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The Icon Bar: News and features: Lack of appreciation threatens porting projects
 

Lack of appreciation threatens porting projects

Posted by Richard Goodwin on 11:18, 23/1/2002 | , , , ,
 
After a discussion about OpenSSH got nasty on a newsgroup, Peter Naulls has decided to take down his Unix ports page at http://www.chocky.org/unix/. He says:
This has been removed. I'm currently fed up with the incredible negativity of the RISC OS userbase. Maybe it'll come back, maybe not.

If you want to help RISC OS in any way, then buck up your attitude and stop whinging.
Peter and friends have been responsible for working on many libraries and tools which enable them to port Unix programs in a very short space of time. This means that a program or tool that didn't previously exist under RISC OS can be up and running in as little as half an hour.

Although in the past I couldn't get myself worked up about the text-only browser Lynx, Peter and co. have brought us a number of useful programs, not least of which is the Nettle telnet client from which to run the other utilities. I've been waiting for a proper SSH client, something stable, easy to use, and ideally that includes SSH2 - OpenSSH does all that. As well as Peter's programs which are now no longer available his work was enabling other ports such as email clients, text editors and who knows what else.

I haven't read the arguments on the newsgroups, because frankly I got sick of the bickering a long time ago. So, I'm not saying Peter has a right to get away with murder because of what he produces, but frankly he's out there actually getting off his arse doing something useful, and as usual the nay-sayers - often people who do a lot of talking and don't actually produce anything useful themselves - are putting valuable work in jeopardy.

I wish Peter all the best in whatever he decides, and hope that at least the readers of TIB will show him the support that he deserves.
 
  Lack of appreciation threatens porting projects
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Richard Goodwin Message #89887, posted at 11:24, 23/1/2002
Unregistered user The original headline was "Lack of f***ing clue..." but what you see is the version of the article /after/ I'd calmed down.

This always seems to be happening - people work hard on something, only to be torn apart in newsgroups. No wonder RISC OS has a lack of decent developers.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Paul Vigay Message #89888, posted at 11:34, 23/1/2002, in reply to message #89887
Unregistered user Hear Hear! I can fully sympathise with Peter and his viewpoint. I've noticed for sometime that the Acorn newsgroups seem to be full of wingers and moaners, which is why I don't frequent them myself much these days.
Having known Peter for some time, I'd say that he was one of the pioneering developers on the RISC OS platform, and the RISC OS world would be a far poorer place without him. If the petty bickering doesn't stop, I can unfortunately see a lot more developers just not releasing or sharing stuff any more - no doubt giving the moaners something else to moan about the lack of new software.
Perhaps I'll close my site in solidarity, or perhaps I just hope that Peter reconsiders and rises above the silly bickering and doomsaying, knowing that some people at least, appreciate the time and effort he is putting into the future of RISC OS.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Guest Message #89889, posted at 11:36, 23/1/2002, in reply to message #89888
Unregistered user It must be said that a little more 'community' in the RiscOS community would get things moving a lot faster. I think Peter's work is highly valuable and if anyone can do better then by all means they should, but bickering about isn't a way forward.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Guest Message #89890, posted at 11:37, 23/1/2002, in reply to message #89889
Unregistered user It's a shame that people only seem to be able to moan and complain when something new comes along, and not give /constructive/ criticism.

Saying 'This is crap' and 'Its useless' doesnt do much for the authors motivation (Who incidentally has taken time out of doing other things, sometimes days, to make a program, without expecting any monies in return, contributing to the Acorn community).

There is nothing worse than spending hours/days working on a program that you have made available to others, only to be told by some unhelpful idiot that it's a 'pile of sh*t'.

I've released a few small programs in the past and have been very fortunate not to have them discussed at all in the comp.sys.acorn.* groups.

- Ian Hawkins (g0tai)
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Guest Message #89891, posted at 11:59, 23/1/2002, in reply to message #89890
Unregistered user Peter is one of a number of RISC OS developers that give their free time to help further the platform. Their contributions are essential if we are to enjoy many more years of faithful service from our RISC OS based hardware.

They require support, constructive comments and perhaps most importantly, other people to join in with their efforts and contribute something to the platform or community as a whole.

Perhaps those few people that are unable to comment constructively would like to put their money where their mouth is and create something that suits them and will benefit everybody else.

Jon Wright
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Guest Message #89892, posted at 12:05, 23/1/2002, in reply to message #89891
Unregistered user Just to quote a comment from someone that I've been speaking to:

---
'anonymous' forgets usenet, people think they are having real discussions that acheive stuff- they are delluded and wrong. maybe if they shutup and picked up a programming book they'd be able to produce something.
---

Somewhat hits the nail on the head, imho.

