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Kdenlive Developer Jean-Baptiste Mardelle Has Been Found

timothy posted about 4 months ago | from the just-in-time-for-the-solstice dept.

KDE 85

jones_supa writes "A month ago there was worry about Kdenlive main developer being missing. Good news guys, Jean-Baptiste Mardelle has been finally reached and is doing fine. In a new mailing list post by Vincent Pinon, he says he managed to find Mardelle's phone number and contacted the longtime KDE developer. It was found out that Mardelle took a break over the summer but then lost motivation in Kdenlive under the burden of the ongoing refactoring of the code. Pinon agreed that there are 'so many things to redo almost from scratch just to get the 'old' functionalities'. The full story can be read from the kdenlive-devel mailing list. After talking with Jean-Baptiste, Vincent has called upon individual developers interested in Kdenlive to come forward. Among the actions called for is putting the Git master code-base back in order, ensuring the code is in good quality, provide new communication about the project, integrate new features like GPU-powered effects and a Qt5 port, and progressively integrate the new Kdenlive design."

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85 comments

Classic... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45755365)

An open source project stuck in "refactoring hell". Seems to have happened to Inkscape too. Such a waste.

Heavily refactoring projects of this size rarely brings any benefit for the users, it's just technical masturbation. If you're lucky, you will after a few years end up with a project that does the same things as before, most likely it will have acquired some bugs as icing on the cake.

Taking a few years to refactor your project might sound like a good idea at first, but chances are, you won't even be relevant anymore by the time you're done.

Some open source projects would benefit from proper managers who can stop them from shooting themselves in the foot.

Re:Classic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45755413)

After a couple of years, someone else will have come out with something newer and better, and people will have already jumped ship to that. Time marches on, progress is a necessity, and the only time something like this should be taken on is if the existing code is in such a state that moving forward is impossible. Even then it's a hail mary.

Re:Classic... (5, Insightful)

d33tah (2722297) | about 4 months ago | (#45755677)

You forgot that refactoring might decrease the maintenance costs. It's possible that the developer just found it too hard to add any new functionality to the existing codebase and figured that refactoring is the only way to go. Seriously, it's not always enough for a project to work. Actually, it usually isn't.

Re:Classic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45755761)

Refactoring should be done on a "need to basis". Need to implement a specific feature, but it's not possible within the programs architecture? Make the required changes and get on with life.

But starting a "Let's refactor just because" is a folly.

Re:Classic... (1)

icebike (68054) | about 4 months ago | (#45756381)

Refactoring should be done on a "need to basis". Need to implement a specific feature, but it's not possible within the programs architecture? Make the required changes and get on with life.

But starting a "Let's refactor just because" is a folly.

Its hard to know what forced this refactoring. Was it forced upon him by the totally mishandled move from KDE3 to KDE4, or was it something internal that he did, without realizing the amount of work involved?

Is he better off sitting back for a while while KDE again refactors its framework for KDE 5? Is that going to be yet another huge debacle, setting KDE back 4 years like the last re-factor?

At this point in time, KDE 4.12.0 is probably the best KDE in a long time. But 4.12 is probably the last bug-fix that the 4 branch will get, as all the developers have move on to 5.

Re:Classic... (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 4 months ago | (#45756973)

Is he better off sitting back for a while while KDE again refactors its framework for KDE 5?

According to what the KDE team has said, they're not refactoring anything for KDE5. It's only going to be a simple port from Qt4 to Qt5. Qt5 isn't much different from Qt4 anyway, so it's probably not going to amount to much change.

Re:Classic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45757381)

If only it were that clear cut in the real world. You can get to the point where some feature can be kludged in, so in principle you don't "need" to refactor. Maybe if that is one esoteric feature that won't need to be touched much, you can get away with it. Or maybe it is an important category, and down the line you will be adding more similar things. Or maybe the amount of work to add just one important feature is not worth the effort of keeping structure the same. In theory, you could just estimate what takes more work in the long run: refactoring with less effort for desired features and maintenance, or no refactoring with potentially substantially more effort for maintenance and new features. The problem in practice is that it can be difficult to estimate how much effort either path is, especially when refactoring is rather boring work that can burn someone out faster.

