The Cult of the Perpetual Novice

by chromatic

Here's a frightening quote from GNOME's Bugzilla:

I think open source inherently creates a much more useful Novice/Expert barrier anyway. The real experts can do whatever they want, because they have the code, and can change it to their liking.

comment #13 in configurable mouse click actions patches

Is it really better to encourage "experts" to maintain local code forks than to add configuration options? If the defaults aren't right for you, you'd better hope you're an expert and can change things to your way of working--just don't expect to get that patch upstream so other people can benefit from it. If you're a novice, you're in trouble.

That's... not exactly my understanding of the point of open and collaborative development. I hope it's not a widely-held opinion.


2007-03-06 06:37:07

Lucky I use KDE :-)
MIcahel Leuchtenburg
2007-03-06 07:29:38
In my experience, that is a widely held opinion in the Gnome development community. If you can code it, go ahead, but we won't take the patch; if you're a novice, we know better than you what options you should have; if you want something different, but you can't code it, fuck off: we've already decided what's best for the most users, and if you aren't in that class, we don't care. What's that? Your use case is different? That's too bad: that's not "the real use case". (Actual quote! See comment #1 on below link.)

See, e.g.,