  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Anonymous Message #89893, posted at 12:18, 23/1/2002, in reply to message #89892
Unregistered user maybe VOTI could put there website back UP in support ;-)
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Guest Message #89894, posted at 13:00, 23/1/2002, in reply to message #89893
Unregistered user The acorn newsgroups are terrible for whinging. I think a subscribe only newsgroup is needed where the subscribers are vetted first. The number of whingers is few but they are very vocal and so easily identified.

Removing software due to whinging unfortunately gives in to the whingers and does nothing for those who appreciate the effort.

Malcolm
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Guest Message #89895, posted at 13:25, 23/1/2002, in reply to message #89894
Unregistered user "No wonder RISC OS has a lack of decent developers."

There's more to that problem than newsgroup-level critique, but the nature of that critique is a consequence of the state of the market, and the state of the market is itself a consequence of the lack of development for that market.

And that is due to the lack of decent development tools (for a long time, at least) and the "primitive" nature of the platform. Arguably, the latter has exacerbated the former.

So, it really all comes down to a lot of frustrated people using an aging platform with no glorious future in sight.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
David Boddie Message #89896, posted at 13:41, 23/1/2002, in reply to message #89895
Unregistered user Malcolm wrote:

>The acorn newsgroups are terrible for whinging.
>I think a subscribe only newsgroup is needed
>where the subscribers are vetted first. The
>number of whingers is few but they are very vocal
>and so easily identified.

Filtering out the people you don't like is not the
answer. Who would sit in judgement over the
subscribers and applicants for subscription?

>Removing software due to whinging unfortunately
>gives in to the whingers and does nothing for
>those who appreciate the effort.

I agree with this, but be careful not to mistake
criticism for whinging.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
John Hoare Message #89897, posted at 14:22, 23/1/2002, in reply to message #89896
Unregistered user Having followed the newsgroups through the archives in RISC World, I can only say that there does seem to be a lot of unpleasantness, and rumour flying around. I don't know any more than this.

I hope Peter does bring back his pages. We need all the developers we can get. Hell, I wished I'd learned stuff a long time ago so I could be one of them. I'm learning stuff now, and hopefully by the time I get good enough to produce something worthwhile, RISC OS will still be here to develop for. Not just out of a misguided sense of loyalty either - having used both Windows and Linux, I still find RISC OS the most productive platform for me to use, and actually do stuff.

I will need an SSH client soon. I really hope that people realise than whilst there is place for constructive criticism, there is no room for bickering. And when I say constructive criticism, that doesn't just mean in intent, but be careful as to how you express it. True, there may be some PR problems to do with some RISC OS companies, but a lot of the people who criticize them don't seem much better at it!

Come on everyone, can't we all just get along and try to bring RISC OS forward again? If there's differences of opinion, there's room enough for everyone to do what they want in a slightly different way, and still co-operate together.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Richard Goodwin Message #89898, posted at 14:33, 23/1/2002, in reply to message #89897
Unregistered user > There's more to that problem than newsgroup-
> level critique, but the nature of that critique
> is a consequence of the state of the market, and
> the state of the market is itself a consequence
> of the lack of development for that market.

> And that is due to the lack of decent
> development tools (for a long time, at least)
> and the "primitive" nature of the platform.
> Arguably, the latter has exacerbated the former.

> So, it really all comes down to a lot of
> frustrated people using an aging platform with
> no glorious future in sight.

Bitching at people who actually /are/ developing stuff isn't going to help any of that. In fact, doesn't Peter help with the GCC port, which is pretty much the only game in town now? Not exactly a smart move.

Yes, we need new tools. However I strongly disagree this is what makes people bitch about other people's work on the newsgroups. There could be the best development platform in the world and there'd still be the same mean spirited fools slagging other programmers off. The fact that Peter's helping bring about what tools we have and can hope for in the future - for free - means that at the very least better targets can be chosen. However, I don't want to turn this to be a debate on RISC OS's future and who's responsible for it, let's just lay off those that are doing good.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Jeffrey Lee Message #89899, posted at 16:54, 23/1/2002, in reply to message #89898
Unregistered user Although I haven't used any of Peter's unix stuff, it sounds like a very important resource and I hope the stupid people on the newsgroups realise what they're doing to the market.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Artur Message #89900, posted at 17:12, 23/1/2002, in reply to message #89899
Unregistered user I am disappointed. What can we do?
Some people are not able to construct
anything...so they want to distruct
what others have built. Frustration is their
strongest emotion. Poor things.
Peter, come back, please? You are a VIP
[very important piece ;) ] in our good
community. Keep up the excellent work!
Thank you.
Artur.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Guest Message #89901, posted at 18:29, 23/1/2002, in reply to message #89900
Unregistered user Great, we've lost another developer!

