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Perl for the Disabled

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the tmtowtdi dept.

Perl 55

joukev writes "Perl.com is running an article on pVoice. pVoice is an Open Source communication system for severely disabled children written in Perl. I started this for my daughter in 2001. She's still using it and hopefully the medical world will see that there are Open Source alternatives for these kinds of applications. More information on pVoice can be found on the pVoice website (general information) or on the pVoice Developers website."

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"Perl for the disabled"? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6824224)

I think you'll find the proper name is "PHP".

Re:"Perl for the disabled"? (0, Flamebait)

MattCohn.com (555899) | more than 11 years ago | (#6824457)

I didn't know that severely disabled children could be written in Perl. Live and learn. But seriously, looks like a very interesting idea and application. Allowing people to select from pre-defined items or write their own words using only what limited muscle movment they have. In this case, moving the head left and right.

Re:"Perl for the disabled"? (1)

iMMersE (226214) | more than 11 years ago | (#6824553)

Easy.

#!/usr/bin/perl
print "severely disabled children"

hahaha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6824464)

that was so obvious :)

Good to see (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6824723)

Perl working with the disabled, the retarded have had all Perl's attention to date.

Re:"Perl for the disabled"? (1)

el-spectre (668104) | more than 11 years ago | (#6828633)

Damn man, that's cold...

PC alert! (0, Troll)

jdclucidly (520630) | more than 11 years ago | (#6824374)

The blaring political incorrectness of the headline is so compelling, I have to comment. One never refers to a person by their disability. People aren't defined as "the disabled" as though their disability is the most significant part of their identity. The correct and respectful approach is to say "people with disabilities".

See Guidelines for Reporting and Writing about People with Disabilities [ku.edu] for more info.

Re:PC alert! (0, Troll)

cloak42 (620230) | more than 11 years ago | (#6824443)

Y'know, for people who have to overcome absurdly high hurdles and who generally come out unscatched, people sure make a big deal about their feelings. Most "people with disabilities" could care less what you called them.

It reminds me of how people make such a big deal about calling Indians "Native Americans" when, in fact, they're entirely wrong about why they're called "Indians" in the first place, and they seem to completely remove the opinions of the involved parties, who are perfectly fine with being called "Indians."

Re:PC alert! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6824595)

Surely, if they "could care less", that implies that they do care, and therefore are concerned about what they are referred to as.

Disclaimer: Yes, I am aware of the use of the phrase "could care less" in spoken American English as to mean "couldn't care less", but in this case I think it needs to be mentioned.

Re:PC alert! (1)

cloak42 (620230) | more than 11 years ago | (#6824994)

Forgive my use of the colloquialism, given the fact that it was so apparent from the context of what I was saying that I was really inferring the fact that they could, indeed, care less.

Re:PC alert! (1)

jdclucidly (520630) | more than 11 years ago | (#6825226)

You clearly don't know anyone living with a disability. It's an extremely contentious issue and is at the heart of how our legislators and society handle people with disabilities. We perceive, as a society -- and as you did above --, that all people with disabilities have disabilities that greatly impair their self-sufficiency. This is not true. People with significantly impairing disabilities are in the minority, however, we all get lumped together in this big "they-are-not-self-sufficient-therefore-they-are-i ncapable-of-making-decisions-to-govern-their-own-l ives" pot..

It's this kind of bullsh*t that gets us needlessly put in to workshops making less than $3.00/hour in the name of "mercy". The system is set up to keep us from getting real jobs -- a prejudice expectation is there that no one will hire us because we may need a special piece of equipment to do our jobs. Most people fall in to the state's Vocational Rehabilitation system and never get out.

Re:PC alert! (1)

cloak42 (620230) | more than 11 years ago | (#6825283)

You clearly don't know anyone living with a disability.

I'll give you an opportunity to take your foot out of your mouth. That was an incredibly not-thought-out statement.

