Try to ensure people using snapshots know it's unsupported?

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Discuss features as they are added to the new version. Give us your feedback. Don't post bug reports, feature requests, support questions or suggestions here. Feature requests are closed.
Alagba
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Re: Try to ensure people using snapshots know it's unsupport

Post by Alagba » Sat Nov 27, 2004 9:38 pm

Well, SamG's post has touched on an issue I've been seriously considering in the past weeks, partly because of this forum - the whole point in Open Source software projects.

A group of fine, dedicated people have put/are putting in hundreds if not thousands of hours into developing a product for free, yet their efforts go unappreciated. There is some altruism in developing open source software no matter the material benefits (indirect or direct - honing skills, displaying skills to potential or current employers etc) being derived by the developers.

Some folks out there, completely ignore the enormous input of the developers. They make strange demands an find it extremely difficult to obey simple instructions.

No support means no support. That's the price to be paid for using open source software - keeping to the limits defined by the developers. And by the way, 'free' software doesn't mean 'without price' - it's like 'free speech' not 'free beer'.

I read something somewhere many years ago, 'law without freedom is tyranny; freedom wihout law is anarchy'. Without the rules stipulated by developers of any open source software there'll be anarchy. And in such a free-for-all situation, nothing good, I dare say nothing at all can come out of it.

CVS versions are clearly not for everyone. IMHO, they are for:
1. people with enough programming skills to follow the development and tweak the code for their own use.
2. the 'curious' ones - those who are willing to learn hands-on.

They aren't for:
a. impatient ones who'd like to have a 'pre-official' version installed somewhere
b. those whose programming skills aren't sufficient to tweak the code on their own.
c. people who only want to try out the code - that's what this area51 board is for.

Clearly nobody knows everything and that's why forums like this exist for asking questions and helping each other out. But that doesn't include pre-release CVS versions of software that might change the next hour.

If people who have no business taking a look at the CVS version code find it hard to avoid asking for support, overtly or covertly, then too bad.

SamG
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Re: Try to ensure people using snapshots know it's unsupport

Post by SamG » Sun Nov 28, 2004 2:32 am

Alagba wrote:... And by the way, 'free' software doesn't mean 'without price' - it's like 'free speech' not 'free beer'....
And here is where part of the rub comes in, in my opinion. We seem to have a growing body of Web users that want a fee-based product like Product X but without the fee. So it's become the "responsibility" of the open source and freeware communities (and the warez communities if Product X is generally regarded as "too expensive" - whatever that means) to deliver the goods.

There are people who use phpBB using it only because it's free. They'd really rather be using fee-based Forum Product Z, with all its blinking lights, but they have no money (for whatever reason). So they use phpBB, but they lobby vigorously for all the blinking lights of FPZ. Or, worse, they try to get CVS code to go live ASAP, but they can't do it and maintain it on their own.

There's a declining appreciation within the general public of the costs associated with free software. There's insufficient support of open source software for what it is as a concept - a radical concept at that. It's becoming more and more about getting something for nothing.

So, likely, we need to add your point to the things we need to learn to make all this work: There is no such thing as free beer.

Alagba
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Re: Try to ensure people using snapshots know it's unsupport

Post by Alagba » Sun Nov 28, 2004 8:13 am

SamG wrote: There's a declining appreciation within the general public of the costs associated with free software. There's insufficient support of open source software for what it is as a concept - a radical concept at that. It's becoming more and more about getting something for nothing.

So, likely, we need to add your point to the things we need to learn to make all this work: There is no such thing as free beer.
Nothing goes for nothing. In the long run, free software costs money. The free beer analogy too is rather flawed. If one gets free beer, someone bought it in the first place - even if it was given by the brewery, it cost them something too. Maybe I'm getting a bit too philosophical here.

Graham
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Re: Try to ensure people using snapshots know it's unsupport

Post by Graham » Sun Nov 28, 2004 11:44 am

I think partly this is a result of the number of less technical people getting on the web - this is not a bad thing in itself, but it does mean that the expectations of knowledge that we have may no longer be valid.