I must say the Acorn newsgroups used to be really friendly and helpful, but even since Acorn went tits up, they resemble UNIX newsgroups where everyone just replies "RTFM you troll" or somesuch.

Wasn't all the bitching just due to the OpenSSH port not having a decent frontend or someone not being able to use Nettle or something.

Personally I couldn't even load OpenSSH under Nettle, it would just die horribly, but after seeing the crap in the newsgroups, I didn't like to ask why, I just went back to using SSHproxy and FreeTerm.

I mean what was that thread the other day from some new kid on the Acorn block - instead of "Welcome to RISC OS" he got a "you spelt that wrong @!#$"!
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Guest Message #89902, posted at 18:53, 23/1/2002, in reply to message #89901
Unregistered user From here, it looks a lot to me like you're just adding to the negativity - what constructive moves are you making to resolve your issues with Nettle? Certainly complaining in a forum like this isn't going to help.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Guest Message #89903, posted at 19:29, 23/1/2002, in reply to message #89902
Unregistered user The thread in c.s.a.n was not as bad as some people are making out. Look on Google Groups.

I'm sure Peter is doing Good Things(TM) for RISC OS, and he's a clever chap. However, his current attitude is that if people don't be nice to him in public, he'll take his toys home. Interesting attitude.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Annraoi Message #89904, posted at 19:36, 23/1/2002, in reply to message #89903
Unregistered user I suspect some people have a vested interest in "doing down" developers and on-going projects in the newsgroups.

And I hope when Peter reflects on it that he'll realise that that is precisely what is going on and that withdrawing simply strengthens the hand of those minority who would like nothing better than to see RISC OS turn belly up.

  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Annraoi Message #89905, posted at 19:41, 23/1/2002, in reply to message #89904
Unregistered user Anyone who makes a comment as "Guest" like one prior to my last contribution doesn't have the courage of their convictions (let's know who you are). I suspect one of the usual "suspects" prone to doing down the RISC OS platform was responsible.

In which case my comments still stands, Peter, just ignore them they have little to contribute and would be better off hounding people on the Windows or Linux groups where they belong.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Guest Message #89906, posted at 19:47, 23/1/2002, in reply to message #89905
Unregistered user Peter has done some great work that has benefitted a large number of people in the RISCOS community. He has done it for free and at deserves to be knighted not beheaded!

Please come back Peter, you efforts are appreciated by many!

Cheers
Steve Knutson
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Andrew P Harmsworth Message #89907, posted at 22:03, 23/1/2002, in reply to message #89906
Unregistered user No! I seriously don't like the way in which people expect perfection in every respect on this platform. The best we can hope for is some exceptional things, together with lots of useful things. What Peter was/is doing gave us something exceptional (to many) and many useful things. Moaning and groaning that the 'useful' things are not useful enough is pathetic.

Please, Peter, let them stew for a bit, then relaunch with a flourish. Most people are on your side. Don't let a vociferous minority ruin this wonderful environment that is RISC OS.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Guest Message #89908, posted at 00:27, 24/1/2002, in reply to message #89907
Unregistered user I too generally feel negative about the RISCOS market and have made many scathing remarks about the futility of it all and the overpriced and underpowered hardware that is being sold into it. I think these people deserve it.

However, I cannot understand how people can bitch about Peter's software which he gives out for free to everyone's benefit and clearly puts a great deal of time and effort into. From what I can tell, these are quite advanced tools he creates. In his position I would withdraw it too.

If one of his programs does not work, then he should be informed courteously by email, not publically humiliated. He is only one person and does not have the resources to test his software under all machine configurations. Are the RiscPC/Kinetic RiscPC/Mico etc all totally compatible? Surely they have subtle differences (and bugs) that would trip up anyone's program.

Perhaps the user could offer to work with Peter to resolve the issue and the results posted on his website. This would help to foster a sense of involvement with his projects and could help generate momentum for further development of RISCOS. Look at how Linux has evolved in just this way.

Let's hope we can convince him to return.