Yes, of COURSE I've known people who live with disabilities. I grew up with them in school, worked with them directly, and have them in my family.

And you know what? I've never once met a disabled person who feels sorry for him- or herself to a point where they would make a big deal about HOW they were referred to. Most disabled persons would be glad enough that legislators even take the time out of their day to deal with them in the first place.

Calling them "disabled people" instead of "people with disabilities" is just more politically correct bullshit that doesn't do anything to change the real opinions of people. Saying "people with disabilities" no more makes people think of them in a different way than saying "person with homosexual preferences" instead of "gay person" would make somebody think differently of them.

I prefer to call a spade a spade and TREAT them as people rather than just pay them lip service that way.

Re:PC alert! (1)

WTFmonkey (652603) | more than 11 years ago | (#6826377)

0) Are you trolling? If so, nicely done. It got me going, but I'm in a peculiar mood today, so what the hell. Here's some food. 1) You can say bullshit. There's no need to euphemize here. If you want to say bullshit, say bullshit. If you don't, say horsepuckey or poppycock. Don't be half-assed with your swearing, it's a style thang. 2) Your post, with all the "we"s and "us"s and "most people"s and "You clearly don't know..." is incredibly general and assumptive. All generalities are false, including this one. 3) You sound awefully sorry for yourself. It is this chest-beating and wailing over your fate that really pisses people off. Ever heard of a self-fulfilling prophecy? My guess is, if you went in to interview for a job, and you are the most qualified candidate, you'll get it. We've got a couple people with physical issues in our office, but they're damn good scientists. 4) I couldn't insult the people that I hang out with by calling them names if I wanted to. Wetback, Stumpy, Jewboy, Lardass, you name it we've called each other it. Quit looking for offense where none is intended. 5) I read a short sci-fi story a while back (sorry, can't remember who wrote or what it was called). Basically, the story was about a group of teachers sitting around and planning their curricula. They sat with a list of groups protesting said curricula. The Christians were offended by the ghost in Hamlet and Ophelia was offensive to women's groups, so they couldn't teach Hamlet. Anything that might be remotely offensive to anyone couldn't be taught in school, and so the entire educational system fell apart. Does that scare you? It's what you're heading towards. 6) I'm done now, I'm going to stop before I get offensive. Although I do feel much better now, thanks.

Re:PC alert! (2, Interesting)

Lemmeoutada Collecti (588075) | more than 11 years ago | (#6827565)

As someone who is helping two disabled roommates and who's brother is disabled, I can say that the four of us are more offended by people who spend hours arguing over what to call a disabled person rather than addressing the ways to help them.

While yes, many litigious (sp?) society there are lawsuits galore over those words, I would rather hear from someone who dedicates over 50% of their time to helping people. Making changes in that Vocational Rehabilitation system. (Voc Rehab is a disagreeable name in itself, why are they being 'rehabilitated'?)

I myself would be part of that system if I chose to spend my time complaining that I would prefer to be called a 'person with a disability' instead of finding what I AM able to do and getting my butt out there and doing it. I do not rely on any state, social, or other support, and have spent much of my life learning how to improve my able qualities so that I do not need that support.

My biggest pet peeve is not being called one thing or another, but when I let myself fall short of my abilities. I know I am intelligent, and that there are jobs out there that intelligent people can do. I know some can't hear, but there are jobs at which deaf people would have an advantage (Jet Engine Mechanic, other jobs with high noise levels.) The key is to turn the disability into an asset, and use the OTHER abilities you have. Not waste time telling everyone how you cannot do things. Show them what you can do.

Re:PC alert! (1)

isorox (205688) | more than 11 years ago | (#6825394)

Most "people with disabilities" could care less what you called them.

Why is is "could care less" - that implies they care about it slightly. "Couldn't care less" means you dont care at all, what I've alwayys said. ("What do you want for dinner//couldn't care less").

