markpasc (markpasc) wrote,

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On free software

I wrote a Blosxom plugin for my own personal use that I think other folks may be able to use, especially in conjunction with the software with which it's intended to be used. However, folks have complained recently on the blosxom mailing list that the documentation for Blosxom and its plugins is bad and sparse.

So generally I'm not very keen on publishing my plugin as I was before, if people are going to complain I underdocumented this thing (which I hope I wouldn't anyway). Maybe it was the overbearing tone of the one fellow who browbeat folks about it. My feeling is that I'm doing this for fun, and to have a tool for my use, and any use anyone else can get out of it is incidental. What do I care if Blosxom gets 3.5 stars in MacWorld UK? Suddenly I can't contribute software without being the world's tech support too (not that I don't do that; I recently posted my one-hundredth post to the Movable Type support forum). So I would probably say "here it is; it's not for your use so don't bug me about it," which I haven't said for any other software I've published.

Is that bad of me? Vindictive? Short-sighted? At the very least, my feeling that documentation is unimportant is itself unimportant because I'm not a core developer and there are other people who do care. It's only my plugin that would have substandard documentation (though apparently one of the perceived problems is interactions between various plugins). I resent being told my work isn't good enough, that I should "run" my hobby more like a business interest.
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