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Re: Users versus developers (was: Tempo mark alignment)

From: Ari Torhamo
Subject: Re: Users versus developers (was: Tempo mark alignment)
Date: Sat, 23 May 2009 22:32:40 +0300

la, 2009-05-23 kello 19:57 +0200, Valentin Villenave kirjoitti:
> 2009/5/23 Tim McNamara <address@hidden>:
> > "Helping" takes many forms.
> >
> > Like many LilyPond users, I know nothing useful about computer programming
> > and so cannot help with correcting problems in the code.  I have a full
> > time-plus highly demanding job, a marriage, a house, ailing parents, I play
> > music and have other hobbies.  If you have gotten to 50 years of age then
> > you will know what sort of things I am talking about; if you haven't gotten
> > to 50 yet, then you will understand when you get there.  I can't speak for
> > Xavier, but I don't have time to learn Scheme or C.  Sorry, that's just the
> > way it is.
> Hi Tim,
> As I told Xavier, please do not cross-post. Since you're starting a
> new discussion, let's keep this on -user.
> I am not sure I appreciate your "50 years of age" point :-)
> As you said, helping can take many forms, particularly for us
> non-programmers. But when we want something to be addressed and we
> can't do it on our own, what we can do really boils down to two
> things: either we can help the programmers so that they are available
> to deal with our problem, or we can find more programmers.
> The first option is achieved by handling everything a non-programmer
> can do: managing bugs, helping new users, writing the newsletter, etc.
> The second option is achieved in two ways: helping expand our
> community (and hoping this way more programmers will join on a
> long-term perspective), or hiring someone (with decent money) to let
> him learn the code and implement the feature/fix the bug you want.

You don't quite seem to get Tim's point: everybody can't and doesn't
need to participate every project they find useful - especially when
they don't consume the resources of the project in question (more than
marginally). Most people don't contribute equally to things in their
life - people specialize, which is good, because they have different
lives, situations, skills and talents. It's good to encourage people and
make them aware of the ways to contribute - and then leave it to them.

I think it would have been considerate of you to let it go after reading
what Tim hinted about his life situation.

> > LilyPond is currently a difficult application to learn to use.  It is not
> > intuitive.  LilyPond is very powerful and there are many, many options that
> > can be used and often many ways in which those options can be used.  The
> > documentation is at times difficult and opaque.  It is the newbies and
> > non-programmers who will tend to remind us of this fact.  Telling them that
> > they have no right to comment is not helpful because the project loses their
> > insights and may lose them as users.  For many folks like me, our
> > contribution is going to be limited to using LilyPond for practical
> > purposes, then providing feedback and financial support.  These things are
> > not invaluable.  You can't insult people into helping.

> Saying that the program is "not intuitive" or that the documentation
> is "difficult and opaque" will not help. We do welcome concrete
> suggestions, such as "this input syntax would be more intuitive",
> "this sentence should be rephrased this way; this chapter could be
> divided this way", etc.

Your comment doesn't make sense. Everyone can see that Tim didn't
mention the problems you quoted to report them, but to explain his point
about welcoming newbie comments.

You seem to have contributed quite a lot to Lilypond, which I greatly

Ari Torhamo

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