So we all know how precious are some resources for Free Software/Open Source Software developers. Things like SCM repositories (CVS, Subversion, Bazaar-NG, GIT, …), webspaces, bug/patch trackers and mailing list are important pieces in the collaborative development proper of Free Software, which often involves agile development, thus requiring developers to work in open air and lead advanced users to follow closely the development to provide immediate feedback to the developers.
The cost of maintaining a FLOSS project on a dedicated server is often too high for simple users, free time developers and, for bigger projects, even for a small team of developers. Luckily in the past sites like SourceForge.net started providing the major services to developers for free. After SourceForge, a series of other sites provided similar services, like BerliOs and GNU Savannah.
Now, some time ago there was a little discussion on #amarok on freenode started when markey stated that he “hates” sf.net. And in a sort of a way, I agree with it. Although they do provide a valuable important service, the new interface of the site is all but friendly, the sessions log out after less than ten minutes, mailing lists lags, the public CVS server is always late, the tracker mails are mis-encoded, and so on. They also are quite slow with handling support requests, and that is the worst part (because a broken but responsive site is usually preferable to a not that broken but completely unresponsive one). But yes of course I’m not blaming them or trying to not give them the merit they deserve.
Of course like any other tool, also those sites has to be used with conscience and with savoir fair. Opening fake projects just to have a personal homepage, or starting forks just for get people angry is not a good thing.
Tonight I seen the ramdefrag project, that’s of course a fake, a joke.. okay it might be considered funny, it might be amusing to someone, but it’s really worth to waste precious resources on a thing like that? Why instead leaving some breath to SourceForge, or simply trying to focus on something more useful? I’m not against those jokingly projects, but for those you don’t need a high-performance homepage, a CVS module, a bug tracker, a mirrors’ set for distributing tarballs…
So, I don’t think anybody would listen to me, but at least I tried to say that Free Software can’t be taken seriously without a sane and proper attitude from its proposers.
And no, I’m not referring to QA processes, security auditing, or to-user behaviour, but to simple common sense things like wastes.