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When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

By Nathan Willis on November 03, 2007 (1:00:00 PM)

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Twice in recent weeks open source projects have surprised me with their lack of openness. In both cases, developers acted or spoke out in such a way as to intentionally push other developers away from their work.

Case one: Evil icon thieves

The first incident originated with KDE's Oxygen project, an icon redesign on track for inclusion in KDE 4. Oxygen designer David Vignoni expressed his disapproval that someone outside the project team put together a theme package incorporating the project's publicly accessible icons. He asked the theme packager to remove the Oxygen icons. Commenters on his blog cheered.

A few days later, Wade Olson of KDE's Marketing Working Group attacked the theme packager in his own blog post, calling the second-hand theme morally suspect and a violation of the Social Contract. Commenters on his blog cheered as well, and soon began to attack the theme packager in comments on the theme's page at the art portal gnome-look.org.

The Oxygen icon set was available under two licenses: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0, or GNU LGPL. Both permit reuse by others. The icons themselves were available via public Subversion repository. There was no license violation or misappropriation, a fact that both Vignoni and Olson affirmed.

Criticism of the second-hand icon theme centered on the notion that the Oxygen project proper should get to release the icons first -- since the official Oxygen theme wasn't dubbed a public release yet, no one else should be allowed to publicly release them either. As one commenter put it, "What about the people who spend two years of work on this? Should not they have the right to publish it in their project before you copy it?"

But the answer is a clear and resounding "no." When you choose to place your work on a publicly accessible server, and when you decide to place it under a free software license, you give up the right to control what other people do with it.

The secondary complaint -- that it is wrong to release the icons before the project declares them "ready" -- is entirely incompatible with the "release early, release often" philosophy. Artwork is no different from executable code in either regard.

The fact that free software licenses and the open source development model force everyone to relinquish that level of control is intentional, and is key to making community-driven development work.

Case two: We have enough ideas without you

The second incident cropped up in the GIMP's User Interface Redesign effort. When I researched the GIMP UI brainstorm in October, I was struck by the stark "us" versus "them" language used in the project.

The project's wiki repeatedly makes the distinction between the team and everyone else. Creation of new accounts is disabled, so that only the team can make changes.

Under the heading "got ideas?," where you would normally expect an open source project to invite participation, interested parties are instead directed to submit their comments to the GIMP UI brainstorm. "It is moderated by our team, we listen to what you show us and broaden our horizons."

But that absence of an open invitation to contribute is topped by direct rejection. In August, an excited would-be participant learned about the project and wrote to the gimp-developer mailing list volunteering to help. GIMP UI Redesign team leader Peter Sikking replied, saying, "I am afraid that I do not have positions open at the moment."

Elsewhere in that same message, and in other posts to gimp-developer, Sikking's comments back up the notion that he regards the GIMP UI redesign as his team's project and his team's alone, and that that team has no room for anyone else.

Clearly the team members are qualified, but refusing to entertain even the possibility that there are other individuals with worthwhile contributions flies in the face of free software and open source ideals. It is Cathedral thinking, not Bazaar.

Free software acknowledges Bill Joy's Law -- that no matter who you are, most of the smartest people work somewhere else -- and opens up the development process for the express purpose of subverting it.

If you are afraid of openness, you have come to the wrong place

The root of both problems is an unwillingness to commit to a truly open development process.

That is explicitly clear in the GIMP UI case, but perhaps less so in the Oxygen case. What directly sparked the ire of the Vignoni and Olson was that an unapproved person did something with the icons. And the distinction between approved and unapproved people stems from Oxygen's "restricted to us" team of artists.

Through the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine, you can examine the Oxygen project's site all the way back to 2005. Ever since the beginning, two things have remained unchanged: the only images available are "previews" licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs, and the team does not invite outside participation.

Contrast that with the Tango project, which invites participation openly -- in multiple places on its Web site, and through multiple avenues. Contrast the GIMP UI redesign with the GIMP project as a whole, which invites and receives patches, bug reports, and ideas from scores of outsiders.

Which is the way it is supposed to work: software freedom doesn't begin and end in the COPYING file; it applies to the whole process.

No matter what the Oxygen and GIMP UI teams may think, opening up to outside participation makes a team stronger, not weaker. And it is a key part of the philosophy that created the open source software movement. Listening to other people's ideas -- love 'em or hate 'em -- is not optional.

By all objective standards, Vignoni and the other Oxygen artists are doing beautiful artwork, and Sikking and his team have done excellent work pushing the GIMP's interface in a better direction. But by restricting their respective processes, they are hurting themselves and others. They hurt themselves by shutting out good ideas and by losing available manpower, and hurt others by preventing cross-pollination and by discouraging newcomers from helping out.

I have no doubt that Sikking meant no harm when he told that volunteer on gimp-developer that his help wasn't needed. I have talked to Sikking and he is a sincere and hard worker. But that volunteer stopped writing to gimp-developer. Tell me: was driving him away worth it? I don't think so.

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on When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

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When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 62.78.150.156] on November 03, 2007 01:43 PM
"When you choose to place your work on a publicly accessible server, and when you decide to place it under a free software license, you give up the right to control what other people do with it." What about moral rights? Under most continental-european legislation, these cannot be given up, so certainly cannot be overriden by any open-source (or proprietary for that matter) license.

If the meaning of Oxygen's artwork is to express the greatness of the KDE desktop, then using them inside GNOME might well be a moral rights violation, as a "mis-use" of the protected work. IANAL though.

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Re: When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 169.233.25.226] on November 03, 2007 02:20 PM
Europe != world. Get that through your thick skull. Same goes for the snotty Americans.
Disclaimer: I am an American.

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Re(1): When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 169.233.25.226] on November 03, 2007 02:21 PM
WTF? Linux.com, please use something to make newlines visible! I hit enter a few times and they disappear when I post. Stupid coders.

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Re(2): When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Jeremy Akers on November 04, 2007 09:52 PM
It's called HTML.



See? Works fine for me. ;)

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Re(1): When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 80.108.103.172] on November 04, 2007 08:45 PM
What kind of silly comment is that?

PS: I agree though the whole bulletin board system here SUCKS

i dont think i will use it again if it aint changed... cant they make all comments EXPANDED if
there arent many? I HATE to click on them

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Re: When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 83.19.198.26] on November 03, 2007 02:22 PM
If the icons are supposed to be KDE only, then the license should reflect that with a written restriction. There is no implicit restriction on the grounds that Oxygen is a KDE associated project.

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Re(1): When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 69.19.14.24] on November 04, 2007 03:40 PM
Yeah but they didn't express that. So the use was completely legal, a sharing and openness that we *believed* was the developers intention. We are not mind readers.

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Re: When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 80.244.97.91] on November 03, 2007 04:48 PM
"Ugh, stupid GNOME people, Oxygen is to express the greatness of KDE, you can't use our precious artwork on your miserably foul desktops, ugh".

Making their work as popular as possible should be the first priority for every artist and coder. OK, maybe second. First should be to make it as high quality as possible.
And making restrictions that not a single user benefits from is against the spirit of open source, no matter what moral rights you imagine it hurts.

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Moral rights are irrelevant

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 87.194.113.211] on November 03, 2007 06:20 PM
You have no idea what the term "moral rights" means.

"Moral rights" refers to the creator's/creators' right to be acknowledged (or at least, to not be denied) as the creator of something. There is no other right attached to this, either expressed or implied.

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Re: When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 70.240.214.51] on November 04, 2007 04:09 PM
Moral rights? What a load of shiat.

Well, this type of stuff is to be expected. I'm getting tired of these OSS evangelists/zealots/idiots standing up and thumping their chests about how great they are and how bad closed-source software is, then only to turn around and find some excuse to close their source. I mean, seriously, go to an OSS project, fix a bug or put a feature in and try to submit it to source control. If you don't have a bunch of karma with the maintainers, it isn't likely to be included in the source tree. Suggest a feature and be summarily dismissed as not knowing what you're talking about.

OSS can bite me.

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Re: When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 66.65.65.150] on November 04, 2007 04:24 PM
Morality only functions at the individual level, legality entered the scene to handle inter individual situations.

The nazis though it was moral to burn jews
The dudes at Nuremburg thought it was moral to hang the nazis
And I think it is morally right to right you off as an idiot

Morality is something the pope can stick in his pipe and smoke. (God damn socialists mingling morals with legality)

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Re(1): When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 10.220.157.26] on November 05, 2007 04:08 PM
You get no bonus points for using a Nazi/Hitler analogy, and a bad one for that matter, in a discussion about icon licences. The two are completely different ideas.

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Re: When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 85.74.91.230] on November 04, 2007 09:44 PM
IANAL also. But we don't need to. It is just about all chipping in work. The best float by their own virtue. And best is subjective. I agree with the article. Sharing and improving, is what gives the best results. If gnome used kde's icons there wouldn't be any problems. (Except of course from making fun of gnome from kde's users in all forums for years to come :-) )

As they say:
Copying is the sincerest form of flattery.

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Re: When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 86.49.47.240] on November 06, 2007 04:38 PM
I think that the article writer (and several of the commenters) do not get a central distinction: legal != right. I mean, it's legal to lie, it's legal to abandon your wife and a lot of other things are perfectly legal without them being necessarily right. And the previous comment is probably pointing this out: Its legal to take the icons and do anything with them and no one is disputing that, the question is whether it is right.

That said, I very much disagree with where the previous commenter actually found the problem. The problem with the icon theme IS NOT that it is meant for the gnome desktop (or that it was packaged by a person outside the project). The problem is that the theme is immature and unfinished and this might give the original artists a bad reputation. F.e. see what happened with KDE 4 --- the project released a beta version which was quite unpolished and a lot of people started complaining about the quality of the work and even made a lot of, in my opinion, rude comments. I am not surprised if some people (the oxygen artists) want to avoid this. I am more surprised that a lot of the developers still develop in the open. If we (the users) keep forgeting about civility and only concern ourselves with what is legal, then it might well happen, that the developers will get fed up and close up the development. And that would be unfortunate, although perfectly understandable.
Jonathan Verner

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sounds just like osCommerce

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 65.46.48.50] on November 03, 2007 01:51 PM
sounds just like osCommerce

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"truly open development process."

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 169.233.25.226] on November 03, 2007 02:23 PM
Truly open = public domain.

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Re: "truly open development process."

Posted by: Nathan Willis on November 03, 2007 05:25 PM
License applied to a file != development process.

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Right on one count, wrong on the other

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 76.102.223.142] on November 03, 2007 02:34 PM
I think you're 100% correct on the icon issue, Nathan. Illustrators are sort of dumb though - they have a hard time grasping licensing sometimes. I know because I am one. However, the GIMP UI Brainstorm project *does* listen to feedback, as you would know if you read their recaps of user submissions. They have made a smart decision in not opening the floodgates of endless UI criticism by allowing just anyone to join their leadership. Many of the best open source projects do this. In this case, there are way too many self-proclaimed "UI designers" out there and they all have different ideas. I think their current blog format is genius. Also, while you're at it, why don't you attack every open source project with a SABDFL? Boo hoo, Mark Shuttleworth won't return my phone calls! It's not an open process! ...Seriously.

