29 Jul 2000 matt   » (Journeyer)

Humm. It's 8:05 AM over here, so I suppose I can't say nobody else is up in my time zone anymore. When my pager went off at 6:45, I don't think anyone was. :-) Work is doing inventory this weekend, and when I started this job I inherited the Perl-based RF barcoding system that our DCs and factories use; it gets used very heavily this weekend, and our DC liaison thought this morning in the shower that she hadn't asked me if our new-style UCC shipping labels would work for inventory scans. Thankfully, I'd tested it last week.)

I finally got a usable source tree! Note to self: NEVER use cvs-over-ssh unless committing changes to a tree. pserver is a much more reliable method for large updates (and not too slouchy, either).

Everyone who wrote in and/or left supportive messages in their diaries -- thanks. But I'm not posting it, and I'm glad I didn't, and here's why.

I noticed a few folk seemed to be offended by my suggestion that they might not qualify for the rank to which they'd risen. At the risk of re-offending, I'd say some of you don't. The guidelines are clear -- this is about contributing to free software, not about being in IT for many decades. While those decades of experience may help you to contribute, it doesn't mean that you are more than an apprentice at contributing.

My problem, though, was that even after editing my sentences several times, I still had it wrong, or at least it appears so from the interpretations. Contributions to free software are not necessarily measured in terms of code, although it's hard to take someone seriously who hasn't contributed code. :-) It's about being involved. Being involved doesn't mean playing around with a particular free software project, it means helping it to be better, whether through code, advocacy, assisting with infrastructure, whatever. I guess it's really hard to quantify, and because of that, I don't feel I can do it justice with my words. I only know that when I look at some ratings, I feel they're wrong; and when I look at others, I know they're right.

Bottom line: I fear that having posted my article outside the still-public but less exposed confines of my diary would have offended far more, and not accomplished anything for the goal of free/open/whatever software. When I thought about it, I discovered someone being labeled purple or blue doesn't really hurt me or the community. If I need to find a real free software journeyer or master, I know where to find them, regardless of the color of their cert.

Or maybe I'm just a gutless wonder. You decide. :-)

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