Kasperian Moving Parts

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An example of how to not treat your users


I am always amazed at the rudeness and insensitivity that is shown by certain members of the Open Source community. This behavior is many times in stark contrast with that of others who do an outstanding job of treating others with kindness and consideration.

I know it’s not fair to generalize or put people into groups, etc., but having watched and been involved in the mailing lists for the evolution project, and the gnome community in general, there are certain inviduals who continually go out of their way to be rude, irritating, and annoying. Here’s a good example which just landed in my lap today….

The evolution GNOME groupware project had made some very nice UI changes between major version 1 and 2. There are some ugly side effects, however, and I filed a wishlist report like a good little user and it has sat for 8 months with little input from the developers. Today, it was rudely closed and marked as invalid by NotZed with the following comments:

Not Zed changed:

           What    |Removed                     |Added
             Status|NEW                         |RESOLVED
         Resolution|                            |INVALID

------- Additional Comments From Not Zed  2005-05-19 11:50 -------
the ui has changed, you could collapse the items, or you could 
scroll once in a while - it wont kill you

That’s nice, eh? Yessirree, I’m feeling good about the time I’ve invested in the evolution community in the past. And it’s not the first time I’ve seen this sort of rude behavior in Open Source communities. And the sad thing is that the only thing this accomplishes is alienates users. It’s not helpful in the least, nor does it invite people to help make your project better, nor even to care to use it. Now, I’m by no means advocating that developers should cater to the every whim from the great, unwashed masses, but to borrow the phrase used on me above, it wouldn’t kill them to think for a second to see if there’s a usability issue that they might not have thought about.

In my case listed here, I think there is. But at the end of the day, I really don’t care anymore. This is just another reason to not care about this software, another reason for me to be thankful for the really great attitudes, atmosphere, and community that I’ve found in the KDE project, and another reason to put all my spare time and energy into helping to improve the KDE project’s solutions (like kontact, kmail, kpilot, korganizer, etc.).

Author: Jason 'vanRijn' Kasper

My name is Jason 'vanRijn' Kasper. I am the ring leader of the amazing Kasper family. I am unashamedly a Christian Nerd. These are our stories....

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