Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Opinions kill open software

It's happening. Silently, slowly, without exceptions. Dead, gone, deceased. You just don't know it yet.

Some background before proceeding. My previous post, about good and bad software, underlined how important it's for everyone to know why a particular piece of software exists. Especially in FOSS development.

The problem is user expectations. Our past experiences naturally affect our preferences, and we subconciously project them to new software. This pulls developer toward how, away from what the software was created to do. And since we're all unique, it's difficult to see the real reason from our equally subjective viewpoints, steering the software into a direction illustrated below.

The reason is that FOSS users engage much more in software development, when compared to proprietary software users. Everyone knows that much about software, that anything is possible with it. It's a holy grail of every software project to be pursue sophisticated frameworks that support our highly heterogenous user preferences.

You might not realize it, but the price a proprietary software user pays in cash, a FOSS user pays in responsibility. We're all priviledged to have an alternative, and we should respect the reason it exists. Don't neglect or avoid it by suggesting yet another user setting or customization framework. That's always away from what the software can do to everyone.

If FOSS alternatives will ever reach a wider consumer adoption, they'll do so being faster to develop and maintain. By going faster to places a proprietary software is too heavy and cumbersome to go. By helping people to do more, faster, simpler and more reliably. By giving us our time back.

That's why it's imperative that the development is focused. One software can't adapt to seven billion amazing opinions, but seven billion people can adapt to one amazing software.

Thanks for reading and see you in the next post. In the meantime, agree or disagree, debate or shout. Bring it on and spread the word.


  1. "You might not realize it, but the price a proprietary software user pays in cash, a FOSS user pays in responsibility."

    Very well said.