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When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 121.1.46.54] on November 03, 2007 02:38 PM
"When you choose to place your work on a publicly accessible server, and when you decide to place it under a free software license, you give up the right to control what other people do with it."




Now that is just plain wrong as it applies to the Oxygen Icons case.



If the author released his work into the public domain, then and only then does he waive his rights as to what other people do with it. However, the Oxygen Icons theme were not released to the public domain. They were released under open licenses yes, but those licenses depend on copyright restrictions to be in place as well. As the original author is the copyright holder, despite the fact that he released his work under open licenses, that does not diminish his control over his own work in any way.



Next time please take the time to read and understand the relevant licenses before making sweeping generalizations like this.

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Re: When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 83.19.198.26] on November 03, 2007 03:33 PM
You apparently missed the point of the article's author. Once the content is released under an open license, people can do whatever they want with it under the terms of the license. The copyright holder still retains all rights to do whatever he wants with his work, but he cannot retroactively invalidate the open license. He could stop distributing his work under the open license, but copies of the work obtained under the open license remain perfectly legal. So, in effect, the copyright holder doesn't have control over what people do with the work that has already been released under an open license, besides restrictions placed in the license itself.

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Re: When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 70.251.131.75] on November 03, 2007 03:35 PM
You are correct in saying that the author retains copyright when releasing under a free software license. However, when doing so he binds subsequent users to the terms of the license under which it is released if they wish to use the copyright materials. The terms of the two licenses under which Oxygen Icons were released permitted the use made of them by the packager so the authors, who got to pick the license under which they released and who could have also not released at all, have no beef. If they wanted more restrictions, they could have put them in the license.

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Re: When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Nathan Willis on November 03, 2007 05:23 PM
The license applied doesn't change the authors' rights. It grants the licensee rights.



Nate
[Modified by: Nathan Willis on November 03, 2007 11:24 AM]

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Re: When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 87.194.113.211] on November 03, 2007 06:27 PM
"As the original author is the copyright holder, despite the fact that he released his work under open licenses, that does not diminish his control over his own work in any way."



What? That's exactly what it does. Licences determine what control an author maintains and what control an author cedes.

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When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 76.23.20.241] on November 03, 2007 02:51 PM
You'd be surprised how many open source projects are like this. They essentially only use outsiders for free bug fixing or maybe free documentation writing, not feature or UI improvements. That means the only ones essentially making feature decisions are those who are good at fixing bugs, who may not be that skilled at understanding the users or the interface.
Open source without open development & participation is pretty meaningless.

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Re: When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 62.251.99.82] on November 03, 2007 05:44 PM
Nobody has stopped anyone participating in the Oxygen project -- the only thing the authors don't like is people running with their work and releasing it before they thing it's ready. Personally, although the license clearly allows it, I would be pretty pissed if someone grabbed the current Krita trunk code and released it as if it were done. I would not call that "participation" at all.

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Re(1): When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 12.169.163.241] on November 03, 2007 07:00 PM
You would be pissed at someone doing what your license allowed them to do? I'd say the problem is you, then, and not the users of your code who are doing exactly what you've given them explicit permission to do.

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Re(2): When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 62.251.99.82] on November 03, 2007 07:27 PM
Yes, I'd be pissed. Because it would be _my_ reputation that would go to pieces. Just like Linux Format reviewing alpha versions of applications as if they were final releases makes the reputation the authors go to pieces. Just grabbing unfinished stuff out of a repository and releasing it as if were the finished, final thing is unethical. If you don't understand that, you very obviously have never worked on an open source software project.

Boudewijn Rempt

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Re(3): When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 12.169.163.241] on November 04, 2007 01:28 AM
Your reputation will suffer for being an idiot who doesn't understand simple licensing concepts. "I give everyone the right to do these things with my images. Then when they do, I'll get all mad at them."

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Re(4): When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 86.49.47.240] on November 06, 2007 04:43 PM
Oh c'mon, LEGAL != RIGHT, can't you grasp that. Btw., using strong language won't make your argument more true.

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Hm. If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen, as some would say,

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 75.139.220.217] on November 22, 2007 09:16 PM
Or, as others would say, "I'll fix it myself!!" - What I mean is, well, if they won't let you play with them, then You should just say, "Fork you!" - The thing is, the developers are developing. Submit something. Put in a suggestion. But like we don't want to drive geniuses away from these important projects by overloading their suggestion box. As someone said, "Do not meddle in the affairs of wizards, for they are subtle, and quick to anger." I guess I feel that the developers have a right to develop without being forced to constantly consider a barrage of suggestions, different styles, cowboys, Indians, etc. Besides, Doesn't OPEN SOURCE mean the source is open, as in open to you to go ahead and fix it yourself?

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Is artwork truly like code?

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 81.211.177.12] on November 03, 2007 04:16 PM
You can write good code with thousands of programmers all around the world because executable code's only job is: "just work". It is a rational and logic process. But with artwork, well... this is a whole new world. Artwork is an aesthetic product, which is purely subjective and we need a coherent look for kde4.

I know that many of you won't agree with me, but I think that you have to consider the inherent differences between machine code and artwork.

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It can be, actually

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 98.135.31.180] on November 04, 2007 01:00 AM
I suggest you look at the XPM format. It is artwork, expressed as C code. Similarly, SVG uses a specific vocabulary in an XML framework. Either can be the "paintbrush" of the artist.

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Re: Is artwork truly like code?

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 24.5.28.44] on November 04, 2007 06:29 PM
I suggest you look at any company in the games industry...

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Re: Is artwork truly like code?

Posted by: Jeremy Akers on November 04, 2007 10:04 PM
Whether or not it is like code is irrelevant. They used the GPL to release it (As well as Creative Commons). The GPL is the same license used for code. If the authors felt that the artwork should be treated differently than code, they should have licensed it differently.

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When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 82.135.69.201] on November 03, 2007 04:54 PM
About the openness of gimp: way back in 1998 my now-ex-wife tried to volunteer to write documentation for Gimp (she had been a professional technical writer at Compaq until we moved to Germany). The gimp team made the process so difficult that she eventually dropped out. They simply didn't want outside help, or the had no appreciation of the time and effort volunteers wanted to put in.

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Management challenges

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 67.100.84.69] on November 03, 2007 05:23 PM
I wonder if there are practical, management-related issues that lead some developer groups toward a more closed approach. I can imagine that a tight-knit (and relatively unchanging) group is more in keeping with the standard approaches to management we are accustomed to from our workplaces and schools.

I'm in agreement with the author that more openness is good, but in an effort to be understanding, perhaps we should be asking the leaders why they feel compelled to run their projects the way they do. Maybe there are unappealing management challenges presented by the relatively new, open paradigm. Hopefully other developers could help them overcome these challenges.

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When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 62.251.99.82] on November 03, 2007 05:39 PM
The thing is, when you repackage the Oxygen icons you're not _participating_. You're leeching. You're not giving anything to the Oxygen project, you're just pre-empting their release. And that's not behaviour. Participation in the oxygen project -- for instance by creating new icons -- is not closed to anyone.

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Re: When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 10.220.157.26] on November 05, 2007 05:47 PM
By your definition, anyone who downloads a piece of open source software without submitting a patch or comment is also leeching, but I don't hear many people complain about that. If a maintainer of a piece of code puts up icons in a public repository with OSS licenes, they become subject to public consuption and redistribution. And if a developer chooses to withhold a feature from the public in favour of a "big bang release" for anything other than a technical reasons, he deserved to get usurped, and that's exactly what happened.

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Or how to distort reallity to write a flawn critic of open source projects

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 82.225.110.174] on November 03, 2007 05:45 PM
As the author seems to have miss the point of the two blog entries. Neither of them is claiming that whoever else did release those icons didn't have the right to do. They just pointed out that it wasn't nice nor polite to do it before the release of KDE4. "Closing the process" would have happen if the artists has choose as a conscequence to use a private repository.

About the Gimp UI redisign brainstorm, firstly, isn't the whole idea behind the brainstorm to be opened ? Or have I missed something ? Secondly, being "open" doesn't mean that you have to accept everybody's conntribution, is there any subversion/git/cvs/... repository for any open source project where annonymous have "write" rights ? If you want to be part of a team, you have to prove you deserve it, I don't see any reason why it would be different for a "UI design" team than for a "coder team".

All in all, one of the very few disappointing linux.com article :( I hope it's just a single mistake and that the quality of information will remain at a higher level in the future.

--
Cyrille Berger

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Re: Or how to distort reallity to write a flawn critic of open source projects

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 128.2.195.113] on November 05, 2007 07:24 PM
Finally a contributor with some sense.

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When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 202.89.70.2] on November 03, 2007 05:56 PM
I totally disagree about the Oxygen issue. Sometimes human feelings come above licenses ok! How would you feel if you worked your butt off creating icons for KDE 4, just waiting to see people's faces when they ran KDE 4 for the first time, and then somebody took the icons from SVN and made an iconset before KDE 4 came out. It would be absolutely anticlimatic and depressing for the creator. And no recompensation or apology is going to undo that

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Re: When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 12.169.163.241] on November 03, 2007 07:03 PM
You're just as insane as the other "evil icon thieves": the icons were released under licenses that permit other people to take them and use them. So- duh! Use different licenses if you're all worried about people "stealing" your work. Rampant stupidity is not a defense.

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Re(1): When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 65.92.102.247] on November 08, 2007 03:35 AM
This is the kind of stupid attitude which leads to projects closing up and making it a pain in the ass for outsiders to contribute. The whole "You released it under an open license, so now I get to do whatever the fuck I want with it and screw you!" attitude simply pisses people off and makes people wonder why they're working to help such losers.

Honestly, if the Oxygen designers had used a closed-up SVN repository, how many of you same idiots would be screaming that they're not really developing open-source style? It seems to me what you really want is not for developers to develop the FLOSS way, but to allow you to rip them off and pre-empt their releases for your own personal benefit.

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Re: When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 85.127.210.95] on November 03, 2007 10:30 PM
The question is, why have they put their icons on a public SVN-Repository if they wanted to release their work at a given time? They should have put them at release time on a public SVN with the right license. But of course I understand that the developers of the Icons are upset. They wanted to release their work in an other way, an if the other guy who has released them before only copied their work and hasn't added his own ideas I agree with the original developers that someone only wanted to express himself with other people work.

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When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 89.111.143.84] on November 03, 2007 07:11 PM
Nathan, you are totally missing the point in both cases.

Imagine someone publishes draft of your article as a real article. Would you appreciate that? Of course not. No sane journalist would (as journalist and ex-editor I do know what I'm talking about). Extrapolate that to icons and you will see why you were so much wrong.

Now, on GIMP. See, gui.gimp.org was created as result of usability research from October or Nobember 2006. Everything that is published there relates to that work. Why would Peter want someone who didn't take part at the event and who doesn't know everything they know to start changing something in the wiki? Why would you want to enlarge amount of decision makers which would only lead to consequences and portponing actual decisions? Do you really want that kind of bad project management? Why?

Both issues are not about openness. They are about respect and good project management. If you can't understand this, if you fail to do a proper research and talk to actual developers, my advice for you is to consider quitting journalistics.

Alexandre

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Re: When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 12.169.163.241] on November 03, 2007 07:44 PM
What part of "the licenses of the icons allow other people to use them" don't you understand?

