Sunday, March 13, 2005

Managing expectations

Robert Alsina's blog brought to mind my first serious contact with KDE. I installed a beta version of the desktop, and ran into a bug in one of the core components that prevented me from using it. As a good citizen, I got a bugzilla account, and filed the bug with the backtrace.

Soon after I got a response from a developer saying he didn't know what was happening (it worked fine on his machine obviously) and could I test this patch. So over the next week or so I set up a build and test environment on my machine, but before I got to the point where I could test things, another email came asking testily if I had tried the patch yet. Eventually I got to the point where I could, and no it didn't fix the problem. So I looked through the code, found a couple of places where a pointer was dereferenced without checking, put a bit of code in to check, recompiled, and tested. Problem solved. So the patch was posted to bugzilla, applied with some modifications, and all was well.

You see, from my standpoint everything worked as it should. I have access to an amazing desktop, development framework, community of users and developers. Comparing what we had then to now, the progress has been amazing. And it costs nothing.

I could find things to complain about with this arrangement, I suppose. Any complaints would stem from thinking that I deserve all of this for nothing. Which I don't. So what is left except appreciation for a valuable gift, and finding some way to pay it back?

Developer centric, user-centric are meaningless. It's whoever does the work-centric. Which means in the end developers.

Informative blog. Check out my 42xbr950 kde blog.
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