Re:Classic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45755685)

or a proper manager & architecture at the beginning so it doesn't need refactoring the first place.

Re:Classic... (5, Insightful)

d33tah (2722297) | about 4 months ago | (#45755699)

There's no such thing as proper architecture at the first try. By programming, you explore the problems you have to face. In "The Mythical Man-Month", Fred Brooks says that it's not first or second system that is correctly design, but usually the third. Rewriting is a part of a process.

Re:Classic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45756643)

I think Brooks was referring to "new projects" or at least new functionality. There've been a lot of "let's refactor for refactoring's sake" (alluded to in other posts), and even more "in order to add this small new functionality, we have to refactor"

Re:Classic... (5, Interesting)

dmbasso (1052166) | about 4 months ago | (#45755689)

I just want to point out one counterexample: Blender. The work done in the 2.5 version was huge, but it allowed lots of improvements later. Totally worth it.

Major difference (3, Informative)

MrEricSir (398214) | about 4 months ago | (#45756091)

Kdenlive is essentially one guy's hobby project. Blender has a number of professional developers working on it full time. Both are open source, but it's really an apples-to-oranges comparison.

Re:Major difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45756881)

It's not an apples-to-oranges comparison. It's not even a Blender-to-Kdenlive comparison. It's a counterexample to this argument [slashdot.org] .

Re:Major difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45757657)

It's not an apples-to-oranges comparison. It's not even a Blender-to-Kdenlive comparison. It's a counterexample to this argument [slashdot.org] .

Blender, with its professional development team is not the typical open source project. What is the point of your example?

"Taking a few years to refactor your project might sound like a good idea at first, but chances are, you won't even be relevant anymore by the time you're done." -- Bingo, every one man team should listen to this.

Re:Classic... (1)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | about 4 months ago | (#45761281)

I just want to point out one counterexample: Blender. The work done in the 2.5 version was huge, but it allowed lots of improvements later. Totally worth it.

Mozillas refactoring of Netscape enabled Phoenix/Firebird/Firefox 1.0. If you have dedicated developers, a refactoring will also make them understand the codebase fully, making it easier for them to change larger parts such as design aspects.

Xorg is trying to do the same thing with the X11 codebase. The first step was modularizing. That's a project you can get into if you are looking for something difficult but worthwhile.

Re:Classic... (2)

squiggleslash (241428) | about 4 months ago | (#45755783)

It sounds to me as if you're confusing refactoring, where existing, good, well tested, code is kept, and reorganized so that it's more maintainable, extendible, and better suited to current needs, with rewriting, where good code is thrown out and new code is written introducing new bugs.

Refactoring does not take "years". Ever.

Re:Classic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45755801)

If it's so simple, why did he burn out doing it?

Re:Classic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45757295)

Because he's a weak open source pussy developer

Re:Classic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45755821)

Unless it is the effort to get rid of the BigKernelLock in the linux kernel.

Re:Classic... (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 4 months ago | (#45757857)

...which could have been avoided in the first place, but if it had been Linux would have been an over engineered cluster fsck.

I'm a firm believer in correct first, clever later.

Re:Classic... (1)

the_other_chewey (1119125) | about 4 months ago | (#45758791)

...Linux would have been an over engineered cluster fsck.

Then let's be grateful Linux is a full OS kernel and not just its storage subsystem.

Re:Classic... (1)

hey! (33014) | about 4 months ago | (#45755887)

I don't think it's so simple as "refactoring is bad". I think i'ts more that 'stopping the delivery of new value to users is bad". Cleaning up as you go along is not only a healthy practice, actually accomplishing something new is healthy for refactoring. It keeps you focused on achieving flexibility that is actually needed as opposed to that which might be useful.

Re:Classic... (1)

thisisauniqueid (825395) | about 4 months ago | (#45756035)

An open source project stuck in "refactoring hell". Seems to have happened to Inkscape too. Such a waste.