As for the Gimp, you don't understand the difference between "contributors" and "decision makers." It's your own understanding that is lacking. Joe is right; closing the door to contributors is foolish, and it certainly isn't an open process.

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Re(1): When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 89.111.143.84] on November 03, 2007 08:20 PM
Which part of "we asked people using them here in there to kindly remove in name of the freshness of upcoming KDE 4" don't YOU understand? Can you actually see difference between license and respect? Looks like you can't. Pity.

Now on GIMP again. Contributions are done via blogspot-based pool of ideas. Everyone is welcome to share ideas. But gui.gimp.org is for decisions. Do you have a problem with it?

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Re: When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 203.171.68.253] on November 03, 2007 08:32 PM
The difference is that Nathan didn't put the draft of the essay on a public server with a licence that says 'Please take me, change me and share me with as many people as you can!'

It seems to me those icons were released the day they were put on that server.

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Re(1): When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 89.111.143.84] on November 03, 2007 09:52 PM
Please read the second mentioned plog posting (http://wadejolson.wordpress.com/2007/09/12/oxygen-redux-can-do-vs-should-do/) as careful as possible. Twice or thrice, if required. Until you see that the question is NOT about license. Then, also, if you are lucky, you will see that none of the bloggers actually _attacked_ anyone.

There a lots things in this world that are perfectly legal, but still not considered cool. Referring to license in this case is just defending ego with justifications. No more, no less.

Alexandre

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Re(2): When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 217.122.111.159] on November 05, 2007 05:10 PM
There is no morality in this world. Only cold hard law (or violence) to enforce your personal views on others. If you still believe in warm fuzzies, you'd better apply cold hard law to protect them, otherwise others will rob them from you. If a license just says share-and-share-alike and it does not restrict beyond that, you can whine whatever you want about morality, do's and don'ts, but at the end of the day nobody cares about your warm fuzzies. Especially not, if you yourself codified the means to rob you of your warm fuzzies in a legal license.



The reason we have licenses at all is that man is the worst predator on earth, so bad that it destroys its own habitat. Only regulated group force through law and enforcements agencies keeps us from trampling all over our fellow humans and some still believe that man is one big happy family singing round the camp fire. Go figure...



r_a_trip

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Re(3): When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 80.108.244.93] on November 05, 2007 10:04 PM
judging from your words you definitely must be an american. ignorant to the fullest but to stupid to find Europe on a map.

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Re(4): When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Ronald Trip on November 06, 2007 12:07 AM
No, I'm European. Dutch to be exact. I simply stopped looking at the world through rose colored glasses. Man (myself included) is just another species of predator and there is nothing lofty about "eat or be eaten", but unfortunately that is the way it is.

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Re: When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 213.84.60.53] on November 03, 2007 10:11 PM
And I have yet to meet the first journalist who publishes using the GPL license.
So, let's not compare apples with oranges here...

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Re(1): When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 89.111.143.84] on November 03, 2007 10:40 PM
You are getting it wrong (again). Please read this attentively: WE ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT LICENSES. WE ARE TALKING ABOUT MORALITY. I put it as capitalized not to shout at you, but to make you actually read it.


Noone ever said icons were published illegally. What Oxygen guys actually wrote is "We know you can do it. But please don't until it's finished and ready to be used". This is neither attack, nor sign of non-openness -- as Nathan tried to repesent it. This is a pure human thing, not a legal case. This is about people talking to each other, having respect for each other and collaboration.


This is where Nathan failed. And I would like him to either start doing researches and talking to people or stop giving his non-GPL rants for articles.


P.S. If I was a Tango artist, I would feel angry about being mentioned in opposition to Oxygen project. They are all friends.

Peace. Alexandre

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Re(2): When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 12.169.163.241] on November 04, 2007 01:30 AM
The quit being a moron and release the images under a restrictive license or copyright, instead of getting mad at someone who does exactly what you gave them permission to do. Sheesh, were you born stupid or do you work at it?

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Re(2): When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 68.107.75.54] on November 04, 2007 04:17 PM
No, you are talking about morality. This (factual) article deals with licensing and what happens when you make bad licensing choices.

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When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 82.71.43.190] on November 03, 2007 08:54 PM

So, are you going to criticise Linus and the 'closed' development process of the Linux kernel as well? Believe me, you don't want me to have full and un-fettered access to Git to make any old changes I like, I don't have a clue! FOSS may be open to view and open to copy and use and fork, but it is also a meritocracy, you have to prove you're good enough to contribute, usually by starting at the bottom and working your way up. Don't like it, then start your own project or fork. Ever considered the GIMP guys may have had more people working on it than they could properly coordinate or were so far advanced in the process that adding someone else would actually slow things down? Ever heard of the mythical man month?

On the icons, the artists had a vision they were trying to realise, and were asking people to wait until their work was completed before distributing them. Imagine how Shakespeare or da Vinci would feel if they invited you into their studio for a sneak peek at their creative process, and in return you started distributing rough incomplete copies of their works before they had finished? Just because you have the right to do something doesn't mean you always should. If you want to be part of the FOSS community, then there's certain unwritten rules you should follow when participating in the community, or benefitting from the works of the community, the primary one being respect for the people who are giving up their personal time and effort for your benefit. Show them the repsect their efforts deserve, respect their simple wishes, and they will continue to contribute and help grow the community. Treat them with selfish contempt or righteous expectation and you risk driving them away and losing the benefit of their efforts.

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Re: When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 82.71.43.190] on November 03, 2007 09:01 PM
Sorry, meant to add my name, seeing as I'm happy to stand behind my opinions, and my participation in nd contributions to the community.

John Layt.

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When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 82.71.43.190] on November 03, 2007 08:57 PM
P.S. For a Feature, i would expect a reputable journalist to interview the parties involved and give them the opportunity to explain themselves. This reads more like a random blog rant, just slightly better written and more polite.

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Why is this surprising?

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 69.34.217.90] on November 03, 2007 09:39 PM
I run into this all the time with Open Source. SQL Ledger is a prime example.

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[OT] What's with this stupid new comment system?

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 79.210.127.254] on November 04, 2007 12:08 AM
I don't visit this site that often, but some time ago, there was a nice comment page, were you could choose to view all comments nested on one page. Now this stupid modern new page expects me to click every comment to read it (and if there's something like the old option, it's hidden too well). Ah well, more time to spend elsewhere...

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Re: [OT] What's with this stupid new comment system?

Posted by: pahosler on November 04, 2007 04:25 AM
You have to register, it's free btw, and then you can set it to flat - which I like better as well and probably should be the default.

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When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 86.92.145.244] on November 04, 2007 12:58 AM
Well, packaging the oxygen iconset for gnome allows those gnomers to test it out. The more people testing, the more people will contribute, finding bugs and stuff, resulting in a better final result, in this case that'd be mostly gnome-compatibility. That should be quite trivial, as both kde and gnome now use (more or less?) the same icon-packaging-standard.
Of course, it would have been better if the packager made it clear that it's still not a finalized set, and recommended the users/testers to send in their comments to the oxygen-team, but I don't consider repackaging the set so early is a bad thing, as this is the way open-source works best.

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When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 161.109.224.219] on November 04, 2007 05:39 AM
People seem to be missing an important point here, Crispy didn't just take all the Oxygen icons and release them without accreditation. Heck, he didn't just release all the oxygen icons WITH accreditation, he released a mix of different icons ("primarily Crystal Project and Oxygen") and released those, hes also made additions and changes and even changed other things such as the font used.



Most people here seem to be acting like he just did a straight port of Oxygen and abandoned it, hes been making changes, adding bug fixes for things that crop up and trying to improve things all around. Also please spare me the "freshness" part, they still aren't even final..so how can he reasonably spoil the "freshness" when they are publicly available and will likely be changed in any case?

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When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 219.95.42.19] on November 04, 2007 01:18 PM
Nathan's right about the icon set. About the Gimp redesign, not sure.

When you make your work available for public use under an open source license, it's no use crying when someone actually goes ahead and uses it under the terms of the license. Berating people for doing that would be going against the whole spirit of open source. Laying down terms and conditions in the license, and then laying out more terms and conditions (`show respect', `don't release before we do') once people actually start using the work, is simply not feasible. How do you expect millions of people from all over the world, with different cultural backgrounds, to know what you would or wouldn't like them to do, if you don't explicitly tell them at the outset, in the license?

About the Gimp redesign, I've got mixed feelings. On the one hand, I really want a small team of people to create a coherent and eminently functional user interface for Gimp. I want it to feel like it anticipates my workflow and makes it easier for me. Microsoft got it right with Office 2007, no matter what anybody says. On the other hand, the UI team can come up with the new look, but there's no reason a mass of coders can't implement it. Unless they've already allocated a fixed team of people to do the coding. But even then, someone from outside can come in with a wonderful patch that speeds up the program ten-fold, or removes the pesky bug that causes a crash once every blue moon.

Maybe Peter Sikking really doesn't need anyone new in his team to do the work of creating the redesigned UI. But what if someone outside the team comes up with a stupendous idea? It looks like then can easily send it in, and get credit for it. So ultimately, I think it's probably best to let the UI team go about it in their own way. The new Gimp deserves to be an elegant, beautiful program, not a design by committee.

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When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 80.233.200.118] on November 04, 2007 01:52 PM
I hate all that "open-source" GAYS that releases code/other sh*t under open/free licenses and then tries to restrict use of it! Just their icons as any other OPEN/FREE product! Let them think about what to open and what to close!

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Re: When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 80.233.200.118] on November 04, 2007 01:53 PM
Just USE i mean

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Re: When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 98.203.150.239] on November 04, 2007 05:23 PM
STUPID HOMOPHOBE GO BACK TO YOUR CAVE WHERE YOU BELONG. This is 2007 where such stupid ideologies are NOT WELCOME.

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New Gimp website GetGimp.com

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 10.0.0.205] on November 04, 2007 01:53 PM
Check it out.

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When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: gnulinuxgeek on November 04, 2007 02:04 PM
All,



I read the original post and some of the comments, and thought I might throw my $.02 in.



All Open Source developers are a bit visionary and to a degree a zealots. Everyone is protective of the "pet" project.



What makes me an expert? I do not consider myself an expert at anything because can always find someone that knows more about stuff than I do.



I do have a little expertise in the area of volunteer work though. I have been a Cubmaster for a Scout Pack for around 7 years. All my Leaders and parents are volunteers without exception. So this experience has enlightened me to a degree on visionaries and zealots.



Over the years the Pack holds events that require a "chairperson" to organize things. Some events are large enough to require two "chairs". Many of the largest disagreements we have are about these events. If everyone keeps their cool, the only thing that happens is that another person jumps at volunteering for the next event. If they don't keep their cool, we lose volunteers, parents, and unfortunately Cub Scouts. As a Cubmaster I spend a lot of time trying to "settle" things so we don't lose Scouts.



It really boils down to the act of volunteering. If you care enough to spend some of the precious time here on planet Earth taking on work for no pay, then you are probably convinced of the value of that work. What you volunteer for is not the issue. Scouting or Software writing, it is all the same. Both are done out of the goodness of someones heart. That goodness is what makes the difference.



