9
acelan
71d

Open source is poison, hoax and source of much troubles.

Even as I love OSS, and I use it a lot, when things go south, they go south terribly.

There was "security" updates in one OSS program I have been using, that accidentally prevented use cases which specifically affected me. I raised bug report, made issue and gave small repro for it.
One of the core developers acknowledges that yes, this is problem, and could be handled with few added options, which users of similar use case could use to keep things working. He then tags issue "needs help" and disappears.
After I have waited some time, I ask help how I could fix it myself, like how to setup proper dev environment for that tool. Asked it in their forums few days later, as issue didn't get any response. Then asked help in their slack, as forums didn't get any help.

Figured out how to get dev environment up, fix done (~4 lines changed, adding simple check for option enabled or not) and figured out how to test that this works.
I create pull request to project, checking their CONTRIBUTING and following instructions there. Then I wait. I wait two weeks, and then one of the core develors goes to add label "needs response from maintainer". That is now almost two weeks ago...

So, bug that appeared in October, and issue that was created October 8th, is still not fixed, even as there is fix in PR for 28 days this far.

And what really ticks me off? People who make statements like: "it is OSS, have you thought of contributing and fixing things yourself?" when we run into problems with open source software.

Making fix yourself ain't biggest problem... but getting it actually applied seems to be biggest roadblock. This kind of experiences doesn't really encourage me to spend time fixing bugs in OSS, time is often better spend changing to different tool, or making changes in my own workflow or going around problem some kludge way.

I try to get business starting, and based on OSS tools. But my decision is staggering, as I had also made decision to contribute back to OSS... but first experiences ain't that encouraging.

Currently, OSS feels like cancer.

Comments
  • 8
    OSS is not cancer. That is just the GPL. ;-)
  • 8
    For smaller project this is often the case, but when dealing with larger projects I rarely find that it is. Though of course there are exceptions. However, the code is still there for you to use, and there is nothing preventing you from forking the project. Sure, some maintainers can be dicks or just really unresponsive, but don't put everything under one roof.
  • 7
    There's only one reason why I contribute bug reports at all in OSS projects: having a reference for dirty work-around hacks in my docs. That's it because bugs aren't going to be fixed in my experience.

    And way too much OSS is just digital toxic waste littering the landfill that is Github because devs like to hack and hack, but testing and documenting isn't fun, debugging isn't fun either, so that has no priority.
  • 6
    This is project backed by Facebook, and ain't any small, insignificant project with single guy coding at their free time. That's why it frustrates enough that I wanted to do this rant.
  • 10
    The importance of oss is that if the current maintainer abandons a project you can fork it and keep going.

    Had this been some proprietary code your most likely not allowed to even if you could.

    But I do understand the feeling. Just don’t blame it on the OSS model, we hade similar happen with proprietary libs we was dependent on that just closed down when the current version stopped working due to changes in the OS.

    Had it been OSS we would at least had the option to take over. Now we had to find another solution (it was much less powerful causing us to loose functionality)
  • 2
    Totally agreed on the pain caused by reporting, reproducing, fixing, testing and raising a PR. But isn't that the beauty of OSS? I mean, you have a chance to do things that you wish you want to do. Just that it doesn't happen at the pace we expect it to, because you know it is not an ideal automated world we have.

    I'm still wondering how a paid software model would make things any better. Of course, if there is some software builder/maintainer who has enough time and resources and you have bought a 24/7 enterprise support license, it might have helped you fix this sooner. But is there a guarantee with every other vendor? I don't think so
  • 5
    @asgs The difference with commercial software is that you have a contract, and if the other side delivers buggy crap, you can sue them. Users can also vote with their money - except for monopolist vendors of course.

    One common issue with OSS is that users have no say in anything so that there's a complete disconnect.
  • 1
    You could fork the project and implement the forked version until they update.

    Who knows? Maybe the project is abandoned?
  • 5
    @ReverendLovejoy I could, and I have used hacky solution for myself. However, I'm not only one suffering. There are also others who have added "me too" messages to my original issue.

    And project ain't abandoned. There has been dozen new versions released meanwhile. There has been over hundred PR's accepted, many of them being much more recent than mine.

    I'm venting this here, as this frustrates me a lot. Venting in github wouldn't make any difference, at least towards good outcome, I'd reckon.
  • 2
    @acelan yes, probably a good idea to vent it here. I see your problem, been there myself.
  • 1
    @Fast-Nop my bro is harsh, but he speaks the truth like no other!
  • 1
    @AleCx04 hi 5 man! ^^
  • 7
    I think you never had contact with IBM support. 2 months is standard time for them to add user for anything.

    Here and now is overrated and boosted by social networks. In real corporate world some critical shit can take a year for someone to look at it if it’s not causing big money loosing problems.

    OSS at least you can fix shit yourself and monkey patch software. It saved my ass at least 10 times.
  • 3
    Age old wisdom proves to be right. Ranting makes things move forward.

    Few hours ago this PR got reviewed and style changes got requested.
  • 3
    I maintain open source software. While I enjoy maintaining it, school, life and mental health comes first. This week I've had a few issues opened and two emails asking for features.

    Great, people are using the stuff I've made but maintaining stuff is a bitch sometimes.
  • 4
    While I agree that the issue you're describing is very common in open source, calling it a hoax and poising is straight up bullshit IMO.

    Anyhow, welcome :)
  • 0
    @linuxxx When I have OSS fuckups, my cursing and ranting is way more angry. ^^
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