Heavily refactoring projects of this size rarely brings any benefit for the users, it's just technical masturbation. If you're lucky, you will after a few years end up with a project that does the same things as before, most likely it will have acquired some bugs as icing on the cake.

That's why when we don't like code, we should start reimplementing it from scratch immediately.

Re:Classic... (1)

rasmusbr (2186518) | about 4 months ago | (#45756223)

Some open source projects would benefit from proper managers who can stop them from shooting themselves in the foot.

Or a bigger revenue stream that can help them stay motivated to burn hours on boring tasks. Of course it's going to take years if they average a tiny number of hours per month because the developer(s) are bored with it.

Re:Classic... (1)

Lendrick (314723) | about 4 months ago | (#45756665)

Heavily refactoring projects of this size rarely brings any benefit for the users, it's just technical masturbation. If you're lucky, you will after a few years end up with a project that does the same things as before, most likely it will have acquired some bugs as icing on the cake.

This was wrong when people said it about Netscape. It's still wrong now. It's just that the payoff is unfortunately in years and not months.

Re:Classic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45757917)

How was it wrong about Netscape? Even the people working on the project admitted it was one of the company's biggest mistakes.

Re: Classic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45758861)

The refactoring resulted in Firefox, hardly a waste

Re: Classic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45759349)

Who said it was a waste?

Re:Classic... (1)

Daniel Hoffmann (2902427) | about 4 months ago | (#45756789)

Refactoring is necessary when building up on top of the existing code stops being fun. Fun motivates programmers which in turn increase productivity and quality and specially in open source projects that are not backed by some company keeps the development going.

You might think this is all just mental masturbation but big-scale refactoring usually only starts when there is something really wrong. The main problem is that many devs when refactoring avoid the traps they triggered before but end up falling for other traps. Being a great dev is not so much about being able to code in a frenzy (like oh so many movies show), but to actually be able to maintain a big project going.

Re:Classic... (1)

suy (1908306) | about 4 months ago | (#45757161)

Heavily refactoring projects of this size rarely brings any benefit for the users, it's just technical masturbation. (...)

Some open source projects would benefit from proper managers who can stop them from shooting themselves in the foot.

You are missing an important point: many people that work on a software project in their spare time do it to have fun. I work as a programmer for a living, and at work I do what my employer wants me to do. I might not like the way I have to do things at work, but I do as my manager says.

If I work on a hobby project to have fun, I want to do things the way that make me happy. It might be the case that you are happy making a killer product that has tons of users, even if the internals are crap. Or it might be the case that you are only happy with something that has a nice architecture and uses bleeding edge technologies, even if that makes the product unstable an unpopular.

I don't know what is the state of Kdenlive and the opinion of Jean-Baptiste Mardelle, but I hope you know better if you make such assumptions about other's projects.

Re:Classic... (1)

murdocj (543661) | about 4 months ago | (#45757991)

Definitely. Just reading the mailing list entry makes this clear. It sounds like the developer was looking at doing virtually a complete rewrite in one shot, and found himself overwhelmed at that prospect. The mailing list entry just tries to break it down into some smaller projects and farm them out. Management is exactly what was needed.

Re:Classic... (1)

ghjm (8918) | about 4 months ago | (#45760329)

The word "refactor" has been insanely successful in getting managers to approve rewrites. Before the Agile Manifesto, when programmers wanted to take a completed function and write it again, they would ask to "rewrite" it. The manager would ask what's wrong with it, the programmers would say, "nothing, really" and the manager would decline the request. Now, the programmers ask to "refactor" the function, the manager asks what that means, and the programmers give a confused answer whose only consistent message is that whatever-it-is is urgently needed. So the manager says, "okay, I guess."

The first case leads to crufty codebases that are hard to add new functions to. The second case leads to writing the same functions over and over and getting nowhere. It's not clear to me which is better, but it is clear to me that substituting the word "refactor" for "rewrite" has changed the world.

a matter of syllables (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45784075)

oh dear that is hilarious. and also quite pithy. well said, good fellow! ambiguity may not be a friend of mine, but it still must be given a place at the table for any discussion of how to achieve anything.

