[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: PSPP should remove the scary, misleading message about "UNRELEASED T

From: Alan Mead
Subject: Re: PSPP should remove the scary, misleading message about "UNRELEASED TEST SOFTWARE! NOT FOR PRODUCTION USE!"
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 2016 13:17:30 -0600
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:38.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/38.6.0

On 2/24/2016 12:25 PM, John Darrington wrote:
On Wed, Feb 24, 2016 at 11:57:27AM -0600, Alan Mead wrote:
The GNU guidelines are here:
I don't see anything that we are not following.

Where in those guidelines do you see encouragement to intentionally scare users? 

What PSPP is violating, in both letter and spirit, is the guidelines within the GPL itself:

which reads, in part:

If the program does terminal interaction, make it output a short notice like this when it starts in an interactive mode:

    <program>  Copyright (C) <year>  <name of author>
    This program comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY; for details type `show w'.
    This is free software, and you are welcome to redistribute it
    under certain conditions; type `show c' for details.

The hypothetical commands `show w' and `show c' should show the appropriate parts of the General Public License. Of course, your program's commands might be different; for a GUI interface, you would use an “about box”.

We don't include this text in the About box, but even worse we've chosen to emphasize a completely different message in the top bar of every window.  Also, our message is poorly written, poorly formatted, and scary. The GNU guidance is simply to say that the software comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY. The GNU guidance  doesn't try to abridge the users' freedom by telling them what to do.

The GNU guidance also doesn't try to prevent users from running testing versions & reporting bugs, nor does it impugn the software.

     And we are "scaring" users; especially Windows users who don't know
     "git" from "production."  Isn't scaring users and explicitly telling
     them not to use a snapshot ("for production") directly contradictory
     with FLOSS practices like "release early and release often" or the
     concept that "given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow?" 

I don't think so.  If a user does not know what git is, they shouldn't be
using it.

The facts don't support you here.  Just yesterday a user on this list was scared by this message and actually uninstalled the latest version and installed an older, buggier version that lacks this message.  Then, after I explained that she should install the latest version because it contained a bug fix, she posted a screenshot of the latest version showing the message and asking again if it's really OK for her to run the latest version with the fix.

But let me be clear about something, given that > 90% of the computer users in the world use windows, that makes windows is the NUMBER ONE platform for PSPP.  Harry's releases are more important than any official release.  So it is important and appropriate for us to consider the Windows users (because > 90% of the computer users in the world are windows users). In fact, it's worse than that because I can't get PSPP for my Linux machines, which run CentOS 6. There is no PSPP package for CentOS 6 and PSPPIRE won't build. IIRC one has to be running a testing version of Debian to make PSPPIRE compile these days. That virtually ensures that most Linux users cannot use (recent versions of) PSPP.

And as you are well aware, it is NOT normal to release uncompiled software for Windows users. They need the installable packages that Harry provides.  And he doesn't just churn out daily snapshots of git. His releases add vital bug fixes.  It is silly to discourage Windows users from using the latest versions.



Alan D. Mead, Ph.D.
President, Talent Algorithms Inc.

science + technology = better workers

+815.588.3846 (Office)
+267.334.4143 (Mobile)

I've... seen things you people wouldn't believe...
functions on fire in a copy of Orion.
I watched C-Sharp glitter in the dark near a programmable gate.
All those moments will be lost in time, like Ruby... on... Rails... Time for Pi.

          --"The Register" user Alister, applying the famous 
            "Blade Runner" speech to software development

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]