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Re: Efforts to attract more users?

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: Efforts to attract more users?
Date: Mon, 12 Jul 2010 08:37:06 -0400

    However, I hope you will understand that making the necessary changes
    for a contributor who is unwilling to make them by herself is not a
    good policy in the long run, because (1) it's hardly a good use of the
    limited time resources I have, and (2) we will need to do this
    forever, as the contributor doesn't want to adapt their practices to
    some minimal requirements of QA and code cleanness.  He even refuses
    to reformat his code as to facilitate the review!

Deciding to clean up someone else's feature is no different, in regard
to these issues, from deciding to write a feature.  You don't have
time to write all the features that someone suggests and that you
would like.  That doesn't mean you must make a policy decision between
implementing all suggestions and implementing none.  You see the
suggestions and sometimes you implement one.

You can look at other people's patches the same way.  There is nothing
wrong, in principle, with cleaning up someone else's patch.  It just
takes work, and it may or may not be the way you want to contribute.

In the end, if a person refuses to reformat or adapt his own patch,
that doesn't make it impossible for us to use the patch, but does make
it expensive.  Sometimes someone else will decide to do this work for
him, but usually not.  The refusal will surely result in few of his
patches' being installed, and when they are, it will be at the cost of
more work for the rest of us.  So it will mean he effectively
contributes much less -- that is why it is unfortunate.  But we have no
reason to treat it as all or nothing.

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