[linux-dvb] Giving Feedback (was Re: Klear?)

Stephen Rowles stephen at rowles.org.uk
Fri Feb 20 16:19:55 CET 2009

> I write open source software elsewhere, you write here.
> Feedback like I sent has value too. Commercial closed
> source software gets part of their ideas from users, and
> no user need to implement them. I hope the open source
> coding attitude changes, and much.
> I will pick up Kaffeine, but Ubuntu is missing the package.
> I try compile it.
> Kaffeine authors could check my list in detail. Please do.
> Me-TV seems to only record the flag that subtitles exists,
> not the subtitles itself. At least, xine cannot play them.

Only sending this to linux-dvb as I'm not signed up to the media list, and
I'll probably get myself blacklisted from any future help by saying this
;) but...

The thing is (and I know because I too am a developer, not an open source
one but still a developer) most developers don't want unsolicited feedback
on their code, in my experience especially not open source developers.

They write code that they consider to fill their needs with, in their
view, the perfect design / interface for what they wanted to write.

Nobody likes to have their baby criticized, especially when they didn't
ask for the feedback. They just opened sourced their code because it might
be useful to someone else.

In my experience providing constructive information about how a piece of
software might be improved is very very difficult to do, usually you will
get just flamed / ignored. And quite often the usual: "if it doesn't do
what you want, code it yourself" response. Which in a lot of ways I can
understand as a big list can end up taking the software in a direction
that the developer has no interest in.

Personally I try to be open to feedback and I try listen to external
comments about things I write, but often I am not interested in providing
a piece of software that is ideal for user X, I have my requirements and
if it doesn't match their - well tough ;). It is not easy listening to
requirements when they don't match your own.

In future you might have more luck opening with an email asking if people
want feedback, if they say yes then you will have more luck with your list
being read / accepted. If they say no then you often just have to accept
that a move on.

In my line of work half the battle is getting to a point in the
relationship with the "customer" (not always a real external customer)
that they will accept suggestions. That is usually after spending a long
time developing the relationship first, you cannot go in to the first
meeting with a list saying: "here is where your existing stuff sucks" as
nobody will listen.

Hope this helps / prompts discussion - it isn't meant to annoy anyone, if
I have upset you (e.g. anyone reading this email) then that wasn't my
intention, please accept my apologies.

More information about the linux-dvb mailing list