Re:PC alert! (1)

WTFmonkey (652603) | more than 11 years ago | (#6825714)

Christ, man, if you're going to correct someone at least use proper spelling and grammar yourself. That just makes you look bad.

Re:PC alert! (1)

isorox (205688) | more than 11 years ago | (#6825893)

I wasnt trying to correct him, I was just generally interested if he deliberatly chose "could care" instead of "couldnt care". I've seen tons of people doing it, and was wondering who was wrong

Re:PC alert! (1)

WTFmonkey (652603) | more than 11 years ago | (#6826821)

Ah, sorry. Jumping the gun on Friday I guess, looking to get out of the office.

For what it's worth, I've always heard "could care less" but have always thought it's wrong. I say "couldn't care less" because it makes sense.

A similar one is "For Christ sakes," which is meaningless. What they mean is "for Christ's sake," but everyone always throws that extra s on there. Weird.

Re:PC alert! (1)

kruntiform (664538) | more than 11 years ago | (#6827402)

"Could care less" is American; "couldn't care less" is British. The American one isn't strictly logical, but that doesn't mean it's wrong because idiomatic expressions often aren't strictly logical (double negatives for instance). Personally, I'm not bothered which version people use because I understand what they mean.

Re:PC alert! (1)

WTFmonkey (652603) | more than 11 years ago | (#6827860)

In On Writing Steve King has a section on grammar, saying that American English isn't as sturdy as British English, and that "a British advertising exec with a good education can make an ad for ribbed condoms sound like the Magna gaddamn Carta." That always cracked me up.

Re:PC alert! (1)

be-fan (61476) | more than 11 years ago | (#6830995)

Whoa, you touched on two things I don't like:

1) It might not bother you to call them something, even if you mean no offense, but it might bother them. Think about it this way: if you were a houskeeper or a butler, would you prefer to be called "the help," or would you rather be referred to by a more dignified job title? In general, people don't like to be considered secondary to one of their traits.

2) The Indian thing has to stop. It necessitates making annoying clarifications like "feather Indian, not dot Indian." *You* may not care, but be assured that Indians (both kinds!) do.

Re:PC alert! (1)

joukev (621725) | more than 11 years ago | (#6824447)

Forgive my incorrectness. The reason for my mistake can easily be that English is not my native tongue...

Re:PC alert! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6824473)

Isn't that like referring to "murders" as "people with murderous tendencies"?

Re:PC alert! (2, Funny)

hesiod (111176) | more than 11 years ago | (#6824899)

> Isn't that like referring to "murders" as "people with murderous tendencies"?

No, because I have murderous tendencies, but I am not a murderer. Not yet, at least.

Re:PC alert! (1)

Merlin42 (148225) | more than 11 years ago | (#6825280)

NO! For starters your analogy should be:
Isn't that like referring to "murders" as "people who were convicted of murder"

This would definately be a more respectful way to refer to murderers, of course I do not think 'murderers' deserve any extra respect since they have chosen to be a 'murderer' (otherwise it would be manslaughter or similar)

On the other hand persons with disabilities did not choose to be disabled and IMNSHO deserve as much respect as any other person (sans murderers).

Re:PC alert! (1)

TuringTest (533084) | more than 11 years ago | (#6824509)

Really is that big difference between "disabled people" and "people with disabilities?" If it said "handicapped", "disqualified" or "restricted" people i would understand, but what is so negative about the word "disability"?

And did you never thought that all this ranting about the "correct" way to use language is MORE offendig to people with disabilities, as if they should be protected and they were unable to face these colloquial, conversational terms?

.Sig Spelling Nazi! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6824798)

It's chaos [m-w.com] .

Re:.Sig Spelling Nazi! (1)

jdclucidly (520630) | more than 11 years ago | (#6825255)

Notice that "disabled people" wasn't used in the headline, though. Language is powerful and as someone that works in the disabilities field. In order of most offensive to most respectful: "the disabled," "disabled people," "people with disabilites." Language has a powerful influence on how we perceive things.

