Dixit port bad management

Mark Linimon linimon at lonesome.com
Fri May 7 05:56:07 UTC 2010

On Fri, May 07, 2010 at 03:27:50AM +0300, Mihai Militaru wrote:
> Most questions I investigated since I'm on this system have been
> answered already here and there on the internet by some maintainers,
> things like: "go read the Bible", "it is a problem with your hardware",
> "you've done something wrong." or no answer.

On the Internet, anyone can post anything.  Most often, sadly, they do.

It all depends on your expectations.  If you expect that any question
asked on any list will be answered, by someone who understands the extent
of the problem, and will answer it in a polite fashion, then you're going
to be disappointed with the open source model.  Period.

Should that be the case?  No.  Is it the case?  Yes.

On occasion, some of the people that will answer your emails will be jerks.
Your job is to ignore them and go on to the next email.

> but a lot of them simply don't work, in other words they're empty
> advertising.

Please send-pr.  send-pr doesn't work well, but it's the best technology
we have.  (I say this as someone who spends time tending to the PRs.)
There's no reason to have useless, broken ports in the tree; they annoy
the users and take scarce resources on the build cluster.

> Let's take an example: LXDE. We have a desktop listed; its capabilities?
> Dumping core on amd64, since Q1 2009 if not earlier. Nobody says
> anything about it

$ query-pr -t lxde -q
  131465 miwi     ports    closed    non-criti low      current-us New Port x11/lxde-meta

Inotherwords, no one has filed any PRs since its creation.

As long as that stays the same, it will stay broken, IMHO.

> I would like to ask about it, but considering the "encouragement" I got 
> from my previous experience

Again, you need a thick skin.  I'm by no means absolving people who flame
users on the mailing lists (disclaimer: on occasion I have been one of those
people, just out of frustration).  But the key thing to how FreeBSD works
is this: people keep working on it.  Sometimes, in spite of no response or
discouraging responses, but they keep working on it.  That's how it makes

> What would be the best approach for an user who simply can't find other
> way around than to get help or ask for something to be fixed, to keep
> insisting, posting new threads?

That's it.  There is no special magic.

Asking nicely always works much better with me than the type of messages
that started this thread.  But again, I don't do much work on fixing
individual ports these days, so YMMV.

In summary, I do hope that casual users contribute to FreeBSD.  But don't
mind me if I don't respond well to the people that say I'm careless/
unprofessional/an idiot/etc.  At some point I just go on to the next email.


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