IMO, back when 2.0 was in development, the users were much more technical and understood that the code that was available was still in development and possibly wouldn't work all the time. But it's now 3 years on from that and there are many users who are used to using pre-release software from various suppliers in live situations that they think that because phpBB makes snapshots of the development code available this must mean that it's something they can use.
"So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish"

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cyberCrank
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Re: Try to ensure people using snapshots know it's unsupport

Post by cyberCrank » Sun Nov 28, 2004 2:34 pm

Graham wrote:they think that because phpBB makes snapshots of the development code available this must mean that it's something they can use
plus they must not be able to read, ignore all warnings, etc., because it is noted in black and white "everywhere" that it is developmental code, travel at your own risk, do not ask for help or support, etc. Either some cannot read, do not read the notices and warnings (they most likely simply do not read them I think, even the forum rules), of just do not care and go about "testing the waters". The perpetual posting for obvious help and support is just amazing. The notion of some being less technical is probably complemented with their great desires to get the "very latest" up and running at any cost and effort, even if it is a snapshot of development CVS stuff, them hoping they will be able to "use it" during the interim.

** it is a very interesting study in psychology to observe the posting, try to figure out just what they are thinking, the many different ways one asks for help and support (in to indicate they are not, and some event apologize and say they are sorry yet do it anyway), and to watch the dynamics between them and them testing developer's and moderator's patience :) **

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naderman
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Re: Try to ensure people using snapshots know it's unsupport

Post by naderman » Sun Nov 28, 2004 3:46 pm

So I would conclude removing snapshots would help a lot. But it has its cons as well. Maybe some at least medium experienced php programmers are not familiar with cvs and these would not be able to have a look at the new version without of the snapshot service. Anyway I think for these users a link to a simple tutorial on cvs would be enough. If they have enough coding expirience they should be able to learn how to use cvs from a tutorial.

naderman

SamG
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Re: Try to ensure people using snapshots know it's unsupport

Post by SamG » Sun Nov 28, 2004 4:10 pm

That's a good point. If I recall correctly, snapshots were originally made available because people were having trouble with CVS access for whatever reason, mostly client issues if memory serves. The developers were trying to make CVS access for new phpBB versions available to and convenient for all.
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Alagba
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Re: Try to ensure people using snapshots know it's unsupport

Post by Alagba » Mon Nov 29, 2004 12:46 pm

naderman wrote:So I would conclude removing snapshots would help a lot. But it has its cons as well.
Well, I wouldn't be too surprised if we read posts 'complaining' about cvs access not 'working', or 'has anyone managed to get the latest cvs version? or submitting 'bug' reports etc, etc.

IMO people ask for support not because they can easily download the software - they ask because they want to.

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naderman
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Re: Try to ensure people using snapshots know it's unsupport

Post by naderman » Tue Nov 30, 2004 8:14 pm

They seem to have decided for a different way as the last checkin by psoTFX shows. We will see how long this line stays there or wether one of the developers will accidently commit his edited common.php. I'm quite sure this will happen relativly soon ;-)

JPortal
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Re: Try to ensure people using snapshots know it's unsupport

Post by JPortal » Tue Nov 30, 2004 8:52 pm

naderman wrote:So I would conclude removing snapshots would help a lot. But it has its cons as well. Maybe some at least medium experienced php programmers are not familiar with cvs and these would not be able to have a look at the new version without of the snapshot service. Anyway I think for these users a link to a simple tutorial on cvs would be enough. If they have enough coding expirience they should be able to learn how to use cvs from a tutorial.

naderman
I could not disagree with you more. For one thing, it isn't that hard to get CVS code, even for n00bs - way back when I didn't how to use Javascript and didn't even know simple CSS, I downloaded phpBB 2.2 via TortoiseCVS. So again, it's no better than Microsoft's anti-piracy technology (except the phpBB group isn't an evil corporation sucking the life out of the world).

And the developers/moderators don't seem to get this (or at least haven't showed it in this thread): phpBB is immensely popular, thousands of people use it, and more and more people use it every day. Think about what the developers have accomplished - thousands of people all over the world use phpBB, phpBB is competing with software like IPB and vBulletin, phpBB is included in commercial software like CPanel... the list goes on and on.
So yes, more newbies are coming; but it's always been that way. It's just that before, not as many newbies used phpBB because it wasn't as popular.

Thus, be thankful that you have a part in a great, big thing. Newbies ACCIDENTILY breaking the rules is not a good reason to disable something like snapshots.

Thank you. :mrgreen:

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