Re:PC alert! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6825418)

Ok, now we know that crips don't like to be called 'disabled'.

Do tards have a preference to what they're called?

Thank you. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6825662)

That was the funniest thing I've seen all day.

Re:Thank you. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6825962)

You need to read alt.tasteless then. It's a load of laughs!

Re:PC alert! (1)

Doesn't_Comment_Code (692510) | more than 11 years ago | (#6825671)

That is ridiculous. You are cooking up offense where none is meant. As long as you are looking for something to offend you, you will find it.

My own language is exactly that... my own. I don't appreciate others telling me what I should say, or how I should say it. I assume you would react similarly if I provided you with a new set of rules for your speech.

A new PC term has a lifespan of 10 years anyway, because after that time, someone will start saying that term is offensive. And a new term will be accepted. That is an endless process that leads nowhere.

My advice is to be offended only by people who are utterly offensive, and don't nitpick everyone else.

Re:PC alert! (1)

gurps_npc (621217) | more than 11 years ago | (#6828628)

This is a perfect example of people misusing PC ideas to disrespect the people they claim they are helping.

The article is specifically discussing their disability. As such it IS appropriate to identify the people by the fact that they are disabled.

Refering to them in this context as "people with disabilities" is INSULTING, it implies that this article is not for people that have the disabilities, but instead for those that are tending to them.

When talking about the disabilites themselves, it is appropriate to talk about the disabled people, but when talking about the people that have them, it is appropriate to talk about people with disabilities.

Re:PC alert! (1)

jdclucidly (520630) | more than 11 years ago | (#6829294)

That's has got to be one of the stupidest things I've ever read on Slashdot.

Re:PC alert! (1)

gurps_npc (621217) | more than 11 years ago | (#6851203)

The original objection to the terminology was the stupidest thing. It was off topic, and offensive.

The concept of Politically correct has been high-jacked by the morons that want to discredit it.

Re:PC alert! (1)

pyrrhonist (701154) | more than 11 years ago | (#6830446)

It's NOT a disability at all, you insensitive clod!

When "disability" influences identity... (1)

Two99Point80 (542678) | more than 11 years ago | (#6834925)

I am autistic (and my username is the DSM code for autism [autistics.org] ). A common but IMO erroneous view of autism is that there is a "real person 'trapped inside' the autism". That sure isn't my experience [bellsouthpwp.net] - what I am is an autistic person, not a person with (and therefore concealed by) autism.

This may not be case for every condition labeled a "disability"; just speaking up for my own circumstances :-)

Re:When "disability" influences identity... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6847673)

You retards should just commit suicide and save society the expense of paying for your fucking problems.

Re:PC alert! (1)

hotwheel (699674) | more than 11 years ago | (#6875778)

I am a disabled person. Yes, not a "person with a disability", a disabled person. You can't miss it. I use a wheelchair, there is no hiding it. Myself, and most others I know don't care for political correctness because it candy coats the real issues. It actually diverts the focus from things like accessibility or access programs to "let's make sure everyone feels good about being a person". Whatever - get on with life, start something creative and fresh, then people will not only recognize you as a person, they will recognize you as a success, disabled or not.

The wrong free distinction, it's free as in speech (1)

JayBonci (92015) | more than 11 years ago | (#6824462)

Not that I'm a license stickler usually, but from the article:

All pVoice software is free. Yes, free as in 'free beer'. You can download the software, try it out, if it's usable, you keep it, if you think it's worthless, you delete it. No charge. In fact, if you think it almost does what you want and you have some programming experience, you can download the program sourcecode, modify it and use that too. Again, no charge.

That does not mean pVoice software doesn't have a license agreement. The software is released under the terms of the "Artistic License". You can find the details of the Artistic license here.