So, while the persons working on the release set of icons for KDE 4 have their "baby" and will be protective of their "vision", the person trying to make a new set of icons in a theme for KDE 4 may have a different vision of how the icons should/can look but, is still doing the work as a volunteer.



As the new theme should be considered benign intervention, I don't see an issue. Having typed that, I can see that the KDE developers would like to get the original set out first and don't want them "improved" just yet.



Truthfully, this whole thing shouldn't even be an argument. Let the dust settle and go on with the good work. Keep your eye upon the donut and not upon the hole.



If you think things are made difficult with volunteers, try getting a lot of things done without them.



Still volunteering after all these years,



gnulinuxgeek

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Maybe it's practical for some very popular projects...

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 87.116.53.19] on November 04, 2007 03:32 PM
Maybe it's practical for some very popular projects... If the GIMP team accepted all feature request in their bug tracker they'ed most probably drown... GIMP UI Redesign team is probably also a very popular project, maybe they really don't need more developers...

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When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 69.19.14.24] on November 04, 2007 03:35 PM
Sad, oh yeah that license is just for looks, you actually cant use it. If developers do want there design to be public domain they should not work in the open domain. Its easy, do the math......

justin at kalland.org

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GIMP IS GARBAGE

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 68.144.82.9] on November 04, 2007 03:42 PM
Just try to use the program, it is totally unusable- the UI is mind boggling stupid and the program has not cought on with photographers.

I wouldn't even waste any time talking about this stupid little program. I will never go anywhere it needs to fork and move on with a typical open source development

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Re: GIMP IS GARBAGE

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 66.65.65.150] on November 04, 2007 04:34 PM
My thats a mighty big violin you got there punk.

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Re: GIMP IS GARBAGE

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 98.196.93.3] on November 04, 2007 05:12 PM
I agree with you. It is totally unintuitive. I tried to switch to it in Windows but I would never try it again.

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Re(1): GIMP IS GARBAGE

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 98.203.150.239] on November 04, 2007 05:29 PM
It is not unituitive,,it is ONLY because you are used to the EXPENSIVE photoshop and likely are a zealot for its cause. its the same garbage that 3dmax or maya users complain about with blender..and its just as lame ;)

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Re(2): GIMP IS GARBAGE

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 24.86.105.105] on November 04, 2007 11:33 PM
I used GIMP for years, and i had to switch to Photoshop because gimp was totally unusable for photography. GIMP never really seems to go anywhere, I think its one of those programs that could use a major rewrite..... how about 16bit color channels and proper support for various RAW files, I could come up with a longer list but this isnt the place. I've used The GIMP in windows and linux A LOT, but The GIMP really lives up to its name on OS X.... it runs like it was beat in the head a lot as a child.

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Re(3): GIMP IS GARBAGE

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 86.139.7.141] on November 15, 2007 07:09 AM
Gimp's certainly not garbage, I use it loads, have done since its early days, mostly under Linux. Raw files can be handled via dcraw externally and/or the plugin mechanisms. The UI, I've got used to it, I find photoshop no more or less unintuitive, I got used to that, too. On OSX, I use "gimpshop", a fork of gimp with a "more photoshop-like UI", not because of the UI but because I found a packaged version which installed with no fuss and I was in a hurry. It's far less of a lumbering beast than photoshop when just whipping together web images etc. The absence of photoshop's complicated and optimistic colour management is, for these kind of uses, a positive advantage, too - things acually come out the colour you expect. HOWEVER, there's one major, unforgivable flaw with gimp, and I've somewhere gained the impression that this is an ideological invariant for the main development branch, and that's the absence of anything better than 8bit/chan colour. For film or print work, I have to use cinepaint, or resort to photoshop, gimp is simply not designed to be up to the job. Thankfully, with OSS, however "closed" the main dev coterie might or might not come across, *anyone* is free to do what the cinepaint people have done, fork and take things in a direction more useful to themselves, as often and as radically as they like. For all it's phenomenal power, slickness and expense, we can't do that with photoshop. So while, as a developer who'se been around for far too long, I do find the little cliques and personality cults which emerge a bit annoying, you always get that, and folks get things done. At the end of the day if you can do something better then just do it, and you'll make *someone* happy, at least.

I think the icons rant here has probably more merit than the GIMP one, given human nature and so on - the license seems clear enough. As someone else said, worldwide cultural differences and all manner of things should make it pretty obvious that if you want to incorporate some kind of courtesy grace period into a public domain license, then you should actually incorporate it, not assume people will guess it.

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Re(2): GIMP IS GARBAGE

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 121.218.119.66] on November 05, 2007 12:40 AM
GIMP is the most unintuitive program in history. I can say that from experience. I have used and necome proficient with the following 2D/photography programs, Deluxe Paint (2,3,4,5,5.5), Digipaint 2, Image FX, Art Department Professional, Photogenics (1,2 and 3), Brilliance 1 and 2, Atellier, Artrage, Photoshop (4, 5, 6, CS, CS2, CS3), Corel Draw (8, 9, 10, 11, 12) , Corel Paint (every partner version to Corel Draw), Corel Painter 8 and 9, Pixen, Director, Illustrator, Canon DPP. I am sure there are a few programs I have forgotten in that list over the decades.

I know a thing or two about art software, and I have probably forgotten more about art software than you have ever learned about art software. The GIMP sucks! The GIMP is why I, as an artist will not switch to Linux. It is the ONLY reason I cannot switch. It needs FORKS!

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Re(3): GIMP IS GARBAGE

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 69.12.245.117] on November 05, 2007 04:14 PM
I feel bad that I must agree with this assessment. I used GIMP for a while, then my wife got Photoshop Elements (the low cost consumer version) for some projects, and I was more productive from the very beginning. Seriously, what is "Python-fu"? In general, it's time for GNU to drop the MIT in-joke way of life.

I want to use GIMP but it's too damn complicated.

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Re(3): GIMP IS GARBAGE

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 86.49.47.240] on November 06, 2007 04:56 PM
Wow. The previous argument, summed up: I used more graphical software than you, therefore you suck.

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Re(4): GIMP IS GARBAGE

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 121.217.152.218] on November 07, 2007 08:41 PM
The previous person is assuming that the previous person only knows and is comfortable with Photoshop and assuming the previous person is not happy with the GIMP is not 100% Photoshop.

There are a lot of people out there who have only experienced Photoshop and are ignorant of other programs. This does not get the GIMP off the hook for being the worst art program in history with the exception of M$ Paint (which isn't an art program in any sense of the word). So in listing many of the programs I am used to kills many of the standard arguments that "GIMP Lovers" bring to the discussion. GIMP lovers all seem to be non artists. It is not surprising that they are happy with the limited toolset and a UI that has to have been designed by a spastic orangutan on hormone replacement therapy.

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Re(1): GIMP IS GARBAGE

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 81.193.93.141] on November 04, 2007 11:42 PM
What the hell windowz drones are doing here?

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Re: GIMP IS GARBAGE

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 128.2.195.113] on November 05, 2007 07:27 PM
The poster is a troll, but the usability comment is accurate. The UI sucked 10 years ago and hasn't improved.

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Re(1): GIMP IS GARBAGE

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 98.203.150.239] on November 06, 2007 02:59 AM
I dont know why your whineing...I have zero problem with the interface but like anything yes it could be improved. YMMV but dont whine about your problem adjusting to a excellent FREE program. Go whine in your PS soup while enjoying one less house payment ;)

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Re(2): GIMP IS GARBAGE

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 121.217.152.218] on November 07, 2007 09:20 PM
Are you an artist? Really? Do you have any links to your work online? I am interested because I have yet to meet anyone who is even vaguely capable of pushing pixels around who believes that the GIMP is useable. Only programmers and other non artist types seem to think that the GIMP is a good program. I see this as an argument between the people who DO know how an art program needs to work, and those people who are still happy that there is a free program for them to tinker with. The artists need to make a living. Artists work at a speed that would probably shock you. If you lack the tools for a job, you need to run at a pedestrian speed doing things by hand. Beginners and casual users are used to working slowly, and do not realise that there are tools on other programs that will reduce the current job from an hour to two minutes. Again the beginners will only work in a small window tucked between the massive GIMP interface. If you are only painting in 500x400 pixels, then there is no sacrifice. If you are painting in 12000x10000 pixels (yes, I have regularly worked in this and larger sizes) you want as much screen real estate as possible. The smaller your art the more guesswork you have to do while painting on a tiny window. Professional artists are often used to painting at larger sizes. Painting on a 12"x9" Wacom tablet becomes redundant when you can only use a quarter of the space to paint in miniature. There are literally hundreds of problems with the GIMP UI, but this example is a good one to simply show the difference between professionals and amateurs.

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Re(3): GIMP IS GARBAGE

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 193.155.95.1] on November 08, 2007 01:22 PM
If I read Sikkings articles correctly, enlarging the screen real estate is one of the primary goals. The fullscreen mode is already there (just one key away: F11), and the dialogs can be shown and hidden by another key (Tab).

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Re(4): GIMP IS GARBAGE

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 121.217.152.218] on November 08, 2007 09:03 PM
So the GIMP has one feature that every art program has had since 1986. It is not considered a feature any longer. What if you are working with an area that has no keyboard shortcuts? Like a lot of layer work? You need the UI visible, but does it have to take 60% of the screen space. You need to see what you are working on while interacting with the visible aspects of the UI. It does not take a genius to make a smaller UI. All it takes is two days by a semi capable artist, but since the GIMP team are to arrogant to let anyone else touch their baby, it will take them ten years.

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Re: GIMP IS GARBAGE

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 69.216.175.123] on November 12, 2007 01:04 AM
You know, I'm not one to complain, I appreciate all the great free/open source software I use. But I have to agree with this! I'm not even an artist, I just occasionally want to draw something or edit a photo. I've also never used Photoshop or any other similar graphics software. Yet I must agree that GIMP is a most unintuitive, difficult to use piece of junk! It takes me hours to do what should take minutes. I first used GIMP nearly a decade ago, and I currently have version 2.2.13 installed. In all that time I've seen so little improvement it's astounding!



Another evidence which is hard to ignore is the fact that real artists don't use GIMP. Go anywhere on the internet, find places where artists post computer art that has any measure of sophistication, and see what tools they're using - I guarantee they're not using GIMP! I think a fork of GIMP by people who care would be great.

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Also

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 70.126.254.76] on November 04, 2007 04:04 PM
While the article refers to the development process, there is another unfortunate trend where FOSS projects close the source and become closed source projects. Basically, they are open source up until the point where they become commercially viable and then they suddenly shift gears and close it all down offering either no source or a watered down and essentially deadend fork they refer to as a "Community Edition". e.g. BitTorrent, trixbox, Nessus...

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Oxygen Refit != Oxygen

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 78.51.77.160] on November 04, 2007 04:37 PM
Oxygen Refit is not a 1:1 copy of Oxygen. Oxygen Refit contains only 10 - 15% of Oxygen, the other Icons _do not_ come from Oxygen. Another Thing: Why are they only attacking Oxygen Refit and not OxyGnome, the second one is a 1:1 Port of Oxygen for Gnome!
Furthermore Oxygen is also available for KDE3 so it has been "stealed" three times but it was ignored two times. Why?
Both the CC and LGPL3 allow the reuse, if they don't want others to use their work, they should release it under an Non-OS license.
There are other People, too who release their Icons under OS-Licenses, but they don't complain about a reuse, because they know, that they allowed it.

