The secret life of open source developers

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Title
The secret life of open source developers
Title of Series
Author
Turton, Ian
Aime, Andrea
Contributors
C3VOC
License
CC Attribution 3.0 Germany:
You are free to use, adapt and copy, distribute and transmit the work or content in adapted or unchanged form for any legal purpose as long as the work is attributed to the author in the manner specified by the author or licensor.
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Publisher
FOSS4G, Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo)
Release Date
2019
Language
English

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Subject Area
Abstract
A common question seen on many open source mailing lists is “When will you guys fix my bug? It is critical to my company!” This is often followed by one of the developers replying to say “When you write a fix or pay someone to do it”. This leads to the user complaining to everyone that this “snarkiness” is not a “welcoming” response or how unreasonable it is to expect them to learn to program, or to pay. The discussion often descends into a rambling maze of twisty insults and justifications. When the fuss dies down, all the developers go back to doing what they the were doing (something useful) and the user becomes either a dissatisfied user or an ex-user. This talk by two veteran open source developers will help users see that play out from our the developer point of view. We’ll look at the reasons that drive developers to share their code, the licencing conditions covering it, the real life of developers and associated constraints, and what is actually reasonable to expect from both sides.
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welcome everyone and everybody i'd like to introduce the post and i'm terrified of right now.
the interesting and entertaining because they're about to talk about the secret life of open source developers and i'm an open source developers so i'm going to go hide in the corning over to you. the. he's really hope to see the audience when you down he might have. so annoying because she's a good presentation the first things to his claim that bosses have got absolutely no idea what we're going to say and they should be held responsible for that if and trade has got no idea what we're going to take as i finish this talk in the last session and he hasn't seen the end of it yet.
i so. but have an image problem in open source lots of people think that it's like the top image and this hundreds of people there discussing reasonably about what the plan is and they've got a plan actually it tends to be one or two of us sitting alone in our offices late at night while our spouses.
into bed dia and you say i'm just one more thing to and chickens in she says but that looks just like work why are you doing that in the evening. i. so here's a little bit sane showing little graph showing how come it's by different contributors. on the left of the actual in active individuals the bar on the first bar on the right now yes it's a of the right that the first bar is everybody else and every other bar is an individual contributor so by looking at the diagram you can see that for example if you're too. just over and she dialled they have this large blue bar that the g. the large blue barack sitting somewhere hear about this too much lie there it is he is such a full.
what happened. to still working here other is ok.
so those projects i i took out due to just over two thousand and seven q-j. s. just to get our representative saturn you can see that in every project that is one developer or to develop pterosaur five developers tops dot do what's going.
in. added to ninety percent of the work by themselves or i mean not that the percent of the work but fifty percent seventy percent as as a small bunch of people and everybody else and those everybody else might be one hundred other people in over a year these are one years that this think.
they need they can commit very very few changes so well very small but bust doctor and the up it's not like we have these huge set of people he we have a very few people keeping the project eleven going and it's the same for most of our oil field.
this was projects in fact i suspect if we did this with smaller projects we defended even bigger ball. so and she's will bleed into some as discussions we had on twitter. you know what the people think in the open source developers do all day because it's been his opinion on twitter that we sit around we like laser and by the pool in our mansions drinking in in cocktails and occasionally just jump up a reviewable request if we feel like it mostly week we work we will the real jobs and some cases over. the job is looking off from source software but that's for paying customers. we write some code no when asked about his own watching we spend some time and our families and occasionally we actually get to sleep.
this is what of entries favorite to tweets yet i took one of our what one commenter a captioned it and the while the situation is as real everybody wants well maintained open source software like everybody wants to use the who wants to contribute fixes which is kind of they mean among called contribute.