Why this is somewhat amusing is that it's the other kind of "free" (as in speech) as well, but people who usually use the beer analogy typically mean that it's not the other.

I'm also really glad to see people sponsoring him and donating licenses to software for development of it. Another cool example about how this community helps support itself.

Re:The wrong free distinction, it's free as in spe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6824848)

Serious question : "Free as in beer?" What does that actually mean? Beer isn't free. Does it mean that if you go to Dublin [guinness.com] or Copenhagen [carlsberg.com] , you can go and see how it's made, therefore being analagous to see the source of that latest program you just downloaded?

Please, explain!

PS. Yeah, AC, I know, I swear I'll come back and read any replies.

Re:The wrong free distinction, it's free as in spe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6824974)

Ahhh, I think I get it. "Free as in beer" is that you've robbed someone elses idea, and implemented it in a much less user-friendly way and environment. "Free as in speech" is that you want to retain the right to do this. Nice.

Re:The wrong free distinction, it's free as in spe (2, Informative)

kruntiform (664538) | more than 11 years ago | (#6826082)

Why this is somewhat amusing is that it's the other kind of "free" (as in speech) as well

The Artistic License may or may not be free (as in RMS). Here's what the FSF says about it:
We cannot say that this is a free software license because it is too vague; some passages are too clever for their own good, and their meaning is not clear. We urge you to avoid using it, except as part of the disjunctive license of Perl.


The problems are matters of wording, not substance. There is a revised version of the Artistic License (dubbed "The Artistic License 2.0") which is a free software license, and even compatible with the GNU GPL. This license is being considered for use in Perl 6. If you are thinking of releasing a program under the Artistic License, please do investigate other GPL-compatible, Free Software licensing options listed here first.
[link [fsf.org] ]

Free as in "The Only Viable Alternative" (2, Informative)

WildFire42 (262051) | more than 11 years ago | (#6824535)

Having tried to find Assistive Technology products in the past for people, to meet specific needs, this really gets my hopes up in two seperate ways:

1. Someone saw a specific need and developed an application around it. As he said in the text, the closest application available would not suffice.
2. Too many Assistive Technology products are horrendously expensive. JAWS, the de facto screen reader for Windows, can be $1500 for an individual user for one computer only. There are discounts, grants, and loans available out there for Assistive Technology, but they can be hard to get.

The only other fully featured screen reader that I've been able to find is emacspeak [cornell.edu] , but there's little out there in full screen navigation screen readers for Windows, Macintosh, etc. (in terms of Free).

Re:Free as in "The Only Viable Alternative" (1)

jmitchel!jmitchel.co (254506) | more than 11 years ago | (#6824849)

I don't really blame JAWS for being so expensive. I would expect (not being a windows developer) that it is a rather difficult thing to get right, and there is a very limited market. This app is pretty nifty, but at least an order of magnitude easier to write.

I wonder if there is or if there should be a clearing house for Free/Open assistive technology projects and Request For Projects. I think it would be astoundingly nifty to work on some of this stuff, but I don't really know where to start.

Kudos To a Father (1)

JoeSmack (540377) | more than 11 years ago | (#6824888)

This is a great story about a father doing something for his daughter and the community. I'm encouraged by the story.

Re:Kudos To a Father (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6824948)

Me too - Encouraged that I can go out, get pissed drunk, drive home, crash the car, because severely retarded and STILL have someone help me. Thanks Dad!

Re:Kudos To a Father (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6825358)

sorry dood, you're already retarded

Re:Kudos To a Father (4, Informative)

Kalak (260968) | more than 11 years ago | (#6826115)

Coming from a parent of a child with Apraxia due to prematurity (she canComing from a parent of a child with Apraxia [apraxia.org] due to prematurity (she can't control her mouth and tongue muscles well enough to speak), I'd like to ask any developers with a desire to work on a feel good project to get into this. If you want to feel like you're making a real difference, this beats programming the latest video game (and I'm a gamer).

