cocoon-users mailing list archives

Site index · List index
Message view « Date » · « Thread »
Top « Date » · « Thread »
From "Andrew C. Oliver" <acoli...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Giving up! Cocoon too big, slow and confusing -- LONG and BORING reply
Date Fri, 28 Jun 2002 19:32:00 GMT
>
>
>>NO they don't.  Read the cathedral and the bazzar again.  They're 
>>beta testers.  
>>
>>    
>>
>
>More like pre-alpha testers.
>  
>
if you will.

>  
>
>What about people who haven't yet figured it out?  Are they supposed
>to write a FAQ entry about what they didn't get to work?
>  
>
Go to bugzilla and write a bug up against the piece of documentation you 
find lacking, ask for help on the
list, I've NEVER had any serious problem with cocoon that I got no 
repsonse to when I asked for help.

>  
>
>>This is a bazzar and everyone participates.  
>>
>>    
>>
It is all well documented and explained here:

http://www.tuxedo.org/~esr/writings/cathedral-bazaar/

>Has anyone else noticed that the dogma is pretty deep in here?  A 
>little realpolitik is probably in order...
>  
>
I'm not European enough to understand that.  Seems like an oxymoron.

>  
>
>>If you want SERVICE 
>>
>>    
>>
>
>Who said anything about a service?  Is increasing your comprehension
>of an open source project constitute a service?  Is asking for advice
>in trying to get the software to perform basic functions a service?
>Are you saying that "the software is free, but to get it work, start 
>coding or pay one of us to tell you how?"
>  
>
No.  Did you ask specific questions like "gee I can't get X to work".  

Correct:  When I start cocoon up cocoon I'm getting "Error X: bla bla" - 
I did X and Y and Z and copied X and Y and Z here.
Any thoughts on whats wrong?

Incorrect:  I have x years of experience and know everything there is to 
know, and after y hours of trying desite the crappy documentation I've 
given up!  This project sucks and I'm going to take my cookies home.

Correct:  The sitemap seems really cool, but I can't figure out how to 
do X.  I looked at this documentation: http://xml.apache.org/cocoon/x 
and this http://xml.apache.org/cocoon/y, and this 
http://xml.apache.org/cocoon/z but it doesn't explain how I'm to do X. 
 I think maybe if I did x1, y1,z1 then maybe it would work, but when I 
tried, cocoon just did x2.  Provided someone would kindly point me in 
the right direction, I'll document my experience and how to do this by 
submitting a patch to http://xml.apache.org/cocoon/x or the FAQ 
depending on the complexity of the issue.  I appreciate all your hard 
work in developing cocoon and assistance in this matter.

Incorrect:  I tried forever to understand the blasted sitemap and there 
is no documentation on the matter.  Boy you guys are a buch of achedemic 
speaking twirps!  

>  
>
>>then you have to pay for it, either by paying Mathew or one of the 
>>other folks, or simply picking up a hammer and helping to improve 
>>the software, by way of examples, documentation or otherwise.
>>
>>    
>>
>
>So, participation beyond using the software is compulsory?
>  
>
How about looking at it this way:  why should I help you if you don't do 
ANYTHING for me?  You're
expecting me to REACH to help YOU.  I'm to figure out what YOUR problem 
is and fix it for YOU.  While you
post general complaints and offer nothing in return....

And why am I to do that exactly?  If all you do is use it and don't 
participate beyond using it, then what
motivation do I have to assist you in any kind of depth behind answering 
obvious questions out of the goodness
of my heart?  Hummm?  

>  
>
>>For instance, on the POI project I care if there is a problem reading
>>a particular Excel file.  I'll go to great lengths to capture that 
>>file, look at the input and output and understand whats wrong.  
>>But notice that is a participatory process.  If a user doesn't 
>>cooperate, then he's just tough out of luck.
>>
>>    
>>
>
>That assumes that a "user" gets that far.  Others who can't are SOL,
>huh?  Pay up or shut up?
>  
>
Not necessarily.  

>  
>
>>I simply can't quit my job that pays money and devote my full time 
>>to writing his applicaiton for him.  
>>
>>    
>>
>
>I don't recall John asking you to write his application for him. He's
>expressing his frustration with the difficulty in using the software.
>  
>
in a negative non-productive manner in my opinion.  Take it for what you 
will.

>Notice that he's now willing to write off the personal investment he's
>made in the project so far.  It sounds like he's a true believer who's
>now questioning his faith.  Don't you see that as a problem?  Isn't
>the whole premise of open source built on faith?  If the masses 
>lose faith, isn't that a problem for the project?
>  
>
Humm.  Not for me.  Its a matter of practicallity.  But lets not start 
discussing evolutionism versus
creationism.  Its not very productive.

