12 Sep 2002 janschrage   » (Journeyer)

I keep reading over at gmane on the PostNuke mailing lists how users are what really makes a project. Typically voiced by backseat coders who think they know better than those who do the actual work. And they are wrong. A project does not need users. It needs developers. Without users you can get a piece of software, without developers you can't. Now what on earth is so hard to understand about that ? I know for certain that I don't need users. I develop things because it's fun, and because I like working together with others on a project. And if I or the developers on that project remain the only users it ever gets that is quite enough. I still have fun and I have a good product afterwards. Now everybody is welcome to share my efforts in OS projects, and I actually value feedback. But still I guess I shall never know what makes some imbeciles think they have a) a right to my work and to that of my fellow developers and b) the right to tell me or others what to do and c) that clamouring loudly is a valuable contribution. All it achieves is to make them look bloody stupid and create a nuisance.

As reaper20 points out: "I swear, the next moron that wants mozilla to render ALT tags as popups, or ask for colored scrollbars should get drawn and quartered. We're screaming for standards and these guys think its their right to dictate what Mozilla should be doing."

That's very much what happened to PostNuke. The backseat coders and wannabes took over, the good devs walked out and now there's only fluff left. The code they have produced after the break is something I wouldn't touch with fire-proof gloves, they haven't got CVS working again (which I left in a working state and ready for taking over when I resigned two weeks ago) and the mailing lists are full of flame wars with the occasional group hug to go with it. Oh, and they lost several weeks worth of bugfixes upon an all-too-hasty release. (These, of course, are to be incorporated again "as soon as we've got CVS running, and we're working very hard on that", talk about a laugh.)

What's happening over there at the moment is quite a study in how people work and of what can happen to an OS project that once was good.

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