[previewlounge posting as anonymous due to current refactoring of my forgotten password]

Kickstarter? (2)

rsilvergun (571051) | about 4 months ago | (#45755375)

it's a mature enough product that a kickstarter could probably raise the funding needed to get the work done :).

Except that Kickstart is full of mostly SCAMS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45756645)

.. and intelligent people are no longer trusting any kickstart. In fact, many people are starting to associate any kickstart project with a scam.

Last reports showed that less than 10% of the kickstart projects actually produce anything after reaching their $$$ goals and less than 1% actually deliver a working product. Most projects/companies disappear soon after cashing the target money.

Re:Except that Kickstart is full of mostly SCAMS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45756977)

.. and intelligent people are no longer trusting any kickstart. In fact, many people are starting to associate any kickstart project with a scam.

Last reports showed that less than 10% of the kickstart projects actually produce anything after reaching their $$$ goals and less than 1% actually deliver a working product. Most projects/companies disappear soon after cashing the target money.

Citation? I've backed several things on kickstarter that have finished successfully and I've also purchased products that started as kickstarter projects. Maybe I'm just really lucky or maybe I'm smart enough to not back anything that looks sketchy, but I've only had good experiences on kickstarter.

girlfriend stops speaking to you... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45755395)

...you assume something horrible has happened to girlfriend.

People like to be left alone a lot more than controlling types hope, and assume their silence must mean the worst.

I dunno... (4, Funny)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 4 months ago | (#45755431)

Sometimes when a girlfriend or wife stops speaking to you, you count your blessings and leave well enough alone.

Re:I dunno... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45756383)

With all the recursive storytelling, I'm surprised they don't run into stack overflows. Maybe that's why they suddenly get emotional.

Re:girlfriend stops speaking to you... (4, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 4 months ago | (#45755563)

When this was last a Slashdot "story" somebody said, "he's probably busy - here's his phone #, why doesn't somebody give him a call?" So, somebody did that and we get another "story".

The real "story" here is that a lead developer gave up on a project and left without communicating. Perhaps there's a good lesson here about Open Source project governance that.

Re:girlfriend stops speaking to you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45755605)

Perhaps there's a good lesson here about Open Source project governance that.

You accidentally a clause.

Re:girlfriend stops speaking to you... (1)

chromas (1085949) | about 4 months ago | (#45756393)

Nah, he just took a break but then lost motivation in his sentence under the burden of the ongoing refactoring of the code.

just popping out... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45784091)

to get a refactored code base darling, back in four years

Re:girlfriend stops speaking to you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45756099)

Well, that's one story. Another story is the fact that those tech sites that reported on this "story" and would deign to give the slightest nod to journalistic standards, simply engaged in clueless speculation rather than attempting to contact the developer.

Re:girlfriend stops speaking to you... (0)

epyT-R (613989) | about 4 months ago | (#45756311)

Yes.. just like we should remember what happens to proprietary products that are abandoned, or worse, suppressed by their creators, because they conflict with new, less consumer friendly business models. SaaS is the end game for this. At least kdenlive's open source status enables the possibility of someone else picking up the project.

Re:girlfriend stops speaking to you... (1)

murdocj (543661) | about 4 months ago | (#45757943)

Well, it's a question of which is the bigger risk: a proprietary product is abandoned because the company doesn't have the revenue stream to support it, or an open source project dies because no one wants to pick it up. Yes, there's the "possibility" that someone else will pick up an open source project, but that's just a possibility. There's also the possibility that someone will like a proprietary product enough to pay to keep it going. It's not like Open Source is a guaranteed win.

Re:girlfriend stops speaking to you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45758125)

You can also pay to keep the open source project going. Nothing in life is a guarantee, but sometimes things give you a superset of options.

Re:girlfriend stops speaking to you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45759775)

Yeah, someone else is totally going to pick up a project that even the lead developer gave up on refactoring.

so a guy works for free and quits and people freak (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45755541)

who cares?

