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

From: John Darrington
Subject: Re: PSPP should remove the scary, misleading message about "UNRELEASED TEST SOFTWARE! NOT FOR PRODUCTION USE!"
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 2016 21:20:59 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.21 (2010-09-15)

On Wed, Feb 24, 2016 at 01:17:30PM -0600, Alan Mead wrote:
     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? 

I would describe it differently.  We are encouraging them use versions which
have gone through our formal release process.
     >     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.

Perhaps we should put this in the about box.  Thanks for suggesting it.
     The GNU guidance also doesn't try to prevent users from running testing
     versions & reporting bugs, nor does it impugn the software.
We are not preventing users from running anything.  We are merely informing
them and advising them.  They are free to ignore this advice.
     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.

I think all the unreleased versions should have had this warning.  Unfortunately
they did not.  We have fixed the problem in recent versions.
     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.

Pspp builds fine for me on a stable Debian release.  If you can provide
details of the problem preventing you from building on CentOS we will try
to address that.

Whilst we are talking about GNU guidelines:  Here is what they have to say about
supporting Windows:

  "As for systems that are not like Unix, such as MSDOS, Windows, VMS, MVS, and 
   older Macintosh systems, supporting them is often a lot of work. When that 
   the case, it is better to spend your time adding features that will be 
   on GNU and GNU/Linux, rather than onsupporting other incompatible systems."

It may well be true that windows is the world's most popular operating system.
But pspp is part of GNU, and GNU's puts principles above popularity.
     His releases add vital bug fixes.  It is silly to discourage Windows
     users from using the latest versions.

Personally I discourage everyone from using an unreleased version unless they 
to help with the development or testing.

Anyway I really hope we can fix the few remaining bugs in git.  Then we can 
release 0.10.0 which
will not have this warning.


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