaged by others who
> nevertheless aren't going to be writing any themselves, then new
> contributions are not really welcome".

I apologise if I gave the impression that you and others in this project 
actively seek to have people burn themselves out over attempting to contribute 
to the project. However, I stand by my observation that due to the scale and 
nature of some of the tasks that would be faced by people volunteering for 
this project, combined with the demands made of them, people are very much at 
risk of burning out pursuing those activities. And I absolutely believe that 
people should be aware of that, despite your belief that it seemingly isn't a 
problem, or is one that maybe only affects other people or other projects.

I find it fascinating that of all the things I initially wrote, you have 
zoomed right into this and framed it as me trying to turn potential 
contributors away. I think those people should simply review the list archives 
and decide for themselves whether they would be happy and productive 
contributors to this project. If they think so and end up being so, then I 
don't think anyone has any reason to be aggrieved, do they?


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