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When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 202.79.55.95] on November 04, 2007 05:05 PM
Definitely, open source should remain open source. Its simply not acceptable to pay once we get used to with opnesource.

Angelina Mina
http://www.happy-funtime.blogspot.com

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Thanks

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 69.221.145.68] on November 04, 2007 05:21 PM
Pardon the inevitable colloquialisms. While I understand the KDE team's desire to "surprise" the community with their stunning effort, but their collective response is just short of A DMCA take down notice. Alright, that's a slight exaggeration, but if the KDE team keep rehashing the perceived "wrong", they are just trying to enforce, or change the laws and agreements of the community. You are spot-on, when you declared that way of thinking more Cathedral then Bazaar.
I would say fascist, but I am a little harsh. That being said, the random-dudes constantly cherry picking incomplete projects are dicks. However, if you don't want your project released prematurely, don't put your project on a publicly accessible server.

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Re: Thanks

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 68.144.68.51] on November 06, 2007 08:31 AM
sooooo ... the answer to avoiding "dicks" is to close development? which is sort of what this article was trying to rail against in the first place?

and no, suggesting someone is being anti-social is nowhere near a dmca takedown nor fascism.

suggestion: think, then post.

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When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 68.227.222.77] on November 04, 2007 06:16 PM
The author of the article fails to grasp the distinction between licensing rights and contribution privileges. If the code is truly open source, ANYONE has the RIGHT to fork, but not everyone has the PRIVILEGE of contribution. Just like with any other group activity, the privilege to contribute must be earned by politicking, socialization, and illustrating evidence that the potential contributor will add value to the overall effort. It is still fundamentally a human endeavor and a matter of taste and acculturation. An Open Process does not necessarily follow from Open Code. The two concepts are orthogonal.

If the potential contributor is not willing to engage in these activities, he or she can always fork the code and make their own private changes and/or attempt to germinate a new project community with a different kind of "process culture". The author seems ignorant of Open Source mores and history. Different projects have different cultures and different processes.

A classic example of the forking/cultural/process distinction is the creation of the OpenBSD project fork from FreeBSD.

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Re: When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 219.95.42.19] on November 04, 2007 06:49 PM

Can't argue with anything you said, it's all correct. But I got the sense from the author that this potential contributor was being turned away before finding out what his contribution even was, and that could discourage potential contributors who could do a lot for Gimp and other projects as well. Maybe they need to set up a page explaining what's the best way to help? Or what qualifications the potential contributor should have? Actually this brings up an interesting line of thought, open source projects posting online job ad-style `jobs' on their site, seeking volunteer contributors e.g.:



Looking for coder to implement CMYK in Gimp. Must have experience in C and GDI, Cairo and OpenGL [& other technologies]. Experience of 2 yrs working in a software company is preferred. Must collaborate well with others online. If you think you are qualified, send us a technical spec, maximum 5 pages (A4, Times 12pt), explaining how you would go about the task. Compensation: the satisfaction of working on an open source project like the Gimp, reputation in the software (esp. paint software) industry. Contact us now!

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Incredibly insightful - regarding GIMP UI

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 77.49.238.44] on November 04, 2007 06:20 PM
I must say I was impressed that you picked up on the GIMP UI issue, I was drawn into that debate, one of the more intereting spin offs was how a GIMP developer then publicly wailed because somebody released a usable GIMP UI in the form of GimpShop - he was attacked for not 'adding his thoughts to the on-going GIMP efforts to improve the UI'.

It is fun. Rather than see their work as being taken and improven upon, they see it as their 'legacy' and importance diminishing within their project. I wish I had the links to the debacle, perhaps it is linked on the gimpshop site, beware the highest pagerank site for gimpshop was (at last check) some weird affiliation site.

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Thank you to the person who submitted them

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 77.49.238.44] on November 04, 2007 06:31 PM
Not being bothered to grab them off the server, I have a few times come back to this project, and emailed them, and been rather pissed off, that a project with so much attention prefers to hoard the mindshare and not release anything.

Kudos to the submitter, can we get some links?

Now if someone takes a liking to these, and expands them, I want each person who cheered against this 'perpetrator' to publicly repost their comment and then apologise for it, and admit to being an idiot.

YOUR CAPTCHA SUCKS

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When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 80.229.232.109] on November 04, 2007 06:35 PM
Great article. Points out just a couple of the many inconsistencies in the open source develpoment world.

Sometimes people get an inflated opinion of themselves and how much they contribute to a project. I, myself, have been a victim of this on a number of ocassions but the secret is to remember we are only human and that admitting you are wrong is part of the great journey we are all on.

As an aside, I have KDE4 up and running on my main machine and have tried the Oxygen icon set. Didn't like it too much. Doesn't supply icons for a lot of the applications I use day-to-day so ditched it in favour of my own iconset.

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Re: When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 86.49.47.240] on November 06, 2007 05:09 PM
Hmm, you just proved the point of the artists. You got the theme, saw that it was unfinished, and ditched it. I wonder if you'll reconsider it, when its finished. The artists wanted to avoid this and I completely agree with them. And if you start suggesting that they should have used a different licence, then go to hell --- that would actually be closing the development and it would be very unfortunate.

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When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 99.236.48.26] on November 04, 2007 06:39 PM
"outside participation makes a team stronger, not weaker" i do not agree with this caption. opensource is an excellent idea/ system but even it need rules and regulation. i like the way opensoucre handle it self. opensoucre is not for everyone and many first time users become quickly discouraged by it too easily. but it does not mean opensource is bad it mean you do not understand what you are doing. opensource is for the bight and brilliant. here is the tricky part any one can familiarizer them selves with opensource products and projects. Again anyone has the opportunity to become the bright and brilliant if you have patiences. If opensource did not screen some users at this point in its life the projects or products would collapse. Limiting opensource user is a good idea at this point in time. Once opensource is profected it then should be open too all.

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When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 89.101.102.238] on November 04, 2007 08:04 PM
I've tried quite a few distros over the years and I've found them all to be sorely lacking in one way or another. Sure the software is free, but so what, what's the point when I had to spend many frustrating hours trying to sort out problems that should have been fixed since the previous release. I'm sick of beta phase software being rolled out into the next release, and the next release, etc, etc. I wanted to like Linux, I really did, but I have grown to hate it more and more. I'm sick to death of me-too bloggers recounting how they've switched from Windows (usually to Ubuntu, and by the way I think that's a horrible name for a distro) and couln't be happier. I wonder how long 'till they switch back? I hope I never see the day with Linux on the desktop. I'm using Windows XP and my computing experience with it has been much, much better than what I had when I tried to use Linux. Why with so many thousands of talented coders are things such a mess - for example one distro I tried could read and write to my NTFS partitions, another distro couldn't. I installed two different versions of Fedora (one only recently) and my display under both versions was shifted about half an inch to the left, this meant I had to mess around with XVidTune, and paste the ouput into XOrg.conf and hope I hadn't messed things up. I never had to do anything like that with Windows XP when I installed it for myself or others. The OS and the software is free, but you pay with your time and frustration.

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When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 80.108.103.172] on November 04, 2007 08:37 PM
I think you are unfair in this comment.

While I agree partially, you make it sound as if there are only haters in the community.

Please reread your attacks against them, and read what others wrote too.

I think you are WRONG.

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Can't agree more

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 221.126.152.186] on November 04, 2007 09:27 PM
I've experienced so much closed-mind projects came across during these years, that a whole series of article about this issue is written (in Chinese), though "closeness" is just a part of it. Many of such cases are related to personal fulfillment of controlling everything -- related to personality, rather than anything about license. As an example: years back, XFree86 set up a great example on how an open sourced project can be managed like proprietary software. Indeed there are many more. Closed-mind open-source projects never suffer a lack of examples, be it past, present or future. The opened source is for your viewing pleasure.

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One word: Fork

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 72.76.86.152] on November 04, 2007 10:03 PM
Openness and community driven development is what open-source is all about. Create a new GIMP UI redesign project. The current one hasn't seen much progress lately and a community-based redesign would certainly far outpace Sikking's development efforts.

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When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 217.43.82.237] on November 04, 2007 10:10 PM
I gave a way a computer, it was chock full of decent parts, not especially fast, but well built, and I spent ages cutomising the thing to the kid's needs. The kid then swapped it for a marginally faster, but utimately inferior computer, becuase he "wanted a tower" The bloke who swapped my 2Ghz P4 for an older and underspecced 2.4Ghz P4 obviously saw the kid coming...

I was marginally upset that something I poured so much effort into could be treated so shabbily, but I was the one who gave it away. Once out of my hands it was no longer mine, it's a hard lesson to learn, but a neccessary one.

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When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 60.242.57.83] on November 04, 2007 10:11 PM
I have approached a few projects with my graphics talents and have been knocked back by them. It was a bit of a shock and I was confused. I figured any help or suggestions were encouraged. But I was wrong.

Since my use of F/OSS is based mainly on principle, I stopped using the applications where the developers of any specific segment gave me a brick wall as an answer. I figured I wouldn't want to use software that was developed by close minded people that would rather make the project theirs than everyones.

It's a shame really.

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These are very valid points.

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 121.218.119.66] on November 05, 2007 12:28 AM
Both these examples are completely valid. The first example is one of artist, or people supposedly speaking for the artist, not understanding what he/she signed up for. I know what I am talking about. As an artist, I have released art and animations as Public Domain. I understood what that meant and I knew it meant "No takie backies".

The second problem is possibly the most serious problem Linux has right now. The GIMP has stagnated under a closed and ignorant team for the past decade. The UI team has only tried to copy Photoshop. Nothing new, and nothing from the dozens of other existing art programs, or from the past 25 years of computer based artwork. The GIMP team is the most hostile group outside Mac Fanatics I have ever had the displeasure to deal with. The GIMP needs to be forked in a few directions. There needs to be a beginners program, at least one fully fledged artists tool (there is more than one way to create a UI, and no one solution is likely to be productive for every artist), and one photographers tool. The GIMP as it stands today can sit in its own stagnant pool and feel superior as far as I am concerned. I am an artist. I have not switched to Linux. I DESPERATELY want to switch to linux. I need art tools on Linux before I switch. The GIMP was no art tool in 98, and it is no tool now in 07. The GIMP team dropped the ball a decade ago. It is time for new forks, or a new team to create a new program. I have been working on my own toolset and UI, and have been polishing them. I would love to find somewhere where I could talk to people who are not closed off to discuss a serious artists tool.

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Re: These are very valid points.

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 59.101.213.53] on November 05, 2007 09:50 AM

I agree about the gimp as well as

desperately wanting to use linux (for

multimedia work in my case).




Have you tried Krita? I'd be curious

to see how it fares in your opinion,

am yet to try it myself, but it looks

promising for design and photo work.

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Re(1): These are very valid points.

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 121.217.152.218] on November 05, 2007 09:53 PM
I had not heard of Krita. It looks like it could be the GIMP killer (in a few years time, and with the right tools) that is needed. The interface is still soso, but that is better than the alternatives. In the UI competition I would give GIMP a 1/10, Photoshop 3 through to CS2 3/10, Photoshop CS3 4/10, and from what I can see from the layout of Krita I would give it a 5/10.

