As the title says, I’m losing motivation to work on Free Software.
Why? Well, there are lots of factors, some depending on what happened to me this summer, some just general tiredness, and then there’s the Free Software environment as a whole.
So the great news of these days is that TrollTech released Phonon backends, for all the three operating systems they care to suppot (Linux, OSX and Windows.. the fact that Qt and KDE are available for FreeBSD, NetBSD and other Unix-like Free Software operating systems is often ignored, but let’s say that the Linux support is some kind of UNIX support, even if it’s not always true). Of course, they can’t use GPL backends for those, as they’d be unable to use them with their commercial Qt releases, so instead of contributing to the development of Phonon-xine (and maybe xine itself), they just decided to go with GStreamer.
I don’t like GStreamer, and I never tried to hide that; I don’t like the architecture, the complexity, but less of all I like the way Fluendo makes money from Free Software users thanks to the whole software patents idea.
Why should this change anything for Phonon-xine? It’s still the main backend for kdelibs (for now), but you all know how the binary distributions don’t like to risk with software patents, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they all would just ignore the presence of Phonon-xine and decide to go with the GStreamer backend by default.
So I’m losing motivation, because I see politics and money talking more than users lately, and I don’t really like this (and I like it even less when the same persons who think this is just fine criticise the proprietary software developers for doing… well just the same; you can expect that developers focusing on proprietary solutions would like to make the money talk (and get money), just as they plan, but if you define yourself a free software developer, or even worse a free software advocate, and you’re easy to give up users’ rights for politics, then you’re just an hypocrite – and no I’m not referring to anyone in particular, just a generic idea I see around).
I’ll probably just resign as a xine developer soon (while of course keeping the tracker available, now that it’s up); I’m also considering just looking for a different kind of job area I can take, selling off the devboxes, buying an iMac and use the computer just to surf when I have nothing else to do, and to listen to music. As it is I’m wasting my time and my life on stuff that just doesn’t matter for anyone anyway.