Re:so a guy works for free and quits and people fr (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 4 months ago | (#45755735)

It's still a bit worrying how things are arranged in open source if the lead developer of a major KDE video editing suite can just disappear on a whim and later just say "nah, I didn't feel it anymore". He didn't even write a "guys, I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed" message but made people worry if something bad had happened to him.

What would happen if the lead developer of Apple's iMovie just didn't appear at workplace after his summer break?

Re:so a guy works for free and quits and people fr (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45755767)

They'd replace him with one of the many other people working on it.

Re:so a guy works for free and quits and people fr (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45756051)

They'd replace him with one of the many other people working on it.

Exactly. The big issue here is that these projects have so very few major contributors. It starts out as a one man project, picks up a few contributors who do translations and submit perhaps two bug fixes. Next thing you know there are ten "developers" making demands on the direction of the project and saying that the code is too complex for them to contribute and that it must be refactored. I don't blame the lead developer(only real contributor) for throwing their hands in the air and saying; "Fuck it! I can't be bothered anymore." They can just pick up a copy of Windows 8 which includes a more powerful and easier to use video editing application [microsoft.com] out of the box. Not to mention several other free or inexpensive video edition applications.

Now, before anyone starts arguing with this opinion, consider that regardless of what happens to the lead developer, the code still exists and is free. It could easily be continued by the remaining developer body or forked by one or more contributors that could carry on the project. Even in the case of Kdenlive where apparently only one man knows how to make the partially refactored code work(?), the old full featured and working version still exists and could be continued on. But that's not happening because no such body of real contributors exists.

Continuation of development is not happening because there are no other major contributors to the project. There is the initial main developer and a bunch of wannabe hangers-on prattling on in the mailing list. The primary developer loses interest and the project is DEAD! Once again leaving the Linux desktop without a video editor that any normal person could use.

Well, maybe 2014 will be the year of the Linux desktop. But, frankly I fear that in 2014 Netcraft will confirm that the Linux desktop is dying

Re:so a guy works for free and quits and people fr (0)

epyT-R (613989) | about 4 months ago | (#45756385)

It's not dead as long as there are users using it who are satisfied with its current capabilities. If there's sufficient demand, it will at least be maintained at its current functionality by the linux distributions. The support libraries it depends on aren't going anywhere. If there's a lot of demand for new functionality, it will attract developers again.

It's proprietary solutions like your 'microsoft video' link that are purposely hobbled and/or disappear once a better (for the vendor) business model comes along. Microsoft's solutions become more dumbed down and useless with each iteration, and you're basically stuck with 'dead' versions if you want to retain older functionality missing in the new one. How is this any less 'dead'?

Re:so a guy works for free and quits and people fr (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 4 months ago | (#45756413)

It will disappear? How so? Is Microsoft going to force people to uninstall it?

Re:so a guy works for free and quits and people fr (0)

epyT-R (613989) | about 4 months ago | (#45756435)

Using an older version of windows just as 'dead' as using an unmaintained open source application..

Re:so a guy works for free and quits and people fr (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 4 months ago | (#45756495)

Nice try at goalpost shifting. So now do you care to show how it will "disappear"?

Re:so a guy works for free and quits and people fr (1)

murdocj (543661) | about 4 months ago | (#45757949)

Exactly. Both are unmaintained. In other words, there's no advantage to the open source project over the proprietary one if neither is maintained.

Stop Right There! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45760037)

Using an older version of windows just as 'dead' as using an unmaintained open source application..

I can't recite the countless number of OSS project that were included in major distros that, became unmaintained, fell out of favor or God knows what that became unusable due to new version(even kernel) incompatibilities. The numerous repeated times that a music collection with its database of playlists, album art, and meta data that was rendered useless because of some change or another either in the project, kernel, or distro.

Kdenliven is now for all intents and purposes dead! After 10 years, but before it got out of the gate with a stable version, it's dead. No distro is going to package it now that it is broken and unmaintained. And it is to be replaced with what? There continues to be a massive dearth of Linux video editing software that is even remotely approachable by normal users. There are at least half a dozen really good free options for Windows users and just as many fantastic paid options available.