>
>  
>
>>Secondly, 80% of the problems reported are application errors or 
>>"I don't know how to set the classpath" type issues.  If its
>>
>>    
>>
>
>I don't recall John asking what a classpath was...
>  
>
So if I speak generally its wrong.  But you can speak generally. 
 Interesting.

>  
>
>>a documentation issue, then I fix it, if its a "extended consulting 
>>opportunity" then you'll need to pay for it.
>>
>>    
>>
>
>So, an easy to install, use and maintain Cocoon project is not in
>your best interest because it would cut into your consulting revenue?
>  
>
Interesting.  While I don't find Cocoon particularly difficult to 
install, why would I disagree with the objective of
making it easier to install?  I just object to the idea that you 
download this and hope it works then just whine and
give up if you don't understand it immediately.  There is NO way someone 
without a lot of XML experience could
possibly understand how to architect a Cocoon application in one sitting.

For the record, I've yet to see a dime from my (albiet limited) 
participation in Cocoon.

>  
>
>>For a customer (which is ENTIRELY DIFFERENT FROM A USER), the onus 
>>would be entirely on me.  
>>
>>    
>>
>
>You haven't purchased any commercial software lately, have you?  These
>days, you usually have to pay for support.  So, the onus would be on
>the customer (not you as a commercial software publisher) to pay for
>answers.  You're saying the same is true of open source projects, even 
>if they're bug infested, poorly documented and incomprehensible?
>  
>
There is no such thing as a free lunch.  Its free as in liberty not 
lunch.  Commerical software is equally if not more
bug-infested, etc.  

I've weened myself off of any commerical software except for where it 
fills a need not provided by or
adequeately provided by an opensource alternative.  

If you don't want this project to be bug infested, poorly documented and 
incomprehensible you have courses of action.

1. Fix it
2. Find an alternative
3. Pay someone else to fix it
4. collaborate with others to fix it

With commercial software you have only the middle two options, however 
the "who" is limited as well.  This does not mean
that I'm willing to invest a great deal of time to debug and solve you 
problems unless its:

1. something I have a specific vested interest in
2. an itch
3. I feel like it

Most folks on here are either:

1. Doing it for fun
2. Getting paid to work on specific pieces for customers or employers.

>  
>
>>I'd have to replicate the problem by myself and fix it by myself.  If 
>>the customer was willing to cooperate, great, it'll save him money. 
>>If not, then fine, it'll take 4 times as long but thats what I get 
>>paid for.  
>>
>>    
>>
>
>What if the problem is reported by someone other than a developer? Are
>they expected to pay up or shut up?  Are they not contributing by 
>reporting the problem in the first place?  If we report problems, are
>we expected to contribute fixes as well?
>  
>
No no no.  you're totally missing the point.  If you just vaguely report 
"Gee the documetnation sucks" then yeah...I'm not
interested at all..  If you give specific feedback and help solve your 
own problem, than I'll be nice and helpful too.  Thats
community.  But you're not my boss, you don't get to say "GO FIX IT" or 
"gee I tried and give up" -- thats the wrong approach.

>  
>
>>While I do think Cocoon is increadibly damaged by its own culture of 
>>not documenting, using javadoc or junit, I don't think its useful to 
>>sit here and whine about these problems.  
>>
>>    
>>
>
>I'm not whining.  I want to know where I stand as a potential user,
>or whatever the correct technical term is.  I want to get a feeling
>for the culture of the project, and so far I'm getting bad vibes.
>That may not be a problem for you, but it should be.
>  
>
I think you misunderstand.  You think this is just like buying 
commercial software only you don't have to pay for it.

>  
>
>>You're NOT a customer.  
>>
>>    
>>
>
>Okay, okay.  I get it, I'm not a customer.  I should have known that 
>because "users" aren't treated like "customers", just like open source 
>projects shouldn't be expected to be easy to use or even work without a 
>"user" getting their hands dirty, right?  "Users" are supposed to be 
>grateful for the opportunity to fix systems that malfunction from the
>get go.  It's their god given right to participate in the project as 
>"users", correct?
>  
>
You're putting word in my mouth.  I would like to help make cocoon 
better and improve the documentation.
I'm actively working to do so.  You're just complaining.

I have had issues with certain functions in Cocoon, I filed bugreports 
in bugzilla detailing the exceptions and
describing the problems I had.  The developers in question fixed them 
the next day.  I did all of the investigatory work
up front, regression tested, etc.  I participated.  I was rewarded by 
getting an immediate response.

No one was OBLIGATED, but they appreciated the upfront work I did in 
solving my own problem, appreciated that I
was trying to help and participate in the community rather than just 
demand service, and took pride in their project and
software development community.

I could have just said "X doesn't work, what a piece of crap cocoon is, 
and boy you people don't know ANYTHING because
I can't figure it out".  But I don't think that would be productive.

