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Comment Re:You are not alone. (Score 1) 388

So, you're offering to...

Yes.

Your comment demonstrates a lot of arrogance, so I have doubts about whether this will do much good, but I'm going to take a chance and offer you some advice that might help you in life:

1. When interacting with people whom you don't know, don't assume they are less experienced, less knowledgeable, less capable, or less anything than you are. Maybe you'll avoid insulting them and making a fool of yourself.

2. Whenever you don't have all the information, consider looking for ways in which other people might be right, rather than making assumptions about how they might be wrong. Maybe you'll learn something.

Comment You are not alone. (Score 4, Interesting) 388

I see this behavior surprisingly often as well. Any explanation I offered would just be conjecture, I'm afraid. I have some guesses about why people do this, but they're just guesses. I think it would make for an interesting psychology study.

Anyway, I'm mainly posting here to offset the toxic comments I see in response to your question. I, too, have been there. I've been attacked by onlookers for making suggestions, with the naysayers backing off only when the project leads decided that my suggestions were good ones. I've watched other people get attacked similarly, sometimes when I was a newcomer, and sometimes when I was the developer. It doesn't seem to matter if you're making suggestions for someone else to implement or offering to do the work yourself; some people seem just as likely to sling mud at you either way.

The internet has no shortage of obstructionist personalities, and the communities that gather around software projects are no exception. It makes me sad every time I see it, because to me, it is the antithesis of open software development. When it happens, everybody loses.

The only advice I can think of right now is to accept constructive criticism of your ideas, but also don't assume that your ideas suck just because some internet troll says so. A lot of them are wrong.

Comment Independent VPN Comparison (Score 5, Informative) 141

ThatOnePrivacyGuy on /r/privacy manages That One Privacy Site, including a handy VPN section. Unlike the vast majority of VPN provider reviews you'll find in web searches, this one encourages community discussion and appears to be impartial. Next time I need a new VPN provider, I expect I'll be turning to that site.

Comment Actions speak louder than words. (Score 5, Interesting) 322

Mozilla developers planned this last year, and when watchful users objected in the related issue, Mozilla staff closed it to comments. They then pushed the system-breaking change to the world, with no mention of it in the release notes. When users whose systems were broken said so in a bug report, Mozilla closed it to comments, too.

I understand the need to minimize clutter in bug reports, but by taking away the only existing channel for users to engage with decision-makers, Mozilla is effectively sticking their fingers in their ears and telling their community to suck it up. How ironic that this was done by Mozilla's engineering community manager. How telling that his public comment invited people to email him to discuss it directly (making himself look good on record), yet he has completely ignored email messages sent to him in the days since then.

I always thought that one of the open source community's greatest strengths was our dedication to helping one another. When I write free software, and encourage people to use and depend on it in their daily lives, I take care to avoid causing unnecessary problems for them in future updates, even if their needs are different from my own. If I do cause such a problem and a bunch of them take the time to identify and report it, I see that as a sign that I made a mistake, I take responsibility for my actions, and I return their favor by spending a bit of time reworking my design.

I do this work partly for personal satisfaction in creating quality software, and partly because I don't like jerking people around, but mostly because I know that my time donated to the community is repaid indirectly, through all the contributions those people make to other open source projects. One of them might be writing the documentation for my favorite version control system, another might be using unusual hardware that exposes an OS bug that I'll need fixed next year, and others might have donated money or suggested a good design idea to projects that make my life easier in some other way. I give a little in the short term, and in return, I receive a lot in the long term.

This ecosystem of diverse and indirect contributions works amazingly well. I don't believe we would have Firefox, Chrome, MacOS (remember its Mach & BSD roots?), Android, Linux, or hundreds of thousands of other wonderful things if not for people in different situations helping one another like this.

So, when developers of a project like Firefox shut out a cross-section of the community that made their jobs possible and from whom they will almost certainly continue to benefit over time, it seems greedy to me. When they deliberately break the systems of the people whom they encouraged to depend on their software, especially when it's something so integral to daily life as the web browser, it seems irresponsible to me. And when onlookers choose disrupt the ensuing discussions by slinging useless comments like "freeloader" or "works for me" at other community members despite receiving value every day from this same community, they seem like hypocritical trolls.

I think we can do better than this. The open source community thrives on diversity and collaboration. Firefox can be replaced, but if we become another monoculture of self-absorbed know-it-alls, we all will have lost an asset of immeasurable value.

tl;dr: Dear Mozilla, you're doing it wrong.

Comment Re:Fake news... (Score 2) 322

"This is simply not true."

It absolutely is true. ALSA is no longer an option in official or standard builds, and Mozilla does not support custom builds.

Even if they were supported, making custom builds of Firefox every time there's an update would be a waste of time, and sticking with a single custom build would be a foolish security risk. Easier and safer to switch browsers.

Also, Mozilla is planning to remove the compile-time option completely in Firefox 54, breaking ALSA systems even in custom builds.

Bye bye, Firefox.

Comment Re:Agreed, though even small projects grow (Score 1) 229

"I much prefer more organization than less."

I, too, like organized code. I'm just pointing out that dividing code into separate files is not the same thing as organizing it. I can organize code clearly and cleanly inside of a single file, while code split into multiple files/directories can be even harder to understand and navigate than it was in a single file. It depends more on the code structure than the file structure.

Of course, I also understand that you and I have had different experiences, most likely demonstrating different kinds of awful. :)

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