Re:so a guy works for free and quits and people fr (0)

epyT-R (613989) | about 4 months ago | (#45756329)

He isn't obligated to tell anyone anything, nor is he responsible for other peoples' 'worry'.

Re:so a guy works for free and quits and people fr (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 4 months ago | (#45756395)

Well, technically not. I mean that it would have been ethically fair to let others know.

Re:so a guy works for free and quits and people fr (1, Informative)

epyT-R (613989) | about 4 months ago | (#45756467)

I don't agree. Someone can up and leave a personal project any time they choose. They should not be obligated to prop up anyone's feelings.

Re:so a guy works for free and quits and people fr (2)

jones_supa (887896) | about 4 months ago | (#45756585)

It makes it different because there was other people involved and Kdenlive has a status of being an important software.

Re:so a guy works for free and quits and people fr (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45757945)

It still makes no difference because he still do not owe anything to people who have decided they find his work important. If I like what you write on ./ do you owe to me to write new stuff whenever i want it, or to inform me when you go away for a period of time?

Re:so a guy works for free and quits and people fr (2)

jones_supa (887896) | about 4 months ago | (#45758143)

It still makes no difference because he still do not owe anything to people who have decided they find his work important.

I certainly think he owes. Not juridically but as part of having good manners.

Re:so a guy works for free and quits and people fr (1)

murdocj (543661) | about 4 months ago | (#45757963)

Ah yes, thus reinforcing the stereotype of programmers as have zero empathy for others.

Re:so a guy works for free and quits and people fr (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45757913)

I think people who use terms like "open source" and "closed source" should realise that the type of source does not mean much about how its handled. You should rather look at the project as either a hobby or business venture. This guy did a hobby project and afaik he never signed any contract with anyone to agree to keep them updated with his whereabouts (or to finish the project), and he is free to do so. The lead of IMovie would be replaced (as he is not fulfilling his contract). There is probably a lot of old "closed source" software of old that today is just as lost in limbo, the 1-man-company behind it simply vanished (remember shareware?).

If you want kdenlive bad enough, sign a contract with a(/some) dev(s). and pay them, otherwise you really have no say over what choices other people make.

When people complain about a business not making a project they were planning on (due to realising it wont pay off). Those complaints are sent straight to /dev/null despite there often being a client-relationship.

Re:so a guy works for free and quits and people fr (1)

folderol (1965326) | about 4 months ago | (#45755805)

Anyone with a little empathy.

Re:so a guy works for free and quits and people fr (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45755927)

7+ billion people found to not contributing as Kdenlive main developers have continued to not respond regarding their total absence from the project.

Why is everyone worried about the guy who gave the most already leaving? There are literally billions of people who gave nothing, and they haven't justified their continuing to do so. If you don't want to work on any particular project donating your time to the world, that is not a problem, its simply a lack of giving an undeserved gift to the rest of us.

I suspect this guy was driven from the project that he loved by the burden of it. That hurts him far more than it hurts us, so yes, we should have empathy to him: he gave is great gifts, and now suffers for it. Thank you Jean-Baptiste Mardelle: I don't know what the hell Kdenlive is, but it looks opensource, and a lot of work, so I'm glad to have more code out there for people to use.

unspoken caveat explains spiritual paralysis (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45755619)

nothing really matters (except me) anymore. free the innocent stem cells.

LET IT DIE !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45755627)

Think of the children !! Think of the children's children !! Think of the children's children's children !! LET IT DIE !!

I just wonder... (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 4 months ago | (#45755675)

Would things have been better if the project was financially sponsored better? Mardelle might have been much more motivated to continue the work on the refactoring and, he might not have just disappeared because of "what's there for me in it".

Software Developer Feared To Be Dead (4, Funny)

Ukab the Great (87152) | about 4 months ago | (#45755981)

Found alive having a life. More news at a 11.

Re:Software Developer Feared To Be Dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45756503)

Welcome to our Eleven'O'clock News, with our handsome and beautiful reporters and sexy weather girls. As reported earlier today, a software developer feared to be dead was found having a life. It has now emerged that he may have found a woman. The Élysée Palace has not commented on the news, despite numerous interview attempts of our intrepid reporters.