>  
>
>>If you want to say "Fix it or I'm leaving" 
>>then in my opinion "don't let the door hit you on the. .."
>>
>>    
>>
>
>Potential new Cocoon slogans:
>
>Cocoon:  the XSLT/XML application development framework for Cocoon
>developers, by Cocoon developers.  Others need not apply.
>
>Cocoon: get in, sit down, start debugging, shut up.
>
>Cocoon: Open source, closed mind.
>  
>
Now you're just being not nice.

>  
>
>>but if you're willing to cooporate in the process, help improve the 
>>software and/or documentation by pointing out specifics, writing 
>>documentation and bug reports and well *paying* for the software 
>>through *actual work* then you're a user and I consider you to have 
>>paid your dues and I'll do what I can to help.  
>>
>>    
>>
>
>But, what if the developers don't meet the users halfway?  Don't you
>think that there might be some people out there thinking, "gee, I'd
>like to participate.  But, they didn't follow their own "Apache Way"
>development methodology, the javadocs and user docs are less than
>helpful, there's no clear architectural philosophy expressed, the 
>system has been described as needlessly complex to the point of 
>incomprehensibility, the developers get defensive when questioned or 
>challenged and invoke passages from the open source mantra in response, 
>and they want me to participate?  Who're they kidding?"
>
>  
>
Dude.  You're reading too much into this.  You're thinking I don't think 
the documentation needs improvement, etc.
I'm just willing to help, write proper bug reports, documetnation, 
whatever.  You are saying "I want to just complain and bark demands and 
you should value this".  

>  
>
>>Not everyone has to code, but everyone has to work.  
>>
>>    
>>
>
>And, trying to get the point across been hard work, albeit not the
>kind you're looking for.
>  
>
No.  ITs not valued because everyone knows the following.  We could put 
these as facts on the webpage and not only that
but there are SIGNIFICANT efforts underway to fix them:

The documetnation for Cocon SUCKS..   It has always SUCKED.

So Cocon's documentation sucks.  lets put that as fact and in the 
record.  What are WE going to do about it now?  Humm?

>  
>
>>(even if its "only" bug reports, documentation, etc -- the quotes are 
>>because I think that documentation is MORE important than code -- 
>>knowing where you're going is more important than driving there).
>>
>>    
>>
>
>Yes, but what if you can't read the map?
>  
>
Then take

1. Driving school
2. stop and ask for directions
3. If there are not good maps anywhere then this is a principal 
opportunity for you to become a cartographer.

Do you expect for me to quit my job and start drawing you maps full time 
why you just tell me if they suck or not?

If you don't actually want to participate in the community in any way, 
you just want to download software and use it and just say it sucks if 
it doesn't immediately work for you, then maybe opensource isn't for 
you.  Its not for everyone or everything.  You can get a prepackaged 
version of just about half of the XML techonologies by buying Websphere 
from IBM.  You can then pay for the support.  The documentation in the 
last version of Websphere I used sucked worse than Cocoons and I found 
it much more difficult to install and use (the documentation of Cocoon 
clearly in my opinion states how to install it in tomcat).   I had only 
one recourse.  Pay IBM to help me.  With Cocoon, folks tend to be very 
helpful if you are.  If you're find you're not getting a reply, maybe 
you're doing something wrong.

BTW, I'm 3/4 user and 1/4th developer on cocoon but I do my best to 
participate.  I have many of the same complaints you do, I just have hte 
attitude that I'm not paying these folks to develop this and they're 
still being helpful and friendly, and I know enough to type this email 
to you, so I know enough to document something when I figure it out.  I 
also know how to write a useful bug report.

And btw I don't speak for everyone on the Cocoon project, and probably 
only speak for myself.  

-Andy

>Eric
>
>
>
>____________________________________________________________
>Win a first-class trip to New Orleans and vacation Elvis Style!.
>Enter NOW!
>http://r.lycos.com/r/sagel_mail/http://www.elvis.lycos.com/sweepstakes/
>
>---------------------------------------------------------------------
>Please check that your question  has not already been answered in the
>FAQ before posting.     <http://xml.apache.org/cocoon/faq/index.html>
>
>To unsubscribe, e-mail:     <cocoon-users-unsubscribe@xml.apache.org>
>For additional commands, e-mail:   <cocoon-users-help@xml.apache.org>
>
>
>  
>




---------------------------------------------------------------------
Please check that your question  has not already been answered in the
FAQ before posting.     <http://xml.apache.org/cocoon/faq/index.html>

To unsubscribe, e-mail:     <cocoon-users-unsubscribe@xml.apache.org>
For additional commands, e-mail:   <cocoon-users-help@xml.apache.org>


Mime
View raw message