Forum OpenACS Development: Re: Tcl Web Services Toolkit: TWiST

Posted by Don Baccus on
I'm waiting for the pay-for-view boxing match myself.

And I'll offer my services as bookie for anyone interested in laying odds on the outcome!

Tom, lighten up a bit. Open criticism, deserved or not, is part and parcel of the open source world.

Posted by Tom Jackson on
I think if you re-read my comments, I never suggested that Malte's comments be removed from this site, I only said that they were off topic for this thread. However, Malte did suggest that he thought (to himself) some of my comments be removed. In other words: he doesn't like open criticism, not me. It cuts both ways, doesn't it?

It seems that you think I should just allow Malte to make whatever comments he wants without response. He can comment all he likes. If I find his reasoning suspect, why can't I comment on that? The logic of a criticism is even more important than the exact substance because it applies to other specific cases.

Malte's first criticism was that TWiST didn't use ad_proc. Somehow he misses the fact that TWiST is not an OpenACS package. Also missed is the fact that another organization paid for the development of TWiST. They use a different version of ad_proc. I argued against making TWiST specific for their software, _exactly so_ that it could be immediately used by OpenACS and any version of ad_proc. But the fact that I chose to write an API which would be useful to everyone is completely lost on Malte.

But simply saying that it would be nice if the software used ad_proc is one thing. Comments are just comments. But Malte suggested in his first post that the situation be immediately corrected. The TWiST module should be converted to use ad_proc, and the result should be imported into the OpenACS CVS repository. Do you consider this criticism? Don't you have module owners here at OpenACS? Even if the software itself is open source, even if it doesn't belong to me, or the organization which paid for the development, is there any respect _at all_ for the work of those who decided to provide this software?

Later on we find that these initial criticisms were made _prior to_ correct installation. In fact many comments were made prior to understanding the subject of the comment.

Believe me, I know that there are many valid criticisms of this software. I have asked for them. I'm waiting for them; I have a whole list of my own as well. But the standard for criticism should at least require that they enlighten those wishing to use the software. If a criticism amounts to misinformation, or suspect reasoning, or is the result of simply not understanding what is going on, does that help anyone? I submit that it simply calls into question the usefulness of the software for others who might be interested, but will get the incorrect idea that the software has functional problems.

Another side effect of this might be that other developers, not wishing to subject their software to Malte's criticisms will simply not release it. Who needs to spend their time defending unfounded or misguided comments when they can be improving the product? Additionally, I risk suppressing helpful comments and questions when I respond. I thought about that prior to my responses. If Malte was not such a respected and long standing member of the OpenACS community, there would be little need to brush off his comments. But that is not the case, and I decided to take the risk.

I encourage open criticism, and open criticism of that open criticism, etc. I also encourage understanding the topic you wish to criticize. It is much more effective.