from that you can and do it could be could be also writing the condition and what and what not everybody's they're like him but nobody raise their hand anymore and that the key point is not projects are kept alive by maintain years people got to offer their time to answer questions review political asked and so on. when the guy says who wants to be and painter everybody is gone. and it is pretty much the quickest way twenty rooms to ask people to country when i posted this on twitter he got like like three thousand times story tweeted the couple of thousand times. and the support of the year really answer is yes first first answer i get when i tweeted that is like people have jobs that eight hours of work plus time to move all of from the oath is they have to sleep eight hours a day that's sixteen plus hour they might have to do with the stuff like college kids exercised show and eat so is it a want each.
two or a con issue and i'm like wait a second i sleep i call would i ever family probably not the person because people have these problems and apparently i don't so this is my timetable might my my life got sort i got out of their own the last five years that i can. and actually show you what it's like they buy day so my know i sleep eight hours of they like a baby at best to keep my sanity i walk out the one hour of a morning because if i don't i get a really nasty and nervous i work in nine hours a day i cook eating cling to.
why so they goes up i i.e. well i wore from home ok so i do my my own cooking in my own cleaning rest of the time is eaten away from the family basically what you see here is that.
that means hours in a week are two hours a day one from ten to eleven more or less than one in the morning to do that work period everything everything else is eaten away by either work or family during the weekend my wife is a pharmacist she works or saturday so i guess who looks after the kits.
i would be the blue bars that you you see art me doing open source activity like have you import a quest that trying to answer questions and stuff like that. you can see like three hours between saturday assigning which i can do it like concentrated without peep from anybody bothering me last couple of extra hours in in a saturday morning sunday morning when i asked my son and my daughter painting a growing on the side and every five mean it's ok to be sure they use writer. yellow and you are trying to have you put a question like mom. so welcome to my life you can see me going out i don't i don't have a section for going out because i don't go to the restaurant i don't go to cocktails i don't do anything like that ok i'm pretty much living like a monk x. accept the dot. a wife and kids. so what when people show up and tell me can't you just do this in addition unlike power no i don't have time anyone has said my timetable it's very much like this but i don't spend an hour doing the work at in the mornings a demo sleeping instead i find this much more practical.
this is a republican read these was but the it's basically the the main one is i like open source but once is no longer total project it should be maintained by pay programs rather than volunteers what's an excellent idea.
and every one of them andrew grim know he's in the audience probably not. but have never had a check from either. so the other from the majority of the users also where why should i pay you for free software you gave it away for free i want a full support i want you to come added my house and fix it for make but i want to pay for it because it's free software you said it was for a physically a problem that we keep on seeing is that. or switch away from proprietary software to open source but the key for their way of doing things except that they didn't he didn't pay at the beginning but for the rest of the people acting as if it was a provided a softer so they go to the developers please fix this and the well sometimes with the softer that you bought bullying the there.
the provider exact without good strategy so they start the being nasty with us and well that doesn't work it all done. this to throw in this is for the meals famous can i eat exposure.
and think yet you know it's great i come to foster g. every get all your he and yes i know you use your software i've seen you in stock exchange its coal but it doesn't pay the mortgage doesn't pay the food bill.
and was starting to see the maintain a burn out. ronson questions on the mailing lists that's cool that's part of being a maintain an eye out to questions on stock exchange a lot we have you pull requests then we also have to answer questions that people have caught the bug track that's not where you post questions and then we also a so-called questions on twitter and that actually eat up a lot of time. it's like i'm doing a lot lot of work on that this year are much better now huge you post nothing comments on twitter i'm just a block you will never see your comments ever again it's great and finally it right code that's actually what i want that's the bit of open source that i enjoy and it's right at the bottom of the pilot the moment.
this example. we called martin johnson whose twitter handle is interesting is doing it right. it isn't. not so friendly were idiots. but it's it's weird and yet that's one of the encourage manse that the that we get to do things better.
i can tell you it's not quite working with abraham lincoln on this one the and better to remain silent before to fool the to speak and be remove all doubt.