Krita does seem to be lacking a lot of tools. A good program does need most of Photoshops tools for those who do photo editing work, but Photoshop sadly neglects all other art fields, including your own field of multimedia. I believe Photoshop does not handle Alpha Channels. I do know that Photoshop fans would die before admitting this, but they have never used alternative programs that see Alpha channels as a critical tool for multimedia. There are programs that make Alphas so easy to create and manage a complete beginner can be manipulating them in ways Photoshop users have never imagined within minutes of learning to say "Alpha Channel". Krita does have rulers, this is necessary, but if you don't work in photo editing, or layout, you are more likely to need an overscan guide or an animation field guide. Wouldn't it be great to have native animation modes with deinterlaced and interlaced output? How about onion skinning and possibly rotoscoping tools and interface rotation tools for animators? I would like to see a set of tools for converting loop outlines from bitmap/raster to vector so the line width can be retained as a walk loop (or similar) walked into or out of the background, or the camera dollys in or zooms in so the character and background doesn't pixelate. Another animation tool would be a two bit line art scanner driver. One bit gives black and white outlines, but if you wish to animate on paper and want to add in a shadow line, then you add the shadow line in using a blue or red animation pencil. Having two bits means you can have black, white, blue and red. There have even been programs (on the Amiga) where you could script your own special effects that change over time using the internal tools of the programs. I have had to colour a TV program (I was the only ink & painter for the show) and I was required to do it all in Photoshop 3. This was like pulling teeth. I could have done the same job in Deluxe Paint in one fiftieth of the time (that IS NO exaggeration!). Deluxe Paint worked with animations natively and had two simple tools (that could be used together) that made colouring a frame so simple it would take five seconds per frame. Deluxe Paint did not have Onion Skinning (Like Disney Animation Studio in the day) though, and that is necessary. If you have any other tools you can come up with, we should nag some programmers.

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When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 201.201.1.162] on November 05, 2007 12:42 AM
Thanks a lot for writting this.
I'm the author of those e-mails... I wanted to be a volunteer for the GIMP UI redesign. However, the "position was closed". This was my first experience as a volunteer for a FOSS project, but I felt that the redesign process was far from open. Realizing that my free time was limited, I continued with the preparations for the foundation of my first FOSS project: ZenSUI... but even that is now "on pause" until I get another development environment (a MacBook Pro... the possibility of using Photoshop instead of GIMP is one of the reasons to get a Mac and not build my own computer with Ubuntu. I'm of the open source "tribe"... using propietary software is not evil).

The thing I will dislike to experience is the fork of the GIMP because of this redesign... which can be prevented if all the GIMP project was truly open (including the also important interface design bits).

Esteban Barahona
www.zensui.org

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Re: When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 69.221.78.208] on November 06, 2007 06:56 AM
> Thanks a lot for writting this. I'm the author of those e-mails... I wanted to be a volunteer for the GIMP UI redesign.
> However, the "position was closed".

No. The position was closed "at the moment". At the time you volunteered the GIMP project was in both "feature freeze" and all development efforts were focused on fixing bugs and refining the final touches on already-implemented features in preparation for the next release. Would you have all the other volunteers (dozens, if not hundreds) put their efforts on hold while your talents and knowledge were assessed so that a suitable role could be created to productively make use of your contributions?

And were you not treated very kindly by GIMP's project leader, Sven Neumann, as he pointed out that the UI suggestions you were making needed to be implemented at the toolkit level -- and provided instruction on how you might more effectively present your ideas to the GTK+ development team?

I am disappointed that you would applaud the comments made in this article. It only requires a minimum of retrospection to realize that you were proposing the wrong ideas at the wrong time to the wrong project. It has nothing at all to do with how open or closed the GIMP development project may be.

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Fork it

Posted by: hardcode57 on November 05, 2007 01:13 AM
GIMP: If the development process is totally open, nothing gets done. What needs to be open is the fruits of the development process. If people think they can do better, they can take the code and fork it. And if someone comes along and asks for something to do, and there isn't anything, it's not the project team's responsibility to make something up.
ICONS: Copying not immoral much less illegal, but antisocial and ill mannered. Like, there's nothing to stop you farting in a lift, but considerate people try not to.

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Programmers only program for themselves, anyway

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 24.19.34.181] on November 05, 2007 04:42 AM
The only way you could get something a u-g-l-y as the GIMP's user interface is if the programmers wrote it for their use, only. It is the only logical answer to how something could be so unsightly and unusable. They just don't care as long as it meets their own, personal, quirky needs. It really doesn't surprise me that these guys have this attitude--they will never change. Same thing with the icon guys. They want things both ways. Well, they can keep their icons, 'cause they just ain't that good. --AC

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Depleted Oxygen

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 129.240.235.122] on November 05, 2007 12:12 PM
I note all the talk about "respect" and how it isn't about the licence (cluebolt: it has everything to do with the licence), but it seems to me that the Oxygen people have always been obsessed with self-image and controlling the delivery of their product, with regular blog postings telling everyone how cool they are well before the icons made it into KDE's repository. Now, the icons are certainly very nice, and they may be cool people in certain ways, but upon releasing their stuff under a licence acceptable to the KDE project, they have to accept that people will be able to use that stuff in any way compatible with that licence. You can't have the exposure that being part of KDE is all about while at the very same time controlling in minute detail what people do with the work, and KDE isn't some promotional vehicle in the style of some 1980s demo scene where everyone has to worship your superior skills and tiptoe carefully around various egos and dubious, unstated licensing: it's a common endeavour regulated by adherence to Free Software licences. If the Oxygen people want to play well with KDE but don't want others to make "fake" themes, they should have thought about trademark and trademark licensing. How well that plays within other projects (eg. Debian) is, however, another issue.

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Re: Depleted Oxygen

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 75.163.59.252] on November 05, 2007 06:13 PM
"Now, the icons are certainly very nice"

Sure if you like your desktop to look like pieces of candy. Fluxbox FTW! But seriously does KDE really need to look like it should have a Fisher Price logo on it?

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When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 152.121.16.49] on November 05, 2007 12:38 PM
I totally disagree with the "it's in a public svn and LGPL" so tough attitude. The creator of something should always have first release rights. You want to "steal" what I worked on for a year to create then fine don't scream when I close the preview process because of asshats. I don't have any real problem with the GPL/LGPL and while it is "legally" okay for someone to do this I don't think it speaks well of the community to allow it to happen.

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Re: When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 64.252.71.186] on November 05, 2007 01:52 PM
That is a great argument you make, but you're trying to twist around the fact that when you go "open", you have agreed to put your work out there where it can be used at will by whoever wants to use it how they want to use it. If you're not in the relationship, you're not in it no matter how you want to swing things with rhetoric.

Great argument you have there. But sorry, it's just wrong.

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Wrong!

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 71.127.213.2] on November 05, 2007 03:47 PM
The creator DID have first release(public svn), and he dual-licensed it under terms which fully allow and encourage derivative works(LGPL/CC). The only problem here is that the Oxygen creator didn't really grok that fact. He should just take the theme off the public svn, and remove the license until he believes his theme is ready. The negative reaction garnered, however, is a different story.

You say you have no problem with GPL/LGPL, yet you don't like it when someone exercises rights the license grants them? It sounds like you do have a problem with it.

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There's nothing wrong.

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 203.187.209.138] on November 05, 2007 03:07 PM
Why do you make an automatic assumption that there is something wrong with a project just because the programmer refused to accept someone into it?

An open source programmer releases his/her code for love, and deserves every bit of credit he gets, as well as the right to decide who to co-opt and who not to. It is entirely his prerogative to decide who to share the glory with. There is not, and should never be, a procedure or moral code for automatic acceptance of anyone who professes an interest in working on the project. If someone badly wants to contribute to a project, first earn the programmer's respect and then let him decide. He deserves that much.

Renji Panicker.

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Re: There's nothing wrong.

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 10.220.157.26] on November 05, 2007 05:30 PM
Absolutely. It is entirely a project developer's perogative to decide who to accept contributions from, but at the same time a project owner has an overriding interest in accepting as much from as many people as possible. There is a huge "not-invented-here" trait in the human psyche as a whole and a there are a lot of developers with huge ego problems who only consider work done by them and their peer group to be valid. True, contributions should be of a certain quality, but a project owner should make it as easy as possible for new developers to add to the project and not make them jump through hoops in order to cater to another developer's ego - and "earning the developer's respect" is little more than "submitting to my ego" in different words. All projects have an element of attrition, however tightly knit the team, and if new developers are not let in, the project will eventually stagnate. Case in point: Linux isn't the success it is because Linus turns everyone away who wasn't as good as he is - he takes code from as many people as possible and delegates as much as possible, and that's why it works so well. A lot of developers have a lot to learn from him and could do with reading the Book of Linus.

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Re(1): There's nothing wrong.

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 203.187.209.138] on November 06, 2007 12:55 AM
Linux developers have to jump thru hoops as well to cater to the programmers ego, you know. See this page for example: http://www.linuxchix.org/content/courses/kernel_hacking/lesson9
"<snip>your patch needs to be tasteful, timely, interesting, and considerate of the maintainer's ego". I see nothing wrong here, you see. In a corporate world, the lead programmer would be fired for 'not being a team player' or some such. But in OSS, there is no one to do the firing (or to pay salaries for that matter). Fame, glory, ego, etc is perhaps the only currency in this world.

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When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 80.108.244.93] on November 05, 2007 10:01 PM
in a legal sense the author is right but often there is something above that and that is moral.

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When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 70.249.225.126] on November 05, 2007 10:22 PM
Artwork and keeping a consistent theme cannot be done by committee. Most Linux programs look like crap because their UIs and themes are designed by programmers or cobbled together from multiple sources. Doing everything you can to drive real artists away from open source will only hurt acceptance by non geeks.

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Great attitude.

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 74.143.6.14] on November 06, 2007 01:31 AM
The only thing worse that the guy pissing all over someone is the guy standing there applauding it.

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When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 213.13.224.202] on November 06, 2007 10:16 AM
Hey I'm a core oxygen icon creator, I find this all a bit silly i dont mind people using our icons, as the cretor of them. But as kde promo guy yes... Its a marketing issue we would like to deliver kde 4 with a freesh new look to get maxymum hype.
So in that prespective till this day we have benn asking the people going into svn and them posting the icons somwere else to not do that. Not couse they cant, but becouse we ask them to please not do it. Most people agrea with us and listen, some obvisuly dont.
All and all, we are hapy if people like the theme, its still rather incomplete and in a big revesion sicle but hey if they like it, Im cool.
Its not like it was a secret or anything, we blog all the time about it and ask people to visit svn to take a look at it and get us feedback....

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You had me, you lost me

Posted by: Kurt Pfeifle on November 06, 2007 02:53 PM

Nathan,

when I read your point of view, you nearly had me to come around and think "The guy is right."

(I little bit I also was disturbed: disturbed about your attitude. You are a journalist, right? You have never released a piece of self-written code to the public [shell scripts I won't let count], right? So how come you do dare to attempt in an extremely scholarly, arrogant, from-above way to teach real Open Source developers about Open Source traditions and methods ?!?)

