[K12OSN] RE: Help to convince school

Petre Scheie petre at maltzen.net
Thu May 13 14:42:01 UTC 2004

daniel.hunt at iibbank.ie wrote:

> He finds it _very_ difficult to understand why a community of programmers
> would feel obligated to provide any sort of backup support at all if there
> were any problems. The only word that I could think of to describe it was
> "honour", which, in hindsight, may not have come across as I meant it - it's
> a hard situation to explain to someone who doesnt understand it you see!

I think he's misunderstanding how OSS works because he thinks the developers are 
separate from the users, as is the case in many situations. In fact, the 
developers ARE the users.  Eric, Jim, Chuck, and lots of others put in a ton of 
work on K12LTSP because they use it (they do so for other reasons, too, but 
that's beside the point).  Everyone on this list and on the IRC is a user.  So 
now it's not just a handful of people but dozens if not hundreds or thousands of 
people poking, prodding, and twiddling the code and configuration.  That's why 
it works.  Sharing software is trivial and immediate because of the internet; 
you couldn't build this kind of a community system with, say, snail mail.

Part of the reason the programmers feel obligated to help if there are problems 
is because, since they use the system themselves, they want to fix/avoid any 
problems that might bite them.  There certainly is some altruism involved, but 
if your boss won't accept that, explain the self-interest the developers have in 
fixing things.


More information about the K12OSN mailing list