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From Mike Kienenberger <mkien...@gmail.com>
Subject Cayenne open source: Collaboration vs product
Date Tue, 21 Apr 2009 13:38:11 GMT
Just a reminder that open-source software is a collaboration, not a
product.  Please adjust your expectations accordingly.

Proprietary software is a product.   You acquire or pay for something
and expect it to do the job you paid for it to do.

Open-source software is a collaboration.   Each person using it is
thankful that he or she did not have to write the software from
scratch to meet his or her needs.   Each person who needs it to behave
differently customizes it as needed for his or her needs, then
contributes those changes back to the project so that others do not
have to duplicate his or her work.

Because open-source software is a collaboration, not a product, the
burden of making the software work the way the end-user wants it to
work falls on the end-user, not the project management team.

Also, because it is a collaboration, the end-user has no right to
support for the software.   Any time someone helps someone else with
the software, it is because they want to do so, not because they are
obligated to do so.

Some practical applications of this are:

1) Filing requests for enhancements that you do not have any intention
to implement is pointless, unless you've already gathered the support
on the mailing list to implement the enhancement at some point,
typically by finding others who want the same functionality.
Sometimes the support is there, but it's a low priority, and filing
such an enhancement serves as a reminder.

2) Complaining about how Cayenne works differently than you expect
when you do not have any intention of implementing the new behavior is
pointless.   This is another variation of point 1).

3) Since all assistance and discussion is voluntary, exhibiting poor
communication skills will lead to no one talking to you.  This
includes berating those who try to help you.  It also includes asking
too many questions in too short a period of time since there is only a
limited amount time volunteers are willing to donate.

4) Sometimes you will have the right attitude and a real problem, but
you will get no help.  Typically, this means that no current member of
the community has had the same problem, nor any ideas what is causing
your problem.   It could also mean that they are too busy with their
own tasks to help you at this time.  This means you will have to
isolate the problem yourself and fix it yourself.

All that said, newcomers to the Cayenne community often comment on how
helpful and available the Cayenne community is compared to other
software collaborations.  Not only are most questions answered, but
guidance is typically available for implementing enhancements to the
code.

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