This is probably the motivation that will get me to learn Perl finally. This could give my child (who also has trouble signing ASL) a voice, and it's not costing an arm and a leg (ok, so she'd need a notebook to take with her, but that's minor compared to the potential).

For the first time since I've been reading it, I'm proud of /. for posting something that proves the power of people, not just the power of open source. I'll thank the programmers with my help and praise, but I'd like to thank joukev for catching it, and michael for posting it (and all the little people in the world for making me tall). /. has done it's good deed for the day.

Re:Kudos To a Father (3, Insightful)

MountainLogic (92466) | more than 11 years ago | (#6826234)

This really points to a niche whre open source can shine. One person can make a core and release that as open source. Others can join in and extend it as needed. In the pharmacutical world they would call such diseases, "orphan." THese can be really great projects for "mortal" programmers to contribute to while jumping into the Linux kernel is non-trivial. A little perl or java can go a long way to greatly improving the quality of life for thouse outside of the mainstream. I've seen the good that can happen at my own company when we do even a small bit of pro bono work for sick kids. You should see their faces when they know that someone cares and took the time to help.

hmm... (1)

stames (692349) | more than 11 years ago | (#6825719)

...pVoice is an Open Source communication system for severely disabled children written in Perl.

Personally all of the severely disabled children I've come across have been coded in Lisp.

(i'm going to hell)

Section 508 Compliance (3, Interesting)

globalar (669767) | more than 11 years ago | (#6826350)

You may remember that Congress passed the Rehabilitation Act in 1998, which applied to the all Federal Agencies and their workforces:

"Section 508 requires that Federal agencies' electronic and information technology is accessible to people with disabilities.


from section508.gov [section508.gov]

After this the Federal Government created the Accessibility Forum [accessibilityforum.org] to bring industry and government into some agreement and cooperation on standards, as well as highlight existing technology and its weaknesses.

I spoke with the original Accessibility Forum director and my first question was,"What about open source?"

He said that the major distributions of Linux would not have anything to do with it. It was a commerical field dominated by proprietary business-models. I explained to him that if the government took an initiative for open source software in this area, not just openly approved standards, the results could have global impact for the disabled community. If he really wanted to do something that would help people, I insisted, he should focus on making the technology open and free to use.

Interesting, he also said that the lady representing Microsoft was "a bitch."

I know this is a niche market, certainly much smaller in the open source world, but this is an area where open source software can really help humanity. Want good publicity for the cause? Want to get people to notice OSS and its decidely non-commerical interests? Want people who have never heard of Linux to try a live-linux distribution? Software such as pVoice is one way.

Computers are starting to affect everyone

Inspiring (1)

Capt_Troy (60831) | more than 11 years ago | (#6826793)

Fantastic work. You are an inspiration!

TRoy

Perl + disabled = slashcode (1, Funny)

mhesseltine (541806) | more than 11 years ago | (#6827372)

The source [slashcode.org]

Developer laments: What Killed FreeBSD (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6847659)

The End of FreeBSD

[ed. note: in the following text, former FreeBSD developer Mike Smith gives his reasons for abandoning FreeBSD]

When I stood for election to the FreeBSD core team nearly two years ago, many of you will recall that it was after a long series of debates during which I maintained that too much organisation, too many rules and too much formality would be a bad thing for the project.

Today, as I read the latest discussions on the future of the FreeBSD project, I see the same problem; a few new faces and many of the old going over the same tired arguments and suggesting variations on the same worthless schemes. Frankly I'm sick of it.

FreeBSD used to be fun. It used to be about doing things the right way. It used to be something that you could sink your teeth into when the mundane chores of programming for a living got you down. It was something cool and exciting; a way to spend your spare time on an endeavour you loved that was at the same time wholesome and worthwhile.