the reason we send you to download page you have to pick which version of year to surveil using to get the right problem again. now for all i know malinga still out there on twitter whining about how poor or documentation is or how poor adamo pages but as i said i blocked him off try to screen shot of these his tweets and i'm never going to see anything he says ever again. another common when we get is why didn't they test that before they released it. at which the the thing that came to me the other week is there's no date in community. so you may have seen i had a lawn somewhat involved discussion with a guy could stay says. he was warning that his huge is would install on his back that be honest i've got no dog in this fight i don't have anything to do with packaging huge is optimistic each user i don't have a mac so i've never ever tried to doubt like to install a piece on a mac but sadly no have you have to pay.
for somebody to draw is in store for max because i know that just server we drop them back in store because it's a pain in the arse and we didn't have a mac tested on.
or you know did you volunteer to test the release again i know that just to produce these are the release candidate that we courage people to test for so we find problems before we make the phone release i imagine huge does the same thing. to which apparently that was a really shifty way to respond on to it to the chronic problems that we all know cuties has been serving the macko excuses and frankly it's not an excuse. how it came to my defense at this point and suggested that may be serving makeovers uses was not what for open source was all about and pointing out that sex is a bit of pain the bomb though he really likes it. and then i was a coat stop for suggesting that you know actually you were part of a community he was suggesting that he wrote some coat i just just maybe he ran a test until somebody didn't work before he got released but it got descended quite badly after that and that was what i introduce my new policy.
blocking people are really to be on twitter. so again i've no idea what the result is problem. so it open source software is a democracy was something test your fixed then you're going to need to do it. i don't care whether it works on your machine or not what's on my machine. but if you have to keep if you have it a hardware or less i don't use the new going to need to test i haven't got a mac i can't test if you sever works on a mac just not possible the same with windows i contest if it works on a windows machine i don't have a windows machine you wanted to work on windows machine you need to test it. and if you would like me to do it for you or even explain to you had to do it you do need to be polite. i don't react well to people being read to me either. at this is the g.p.o. license that we adjust to this is the contract so people have to all these bizarre idea of what open source developers should or shouldn't do we distribute to the code within a certain thing license its g.p.s. be three four years. however it is the same for q-j. s. as far as i remember this licence is the contract the license says should the program proved effective your soon the cost of all necessary servicing repair or correction. so it's not working weeks your problem not mine. that's the contract that was anything can pass through when it was an ugly is that this licence and i my volunteer to do it for free in my time. might but this is a contract ok everything else is. gravy yet that we put on using our own time or our company stein a you can have them on any of dot within any that line we did with any kind of insurance that they will be done or not because it's volunteer time and if you told me that it's close to your company money because. those programs not working the way you think you should definitely going to suggest you that you do to buy commercial couple contract and i don't care about your losing money right now and they should have put some money on my table pay my mortgage so we are pushing coding to into the program we are volunteering it out for everybody to use you want to do the same.
volunteer your blog reports make them as good as possible but just like we don't ask for money out of you don't ask us to fix it just like that ok. the.
so this is a final sufficient effective tools persuasion we don't have a contract with you in fact other than that that the click through g.p. a license that you didn't read so effectively with a with the with a bat which is barely a baseball bat with holes drilled and made of soft plastic.
ok that's that's as persuasive as we can be we can make you do this bought the flip side of that is we don't have to help you don't want to write. so a conclusion we put real going to change anybody's mind here with any luck people who made the effort to come to foster a jury are already committed to being good members of the community the people who argue with us on twitter on the people become to foster g eight and but any luck will make you think a little bit more about what the software developers.
the going through what we do to make us what your software and seriously we do think of all uses as part of a community we don't see it as a developer use up split. you're not customers that you guys got to think the same thing your part of a community with us this known us and them into the open source software and when we say t.g. test that all would you like some help to fix that really are trying to be helpful it's not as being snarky that is to help and we we give to people in our community if.