OOP To The Rescue! (0)

Lawrence_Bird (67278) | about 4 months ago | (#45756343)

Code reuse? Readability? Maintainability? Wasn't OOP suppose to solve that? Isn't that why poor old Fortran (and others) are hated on? (eventhough it now too is tainted with objects)

i'm only half mocking here...but when one reads about these code debacles you have to wonder why people are so in love with OOP.

Re:OOP To The Rescue! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45756725)

Becasuse it looks great to academics who can't actually program, and instead teach it to the unsuspecting.

Re:OOP To The Rescue! (1)

dcollins117 (1267462) | about 4 months ago | (#45756781)

Code reuse? Readability? Maintainability? Wasn't OOP suppose to solve that?

It was supposed to help. It turns out writing reusable software is very hard to do. Though OOP is only one technology that has promised more than it can deliver.

I remember when I first learned about COM in the mid 80's, and how revolutionary it would be. You just plug software components together like breadboarding a hardware circuit. I thought to myself "Great! I can just unplug the editor in my IDE, plug in a Emacs component and I'll be good to go."

Seems like we should be able to do that, doesn't it? Needless to say, it's near the end of 2013 and we are nowhere close to having that functionality for either the developer or user. Ah, well.

Re:OOP To The Rescue! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45759445)

You mean to say that you don't use Emacs as an IDE, web browser, and email client? Shocking!

Way To Embarrass Him (1)

enter to exit (1049190) | about 4 months ago | (#45756681)

I'm sure he still maintains some interest in KDE and reads the tech news..chances are he saw the initial brouhaha regarding his absence and ignored it.

Way to embarrass him...this whole adventure, from beginning to end, reeks of a serious lack of basic communication and social skills.

Re:Way To Embarrass Him (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45757989)

On the part of everyone but the guy himself. I simply can not see what this guy owes you and why he are somehow not allowed to live his own life without informing you.

Motivation (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45756785)

If somebody pays me for three months to re-invent the wheel then I can cope with that. OTOH 'why' volunteer when so few join in and make it a party of like-minds in an orgy of better engineering?

For me a lot of programming is like playing with a model railway. It's an intellectual and artistic diversion where detail matters... ...Which is why I can't understand the 'open for gacking' methods of Git/Guthub. I want newbies to be mentored then directed then become part of a team that knows how to jointly own an objective and share the methods.

     

There's a word for that type of thing. (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 4 months ago | (#45756809)

There's a word that describes what happened exactly: Gafiate. [wikipedia.org] Gafiating is sort of like taking a vacation, but it's a vacation from your hobby or other spare-time activity, such as working on OSS projects. Sometimes, you just have to walk away for a while until the interest comes back. If nothing else, it's good to know that there's nothing seriously wrong.

Re:There's a word for that type of thing. (2)

ShoulderOfOrion (646118) | about 4 months ago | (#45758821)

Actually, I think more OSS project developers should do something like this. This is what I do all the time on my projects. If the software is working but 1) you're getting burned out, 2) you want to re-write it from scratch, 3) you're wandering off on some tangent, 4) real life happens, well, STOP.

The code works. Leave it alone. Don't break it. Don't touch it. Take a breather. Meditate about something else. Read a good book. Don't start typing in more code until you're relaxed and refreshed and eager. If you're still excited about the code you've probably already been thinking about it and have changed the architecture in your mind half a dozen times, and have already iterated on a much better solution than the abomination you would have hacked up in a hurry earlier. Good. If you'd rather move on that's fine too, just announce it's over and let someone else pick it up if they're interested.

Way too many developers are like manic bridge builders--they build a perfectly fine and functional wooden bridge across a river, but then decide they should have built it in concrete with twice as many lanes. They destroy the old functional bridge by driving concrete pilings through it and get the new bridge built halfway across the river before running out of drive, materials, or both. The end result is yet another project plunging into obscurity. Don't do that.

Incredible (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#45759333)

This is incredible. Not only you have to work for free and do a job that gets zero social recognition, but you have to do it forever. If you try to escape THEY WILL FIND YOU!

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