Then I went and read the blogs you were refering to. The picture changed. The Oxygen guys are completely right. You are not. You mis-represented them and their attitude.

You are a journalist, right?

Well, in the future I'll consume, not with 1, but with 10 grains of salt, whatever I read penned by you. You did yourself a dis-service with that piece. (Your publisher may be pleased with the surge of additional hits you created with your utterings. Was that the main intention? If so, don't use that recipe too often. It won't work any more after a few repetitions....)

Yours,

Kurt Pfeifle

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Re: You had me, you lost me

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 71.127.217.225] on November 06, 2007 03:29 PM
"hen I went and read the blogs you were refering to. The picture changed. The Oxygen guys are completely right. You are not. You mis-represented them and their attitude."

If the Oxygen guys are completely right, then why did they put the icon set on a public server, and license them under LGPL/CC without any notice whatsoever saying "We would like to request that no derivative works are to be released until we announce completion of the set"? Sounds like they didn't fully understand the consequences of the licenses they chose.

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Re: You had me, you lost me

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 69.221.78.208] on November 06, 2007 05:27 PM
I agree completely with Kurt's post.

Nathan Willis criticizing others for having expressed criticism... what's wrong with this picture?

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Where facts don't meet preconceptions, blame the journalist

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 129.240.235.122] on November 07, 2007 10:33 AM

Let us read what the blog says...



We have always tried to keep Oxygen icons only on SVN, we asked people using them here in there to kindly remove in name of the freshness of upcoming KDE 4. But we knew that in the end, scripts, rip-offs etc were impossible to control.


Yes, "in [the] name of the freshness"! The thing is that if you're collaborating with others, which you do automatically when producing Free Software/Art/Content, you can't insist on a total experience, Apple-style, maintaining "the freshness" so that consumers get herded around from one pen to the next with their jaws wide open purring about how sensory it all is. And using terms like "rip-off" is totally inappropriate unless the people redistributing the work have failed to uphold their obligations under the licence; to do so fails to distinguish between the legitimate rights of others as granted by the owners of the work and the rights of the owners themselves: a tactic straight out of the proprietary content industry's public relations manual.

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Will Open source go the way of communism?

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 82.136.9.99] on November 06, 2007 07:17 PM
Human nature will always override as we live in a world of capitalism, which places money first everything else second.

Anonymous posted about BitTorrent, trixbox, Nessus how totally true, once the authors see the demand they quickly stop the supply of software and start asking money for it. This is a gradual phase though, which starts with ridiculous demands for the outside developers and users to start jumping through ever more intricate hoops and loops.

Its a kind of subtle warning, to start forking the code right their and then! Once people see someone else throwing the hoops and loops in the bin, just doing what needs to be done on the other side of the proverbial fence, people start to rebel and before you know it, the fork is thriving and buzzing with activity!

This wont apply to gimp, the UI sucked when i first used it 5 years ago and it still seriously sucks 5 years later because it was written to be used by only 5 people in the whole world. Everyone else is just their for the ride. The secret strategy with gimp was to make it suck so badly no one wants to fork it.

Nessus forked to OpenVAS
Bittorrent forked to Azureus/Ktorrent etc....
trixbox forked to ????? :-(

FORKTEC JUST KICKED IN YO! ;-)

As for the oxygen icons, when i finally download and get KDE 4.0 installed. I will rm every trace of oxygen-icons from my system. Then i will make a script and rm it from every system that i administrate when 4.0 becomes mainstream.

No such luck with gimp though, as i must use this awesome program when i need to do some photo editing ;-).

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Re: Will Open source go the way of communism?

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 193.155.95.1] on November 08, 2007 09:17 AM
Interesting. You're letting the media control your actions?

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This is a pure lie. Oxygen never drew anyone away

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 213.140.6.109] on November 06, 2007 07:49 PM
I'm Riccardo Iaconelli, a member of the Oxygen team.
The Oxygen team had never said to anyone not to contributing to the set. Instead, we always accepted any kind of contribution. David Miller, an artist who joined just recently (some months ago), is committing a lot of icons in the svn, from day 1. What we're asking not to do, is to republish the set for KDE 3 until KDE 4 is out... just because we want to TRY to keep the look fresh. Is this a crime? And note that we're not obliging anyone.
Note also that we didn't ask to stop because that was unofficial, just because we're trying to make a little of surprise effect. Is it too much asking that?

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Re: This is a pure lie. Oxygen never drew anyone away

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 24.201.205.98] on November 06, 2007 08:54 PM
I think you shouldn't try to use a Surprise effect in an Open Source world.. it's an utopy.You should have thought about it before..

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When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 82.229.221.219] on November 06, 2007 10:25 PM
This article is completely stupid...
Gimp and oxygen dev, did try to open their work BEFORE it is released. Please do note that they could have NOT done so. A lot of project open the source AFTER the software is released.
I assume it would have not shocked you if gimp devs would have made their choices silently on a private mailing list without asking any user... and then publishing the code on some svn repository (with read only access of course). That would have been a really "true" and legal open development process in your eyes.
You are "spitting in the soup" as we say in France.

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Re: When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 121.217.152.218] on November 07, 2007 09:01 PM
It would have been better for everyone if the GIMP developers had never released their Beta code. The lack of an art program would have either pushed a reliable programming team to create a FOS art program that did the job well, or a commercial package would have become standard. I heard that Photogenics was being ported to Linux. I will vouch for the usability of Photogenics. Paul Nolan is a very capable programmer, and his UI is very good most of the time. It is a pity that The GIMP has the Linux users fooled that it is a capable replacement for Photoshop (not that Photoshop is the best tool in the world for anything other than photo manipulation... there ARE other forms of art that Photoshop is not geared toward).

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You guys are talking about nothing

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 208.106.27.50] on November 07, 2007 12:00 AM
It's unfortunate you spent all these bits to give your opinion about something that doesn't exist. The whole issue here is pure speculation created by the author.

http://digg.com/linux_unix/Five_golden_rules_for_a_journalist

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Re: You guys are talking about nothing

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 121.217.152.218] on November 07, 2007 08:53 PM
Well considering I have been doing art on computers for so long that I was called a "print maker" by fellow artists for the first couple of years after I had switched to using computers, and Photoshop had not had one line of code written, I find there is an issue when the GIMP people (I am being generous with that word) refuse to even talk with me at any level when I have tried on two occasions, and the GIMP UI people on one occasion, when I have tried explaining my experience and/or discussing toolset and UI improvements.

I have helped with the development of one commercial art program in the past, and I have friends who are currently Windows programmers. I know how to talk to most programmers. With the GIMP team, you have a level of arrogance only matched by GW Bush. This is an apt comparison because GW seems to be on holiday almost as much as the GIMP team. No discernible progress in a decade is a pretty poor record. My guess is that some fool gave the GIMP team mirrors and now they spend all day every day with the person they care most about in this world.

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Re(1): You guys are talking about nothing

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 193.155.95.1] on November 08, 2007 09:54 AM
Got any sources for these two occasions?

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I call humbug on the gimp one

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 200.105.171.149] on November 07, 2007 11:45 PM
Sure the project is open which means that you, if you are willing can patch or fork it for you, it in no way means anyone gets to decide what to do on the main project. Some leadership must be kept, seriously.

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I agree. The GIMP team talks out of both sides of its mouth ...

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 71.254.81.156] on November 08, 2007 12:38 AM
On one hand, they will talk about how some feature suggestion or change would not be intuitive for a novice user. But on the other hand, they bristle when you submit an enhancement proposal via Bugzilla, sometimes saying that Bugzilla is not the place to discuss enhancements or optimizations unless you want to submit a patch! So unless you are a coder you can't make a contribution? Puhlease ....!

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Re: I agree. The GIMP team talks out of both sides of its mouth ...

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 193.155.95.1] on November 08, 2007 09:13 AM
I see plenty of comments that direct people to the mailing lists in such cases. And many people do complain that "Bugzilla is only for coders, too complicated for us users". So they actually help you to find the right place.

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Re(1): I agree. The GIMP team talks out of both sides of its mouth ...

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 71.254.81.156] on November 09, 2007 01:11 AM
If they don't want enhancement proposals, they should remove that feature from Bugzilla. It's ridiculous to have a mechanism for submitting enhancement proposals and then either require the submitter to provide the patch, mark it as invalid, or point them to a mailing list. And if you post on a mailing list, you get responses like this one (not one of my proposals, but very representative of the type of treatment many feature requests receive. ( https://lists.xcf.berkeley.edu/lists/gimp-developer/2007-November/019031.html )

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Re(2): I agree. The GIMP team talks out of both sides of its mouth ...

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 89.111.143.73] on November 09, 2007 09:00 AM
Man, how many more pointless postings can you make? There is no point writing feature requests to developers mailing list. The list is for discussion on plans and details of implementations. For requests on feature enhancement there is bugzilla. How difficult is this to learn? And how difficult is it to understand that it takes one 5 minutes to write something like "I want X feature" and months to another one to properly investigate and implement that X feature, while more useful things are still not implemented? Can you cope with that? I hope so.

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Re(3): I agree. The GIMP team talks out of both sides of its mouth ...

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 71.254.81.156] on November 09, 2007 12:27 PM
Sorry, but if you submit an enhancement request on Bugzilla you get stuff like this (from Bug #494433): "Bugzilla is not a good place to suggest optimizations. It would be fine if you wanted to attach a patch but without that intent, it is pointless to keep this report open. Closing as INVALID." Interpretation: "We don't want ideas here. Fix it yourself. Invalid contribution."

I've received this kind of treatment many times, and contrary to your statement that the list is not for discussing feature requests I've been told by the developers to take my requests from Bugzilla to the list.


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Re(2): I agree. The GIMP team talks out of both sides of its mouth ...

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 193.155.95.1] on November 09, 2007 09:55 AM
Well, let's concentrate on the message you pointed to.

How would you suggest such cases to be handled:


- "wow, nice proposal"... and then nothing happens

- "wow, nice proposal"... and then the developer spends a lot time investigating for this one feature, implements it in a time he could have done multiple others, better specificed ones (coming up with specs which remove the need for research by developers is what Sikking's team does, btw)

IMO it is better to be frank from the beginning - telling the user about problems with the proposal (just like Sven did), and telling them how it can be improved (by providing details or by finding a developer who is interested in implementing it).

Or something else? How would you have responded?

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Re(3): I agree. The GIMP team talks out of both sides of its mouth ...

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 71.254.81.156] on November 09, 2007 12:36 PM
I would have left out the statement: "In general I would like to point out that it is unlikely that any of the active core developers will pick up your feature requests." Statements like this basically say that "we don't want 'your' feature requests. Don't even bother submitting any." How about providing a place on the gimp home site for feature requests, and allowing users to browse them and vote for ones they like? That would ensure that the developers are more in tune with ideas from the users, and give a specific place for a feature request to go, rather than the current process of bouncing the user between Bugzilla and the developers mailing list.

I don't have all of the answers, but anyone willing to scroll through the list or Bugzilla can see there is a problem.