we didn't want to help of we wouldn't concert will get justice for my right a lot of tweets that i then delete it.
until then that's all. who estimates that we have a microphone. so. oh i see. you know. but yes i know you yes it's becoming more common for people. oh and up are we seeing a shift to a in the mindset of our customer on the that they realized they should be paying for support contacts in order to get there to keep the project going in to get the fixes and not in the time they meet and so on. partially our business is growing saw the funny too early we are seeing more and more companies that thirty allies that if they want to have any guarantees they have to arm that arm themselves without the support on top because otherwise the pl want to close kick scene and says. it's your problem right before doing dot i normally suggest people to just opened a ticket it my get my get that you might get lucky and have it to so the quickly. up but the at the same time don't get pushy the whenever i see anyone getting pushy and the start telling us why do you fix the back while the exact back i'm like ok this blog is not going to get fixed yet and the o.e.c.d. said customers and member of. customers are either customer of aston or a customer of cheese solutions noted years of the customer the knowledge and tools custom up to the customer relationship is not with the project the customer relationships with the support company much a at and they are yes we are selling in a few more support contracts per year than we used to and that's. one of the reasons that asked employees make you so they can a service the support contracts which great i love that but there's still a lot of people out there who don't realize that that's the that's something they should think about doing if they're running at you know business critical system on on open source software actually from my point of view if. the business situation is going good the commute the situation is getting books in my opinion because we get more and more people the show up of that are used to the proprietary software a model of interaction and they literally just show up and up assume that they should behave the same way with our customer provide. their relationship accept that he didn't pay so they don't try to get involved they don't try to help they just want something and the sometimes it's really bizarre because you tell them look i'm a volunteer i just cannot of follow up with everything you want because of my spare time is what. it is in the fable right and that then they the they go and try to trade or says oh yeah i five rights of the commission are already fighting. i try to help but answering question then will you fix that back and i'm like no that's the gist of the front form of payment he doesn't give me more time so when i donate code i donate court and i'm not asking you have anything so don't comment me and try to trade or says with me. ok you want to participate in the community do so in a freeway do so because we think it's right but don't try to get something out of the developer you. you. so what. the chart the it all right there. was one of the first slice.
it before. a. so. well. it all. it. so. it. so the question is why we have this project in which that is one or to contribute was doing most of the stuff and then everybody else. but it is that distorted the because a the people that you see i'm the two bars at the top is the blue barring the middle because a on what you'd end up doing so much work it. on one side because a you are recognized as an expert so commercial work and struggle war two and the i mean like eighty to ninety percent of what i do is pay for its part of contracts so i walk in a company that's the article denies as a leader in the. project and i am recognized leader in the project so work came to go towards me but also because i maintain or so if you want something to go into the project and i have to call the review it i have to to have a look at it so that my t.v. shows up also. because i am looking at somebody else software somebody else contribution and that counts as a comment it's a marriage you also did the country for much to prove it but i mean it that the percentages would not change in the event percent that hasn't percentages would not change if i switched to another year yet it goes. but the format was one comment was touching everything that was one one comment. so. he had bought. i. these is volunteer activity dose people have to step in and work more about the they have to one to it because it's not like it's in these are not companies where you say oh yeah i'm going to hire one more person and thus the country into the project you do that somebody did out. if it happened multiple times you don't get the new volunteer you get the new medicine every in the project someone that works only during the hours that does the job provided by the company and then disappears you don't get the new maintain. and those people tend to maybe do something really begin on a small amount of time and then disappear and that's not how open source projects work it's like look up working in a farm you can do something huge of the for the fire mean a couple of weeks then you leave the four months you come back the cows are dead. gone are the fields out a full of weeds the project is that it's a day to day carrying a d.v.d. to keep up project and of us just project going it's not doing something gigantic once and then poof you're gone. i. i think we have to stop people go five minutes to get your next talks. if you. i.
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