Spent the first part of this morning getting my 1100 AUD check to get the final part of the Australian work permit process going. Not cheap trying to move to Australia :)
Also mailed a little back and forth with some developers. Got a reply that was in a vein I get from time to time, where developers say something along the lines that they are really happy that I got in touch or did this or that to help out because they feeling that they didn’t get enough attention/help from the core GNOME developers.
There are two issues about this, the first is that I feel a bit pressured when my attention/help or lack of such is to be considered the equivalent of ‘getting acknowledgement/attention’ or not from the core GNOME team. The second that people actually expect such a thing to exist. I mean the core GNOME developers (what the heck consitutes a core GNOME developer is another good question, but I leave that for another time) all have long todo lists and are just participating as private individuals like everyone else. So there is no people who can say ‘group/person x and y is doing some good stuff, lets set a team member to help them out and let them know we see and appreciate their effort’.
I mean such a thing would be nice in theory, I like everyone else love getting recognition and help in what I do, but in practice such a thing can not really exist. I mean yes, there are times when people ‘inside’ (another term that don’t really make sense, in my opinion you are ‘inside’ the moment you decide to be) GNOME decide to champion an application or library for inclusion in GNOME, distro XY or whatever, but this is always something that person do as a person, not as a ‘member of the core GNOME team’
Free software is about people doing something as private individuals, sometimes as part of their job, but more often not. But this image of a core team of developers/contributors who scans through the internet for new projects to give their blessing to is simply not in line with reality. In fact the frustration from people ‘outside’ that they are not contacted by the ‘people ‘inside’ is often mirrored by the people ‘inside’ being frustrated by the people ‘outside’ not contacting them.
The limiting factor is time and my personal opinion is that the more involved you are (which tend to corespond to wether you are a ‘core’ hacker or not) the less time you tend to have to reach out to ‘new’ people unless these new people activly contact you themselves.
I guess the essence of what I am saying is that free software is a system without bosses in the traditional sense, what happens is what each one of us make happen by ourselves taking the initiative to get things done and not expecting anyone to pre-approve our actions or tasks. Yes, sometimes this leads to stuff being developed/worked on and not being used, but usually not and by having some basic sense and willingnes to accept feedback anyone should be able to avoid investing a lot of time into something that will not be used. And no one will ever get help from GNOME for their project, they will only get help from some individuals who work on GNOME, which (and this is important) might be people who only contribute to your particular project. All people working on a project that use GTK+ and GNOME technologies are ‘GNOME’ hackers, that is the definition of a GNOME hacker, not some intangible mark of being ‘a core GNOME hacker’
Ok, enough ranting from me today, not even sure what I was trying to convey to who by this ;)