It's not anymore. It's about bylaws and committees and reports and milestones, telling others what to do and doing what you're told. It's about who can rant the longest or shout the loudest or mislead the most people into a bloc in order to legitimise doing what they think is best. Individuals notwithstanding, the project as a whole has lost track of where it's going, and has instead become obsessed with process and mechanics.

So I'm leaving core. I don't want to feel like I should be "doing something" about a project that has lost interest in having something done for it. I don't have the energy to fight what has clearly become a losing battle; I have a life to live and a job to keep, and I won't achieve any of the goals I personally consider worthwhile if I remain obligated to care for the project.

Discussion

I'm sure that I've offended some people already; I'm sure that by the time I'm done here, I'll have offended more. If you feel a need to play to the crowd in your replies rather than make a sincere effort to address the problems I'm discussing here, please do us the courtesy of playing your politics openly.

From a technical perspective, the project faces a set of challenges that significantly outstrips our ability to deliver. Some of the resources that we need to address these challenges are tied up in the fruitless metadiscussions that have raged since we made the mistake of electing officers. Others have left in disgust, or been driven out by the culture of abuse and distraction that has grown up since then. More may well remain available to recruitment, but while the project is busy infighting our chances for successful outreach are sorely diminished.

There's no simple solution to this. For the project to move forward, one or the other of the warring philosophies must win out; either the project returns to its laid-back roots and gets on with the work, or it transforms into a super-organised engineering project and executes a brilliant plan to deliver what, ultimately, we all know we want.

Whatever path is chosen, whatever balance is struck, the choosing and the striking are the important parts. The current indecision and endless conflict are incompatible with any sort of progress.

Trying to dissect the above is far beyond the scope of any parting shot, no matter how distended. All I can really ask of you all is to let go of the minutiae for a moment and take a look at the big picture. What is the ultimate goal here? How can we get there with as little overhead as possible? How would you like to be treated by your fellow travellers?

Shouts

To the Slashdot "BSD is dying" crowd - big deal. Death is part of the cycle; take a look at your soft, pallid bodies and consider that right this very moment, parts of you are dying. See? It's not so bad.

To the bulk of the FreeBSD committerbase and the developer community at large - keep your eyes on the real goals. It's when you get distracted by the politickers that they sideline you. The tireless work that you perform keeping the system clean and building is what provides the platform for the obsessives and the prima donnas to have their moments in the sun. In the end, we need you all; in order to go forwards we must first avoid going backwards.

To the paranoid conspiracy theorists - yes, I work for Apple too. No, my resignation wasn't on Steve's direct orders, or in any way related to work I'm doing, may do, may not do, or indeed what was in the tea I had at lunchtime today. It's about real problems that the project faces, real problems that the project has brought upon itself. You can't escape them by inventing excuses about outside influence, the problem stems from within.

To the politically obsessed - give it a break, if you can. No, the project isn't a lemonade stand anymore, but it's not a world-spanning corporate juggernaut either and some of the more grandiose visions going around are in need of a solid dose of reality. Keep it simple, stupid.

To the grandstanders, the prima donnas, and anyone that thinks that they can hold the project to ransom for their own agenda - give it a break, if you can. When the current core were elected, we took a conscious stand against vigorous sanctions, and some of you have exploited that. A new core is going to have to decide whether to repeat this mistake or get tough. I hope they learn from our errors.

Future

I started work on FreeBSD because it was fun. If I'm going to continue, it has to be fun again. There are things I still feel obligated to do, and with any luck I'll find the time to meet those obligations.

However I don't feel an obligation to get involved in the political mess the project is in right now. I tried, I burnt out. I don't feel that my efforts were worthwhile. So I won't be standing for election, I won't be shouting from the sidelines, and I probably won't vote in the next round of ballots.

You could say I'm packing up my toys. I'm not going home just yet, but I'm not going to play unless you can work out how to make the project somewhere fun to be again.

= Mike

--

To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. -- Theodore Roosevelt
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