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The Ubuntu Problem my e-mial is admin@mindblowingidea.com

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 67.142.130.30] on November 08, 2007 01:50 AM
I have a Ubuntu Problem. Actually I have two but one of them does not have to do with this. The first problem is that my customers prefer PCLinuxOS or a KDE interface to Ubuntu's Gnome because it's more Windows Like and besides that PCLinuxOS just installs packages better in the synaptic. So what is the problem? I decided to be nice and not badmouth Ubuntu like a good Linux Community member and try to participate in the global spread of Linux. Ubuntu's LoCo site interested me and I wanted to start one. It said all they were interested in was promoting Linux. So I joined and they told me to get lost. I asked them why and they said because you can't support Ubuntu and another distro at the same time! I thought about this and wondered why Isn't Ubuntu open to the support of other distros in one united effort? So then I decided to ask them in their LoCo mailing list. One person spoke up above the rest and said that this was completly wrong what they told me. Otheres quickly chimed in and told me to get lost. Then the fist guy who was nice and told me it was wrong said that he was mistaken because there were others higher up that had other intentions. Now the Ubuntu LoCo community is forming an administration to run the thing and is asking for donations. They tell the rest of us to join a LUG. They said that "Other distros cause confusion becaues Ubuntu is the simpelest to use". Even if they are right who made them the judge over the entire Linux community?

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Re: The Ubuntu Problem my e-mial is admin@mindblowingidea.com

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 193.155.95.1] on November 08, 2007 09:15 AM
Are there sources for your claims?

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Enough said ... really

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 213.121.241.114] on November 08, 2007 10:28 AM

Re: Enough said ... really

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 121.217.152.218] on November 08, 2007 11:04 AM
What a crappy article you link to. The author of that trash sets out some arbitrary rules while he is breaking most of them himself. Of course if you dislike this quality article, then you will probably love the questionable rubbish on the link. Nuf said.

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When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 195.38.23.41] on November 08, 2007 02:52 PM
Quality article? Are you Nathan, huh? :)

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Re: When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 121.217.152.218] on November 08, 2007 09:48 PM
Well until I read your post I did not know the name of the person who wrote this insightful article. I have never met, talked to, or probably reside in the same country as the author of this article. Are you and the people bemoaning this article KDE/GIMP developers or friends of them?

What is pissing some people off is that it is the first article to point to the massive flatulent elephant in the corner. You CAN chose to ignore it, but you will find that some people will not use Linux because no one is doing anything about it. Linux needs many more articles like this. I am currently on OSX and dissatisfied with the direction of Apple. I will be switching. Is Linux capable of running the tools I need? No it is not, and never will be while ignorant people keep their heads in the sand about the flaws of Linux. The arrogance of developers is at the centre of this Linux flaw. If they believe their barely adequate work is equal to the best in the world then they will continue to produce rubbish and then never improve the code. Here is a BIG tip. Worldwide, Linux is almost capable of eating Apples share of computer use and mindset. It would only take the creation of a full suite of tools for niche jobs like artist (bitmap/raster and vector), animator (web and movie/tv), DTP (roll on Xara), music sequencing, music sampling/editing, CAD and a few other areas, and Linux would be the first choice for millions more. Bring the artists, and art students and art hopefuls will follow. This happened on Mac and Amiga. Apple is in a vulnerable place at the moment. Apple is selling very well in USA, but sales are still falling in every other country. What happens when Linux appeals to a wider range of people with good niche tools? The short answer is that Linux becomes the No2 platform. Linux is not competing with windows. People happy with windows will stay with windows. Linux is competing with Apple. There is something to be said for being at No2 instead of a pathetic No3. Half the people who buy Apple hardware for the first time do so because they want something that has the tools and is not tied to windows. These people are sick of windows. If you offer more than Open Office and Firefox (the 2 programs that are good replacements) these people are less likely to buy a Mac, and more likely to buy a pre installed Linux machine. In my experience there are at least 25% of all users not happy with using windows. For now, one third of them switch to the only viable alternative (OSX), and the other two thirds suffer on with windows. So who is the better blogger? The one who is happy to keep things as they are and promote the platform as complete when it is not (no tools, no platform), or the blogger who gives the community a long overdue wakeup call? I can tell you that if this blog entry falls on deaf ears, any Linux person trying to convince me in the future that Linux is the platform I should be using... will also fall on deaf ears.

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Re(1): When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 89.111.143.73] on November 09, 2007 08:53 AM
"Well until I read your post I did not know the name of the person who wrote this insightful article." -- so you didn't read it carefully enough, didn't you? :))) This article is a failure on all fronts. Nathan could do it far better. As for GIMP developers, some of them surely could improve their social skills, but this has nothing to do with the "issue" raised up in Nathan's rant.

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The GIMP thing is easy....

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 68.243.36.192] on November 09, 2007 05:34 AM
If there are a vast number of people who want to contribute to it, but "no positions are open", then fork the damn thing, and allow these people to participate in the fork. Who knows. Maybe some things done in the fork will get pulled in by the elitists running the original GIMP.

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Re: The GIMP thing is easy....

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 89.111.143.73] on November 09, 2007 09:03 AM
You suggest a fork? Yeah, the thing is easy. Just find at least two developers. Because all of the contributors you refer to do not contribute with code. What? You didn't know that? Then why the hell do you post nonsense?

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Re(1): The GIMP thing is easy....

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 86.132.51.230] on November 11, 2007 04:39 PM
Now, if everybody that has so much time on their hands to write such a bucketload of shite took the same time to actually write code, I think Linux would be far ahead of Microsoft windows by now. I am sure that it is this continuous distracting noise that is causing developers to shield themselves from the end-user, they will NEVER be able to code if they have to spend all their time dealing with complaints.

If you can add anything constructively to some open source project, write the code, the specification, the documentation and then contribute it. You can then at least say you have earned the right to complaint, be bitter etc etc. I am not a coder, I just love the concept of open source and Linux, and I am grateful for every piece of code and effort done by many people to slowly, incrementally improve my Linux experience. I have a lot of ideas and things I wish would be better, more integrated, more Windows like etc, but also understand that I have not earned any right to bitch and moan about something which was offered to me for free.

As my mother always said, "Never bite the hand that feeds you". If I really dislike something, I try to learn about it, find out what are the goals of the project developer, has my issues already been raised, mentioned etc, and then sit back quietly and wait to see what developers will get up to at the next release.

The McDonald's model of fastfood EVERYTHING is sickening, and is so pervasive in society today that it makes me want to puke. All you have to contribute is to shout and scream as loudly as you can and somebody better respond, as if you are owed a living by the developers.

Try writing your own Linux OS from scratch, you will be busy until the day you die. Would the delay have been acceptable to you then? Please get a life, either be patient, or alternatively actively code and develop, or else just STFU!!

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Re(2): The GIMP thing is easy....

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 121.217.152.218] on November 12, 2007 12:04 AM
(Sarcasm) What a wonderfully thought out argument you have there! (end sarcasm)

You may not be aware that people all have different abilities and strengths. Artists can learn to program as well as programmers can learn to paint artistically. What you hear is artists complaining. People who barely have a use for The GIMP use it for 10 minutes every few weeks to play with their family photos. They have no need for an advanced program that works well. Artists on the other hand spend half their lives on one program or another and they do expect more from a program, and they expect to do many repetitive tasks (switching between painting tools and other tools) quickly and sensibly.

You seem to think that all programmers get piles of complaints. I do not hear of complaints about Firefox. Firefox is great. I do not hear about complaints about Azureus. Azureus is great. I do not hear complaints about Open Office (except for more tools like Excel). Open Office is great. Most commercial programmers (even the small one man companies) do not get many if any complaints. The GIMP is different. The GIMP sucks in such a way that it is difficult to put into words. Take the word "bad", and multiply it with "crap", then multiply that to the power of "pathetic". If The GIMP programmers do not want to deal with the complaints, they have had a decade to fix the weeping, festering, pustulant sores that the GIMP has suffered with. Wouldn't spending 6 months of code writing be a lot less time consuming than a dealing with a decades worth of angry users (not that they are users for long) complaints?

The GIMP is so bad, I will never use it in its current state. It's mere existence discourages others to create a good art tool. The GIMP cannot feed me, it is not up to the job. So I will bite its hand off if I wish. You can sit and wait. I have been waiting for basically the past decade for any movement. There has been none. Can I learn about the intentions of The GIMP team? Well if you try to get close to them they behave like spoilt three year old children with a new toy. It is very hard to find out what they plan to do... if anything, ever.

Until there is a REAL graphics program for artists on Linux, we will not STFU.

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Re(3): The GIMP thing is easy....

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 195.38.23.41] on November 15, 2007 04:39 PM
> Well if you try to get close to them they behave like spoilt three year old children with a new toy.

Learn to socialize and you'll see that it's not a problem talking to people. Especially if their sole reason to live on Earth isn't to serve you.

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Re(4): The GIMP thing is easy....

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 121.216.11.229] on November 17, 2007 09:13 PM
What an arrogant piece of work you are. I have worked with and around professional graphics software programmers successfully. No communication problems, no personality issues.

Who cares if they are on this earth to serve me or not. I waited two years for them to make ANYTHING of The GIMP before deciding they needed help and contacting them. Now it has been more than a decade and I know far too many people who have tried to help them and have been rejected and insulted out of hand without the chance of explaining why these people are qualified to help. These people have created what is essentially trash, and they are riding the PR train of their minimum work for all it is worth without lifting a finger to do anything else. The PR train has had the dual effects of making the GIMP creators very influential, and stifled the creation of any good software in the field.

Time to wake up. When dozens, hundreds or thousands of people say the GIMP programmers are egotistical arseholes, it is doubtful that the people complaining about the GIMP programmers all have it wrong. It is also doubtful that The GIMP programmers are excellent at communication, while dozens, hundreds, or thousands of people trying to communicate with them are inept communicators.

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The Oxygen issue has been addressed

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 63.231.144.131] on November 14, 2007 01:14 AM
It was an issue of BRANDING. He felt that it would be best to wait until KDE4 was released so as not to weaken the brand.
He's also a publicly stated that if you want to get them, get them, and directed people to that site.
-The GZeus

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When open source projects close the process, something's wrong

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 70.245.29.222] on November 19, 2007 06:20 AM
I don't like GIMP. If I need to create graphics, I'll run Photoshop under Wine. =)

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What about forking?

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 58.71.34.137] on November 22, 2007 11:26 AM
If the developers make it difficult for others to participate, that will drive others away. Or, it could cause the project to fork. Now that's another possibility.

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Re: What about forking?

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 216.252.85.134] on December 12, 2007 05:35 PM
Right, that is what happened on a project I decided to help out with. I gave a lot of time to the project and got abused by a bunch of idiots who really did not understand software development.
Finally they booted me off because they just wanted to keep things their way rather than listen to others with more experience. So I forked the project and it is still going after two years and has features that their version does not. So they lost out by being closed. Screw them.

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Re: What about forking?

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 216.252.85.134] on December 12, 2007 05:37 PM
Right, that is what happened on a project I decided to help out with. I gave a lot of time to the project and got abused by a bunch of idiots who really did not understand software development.
Finally they booted me off because they just wanted to keep things their way rather than listen to others with more experience. So I forked the project and it is still going after two years and has features that their version does not. So they lost out by being closed. Screw them.

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