Mike
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Guest Message #89909, posted at 08:49, 24/1/2002, in reply to message #89908
Unregistered user I haven't followed this particular story in the newsgroups, but like many others I have become very disheartened by the continual sniping that goes on. There are several main protagonists who have set out to undermine the viability of RISC OS. Every comment they come out with is negative, whether its about hardware or software or just other people's points of view or integrity.

It seemed to start when Acorn pre-announced the Phoebe specs. "It will never be any good because it doesn't have floating point or USB or x or y or z ... or because its yellow!" Then we move on to the current situation with vicious lies being spread about Microdigital, RISC OS Ltd and others. Some people who claim to be enthusiasts are doing everything they can to destroy what we have. Anyone looking at these newsgroups will take the view that the platform is doomed because of all the negative comments that are expressed - so no-one will want to invest in new hardware or software or think about returning from PC land to their old favourite platform.

God only knows what will happen in the future, but lets all get on the SAME side and pull together for the good of what we know is the best platform out there.

Grahame.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Guest Message #89910, posted at 09:51, 24/1/2002, in reply to message #89909
Unregistered user Those who don't like other people's development - just keep quite about it. People such as Peter who develop software for anyone to use for FREE are worth their weight in gold. It really winds me up the way some people get so arsey about what other people are doing. If you don't like it - no one else wants to know - so just keep your mouth shut.

Please Peter - don't be disheartened by the minority with a mouth louder than the majority.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Jason Tribbeck Message #89911, posted at 09:54, 24/1/2002, in reply to message #89910
Unregistered user I can understand where Peter's coming from, but it does seem a little extreme to me.

I've been on the receiving end of conversations such as this (once been called "an arrogant, ignorant f*ckwit") - you can either go on the warpath, or swallow your pride and lump it.

I wouldn't be surprised if the site doesn't reappear within a month. (Just give him time to collect his thoughts)

Just done a quick search for the name of the person who called me ...stuff..., and he's annoyed a lot of other people too (which I didn't know about until now). Makes me happier ;-)

Having quickly scanned the first articles on google, apart from druck's "it doesn't work the way I'd like it to, but once you get used to it, it's fine" post, the first one that was a personal attack was Paul's request for druck to change his attitude - which I thought was very abrupt.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Guest Message #89912, posted at 10:38, 24/1/2002, in reply to message #89911
Unregistered user Just did a quick search on Jason Tribbecks post and it seems that the same guy has peeved many a developer off. Look at the response he got from this, now RISC OS EX-Developer using the link below.

Go here [Edited by Rich due to strange wrapping]

By, the way, there are too few developers using RISC OS to p*ss them off. Give them some slack.
Peter is a very talented individual like many other who frequent the newsgroups.

As the saying goes, 'Don't let the B*st*rds grind you down."
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Peter Naulls Message #89913, posted at 10:38, 24/1/2002, in reply to message #89912
Unregistered user Much of this commentary seems to be based on the fact that I removed my site just because of the SSH thread - in fact that thread merely typified the attitude disliked by many. I recommend reading the new commentary I've placed on the Unix page.

Jason - no person called Paul posted to that thread ;-) druck's comments *were* inappropriate and he should not have been at all suprised to receive the response he did from Ian and I. However, later comments elsewhere suggest he's now realised that, if unconsciously.

However, that's really a minor sub-plot. Let me make a few things - I haven't been "lost", "gone elsewhere", and I'm certainly not about to change platform. Anyone claiming otherwise clearly puts themselves in a naysayers camp. But please read my unix page before commenting further.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Guest Message #89914, posted at 13:19, 24/1/2002, in reply to message #89913
Unregistered user curry.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Jason Tribbeck Message #89915, posted at 14:59, 24/1/2002, in reply to message #89914
Unregistered user Sorry about that, Peter. I was getting confused between my two searches. (In fact, the last sentance was meant to be the one beforehand).

I'm sure that a lot of us really do appreciate what you've done (I'd **love** to integrate OpenSSH with my telnet client).

Looking at your "Guide to making RISC OS better", I agree with everything there - except I'm not sure about dealing with everyone who's negative. /Everything/ has it's advantages and disadvantages, so you can't really blame them for saying "I can't use RISC OS in a multi-user environment because it has no user management" for example. (I have to admit it took me a while to think of something inherrantly missing from the OS, and also missing from the RISC OS Projects Initiative).
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Jason Tribbeck Message #89916, posted at 15:03, 24/1/2002, in reply to message #89915
Unregistered user ...unless I'm going blind ;-)
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
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The Icon Bar: News and features: Lack of appreciation threatens porting projects