I apologize

Aveu's picture

I would like to offer my sincere apology to the Themer groups here on Groups.Drupal.Org and to this community in general ... I meant no disrespect to anyone. Being a non-artist I have the highest regard for those who can do what I cannot; create beauty in web designs and other visual art forms. Likewise as a programmer I have an equally high regard for all web developers and the difficulty of the work we do.

When I started the recent set of threads with regard to Theme licensing it was my sincere intent to improve the opportunities for Drupal theming. I made some errors and unintentionally offended some of you and I want to explain if you will let me and to, more importantly, let you know it I am sorry for whatever discord I caused.

I thought when I selected a multi-group audience for my posts (with both legal and theme related groups) that it was the right thing to do; to try to create a joint dialog with those in the theming part of the community and the legal part of the community on the relevant issues, but that was an error in judgment for me as it turned out and I ended up making some people mad. Again I am sorry for that.

Now that I understand my error I make this commitment to both communities ... After I save this post, any future posts I make will not cross the lines again. My posts to Theme related Groups will be for technical / design topics only and posts I make related to License and Business issues will be in the Legal Group only. There is no current group of any kind for discussing Drupal business strategies but if one becomes established I might post relevant topics there as well.

I have tried to be objective about this but the one thing I will say to own defense is that the suggestions of "hidden agendas" or "suspect motives" on my part are just wrong. I wish Drupal to succeed as a platform and as a community. I have my own views on some things which may be different and so we may sometimes disagree (gasp!) but most certainly my intentions towards Drupal are not dark-hearted in any way.

Edit: this thread does not offer anything constructive any more so I (chx) locked it. Reminder: we value every form of contribution be it code or just a few lines of README.txt.

Comments

Don't be offended that people seem to be offended

mlncn's picture

Hi Aveu,

You bring up the closest things to holy wars open source free software has, the issue of licensing, and there's going to be passions. The names i recognize were taking your side or treating you respectfully.

I agree that it is always counterproductive to debate motives, rather than the merits of an argument, but really, it looks like you've stirred up debate, so stay in there; this mass apology makes no sense in terms of accomplishing anything. Never apologize! Um, sorry if you or anyone takes that wrong ;-)

benjamin, agaric

Spot On!

cooldeeponline's picture

I agree with your completely mlcn... No point apologizing .. coz like you say.. "it looks like you've stirred up debate, so stay in there; this mass apology makes no sense in terms of accomplishing anything." :))

CoolDeep eVagabond

no offense taken

Aveu's picture

Hi Benjamin,

I appreciate your comments and take no offense but to clarify ... the apology was for taking what is essentially a Legal debate and forcing it into the Themes arena. If themers/designers are concerned about licensing then they will (should) subscribe to the Legal group and join the discussion in that forum. What I did wasn't quite like yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater but it was a bit like yelling "Go Dodgers!" at Yankee Stadium. One should not be careless in respect to one's surroundings.

I should also point out that I had never given the GPL more than a cursory glance until about 4 weeks ago so I am by no means "set" in my opinion of all the pros & cons involved. There are however some deeply troubling questions that need to be asked and answered for the long term good of the community. Right now I am processing a lot of information I was provided offline and after I have digested that I will be back to try and get more questions answered. Have no fear that I have been "offended" ... when I have completed my research if questions still need to be asked I will surely post them but only in the Legal group, where they belong.

your points are valid

jaredef's picture

We all know that there exists no other CMS or framework that can even touch the power of Drupal. It stands to reason that the only reason Drupal isnt number 1 in the public eye is because of presentation, or lack thereof.

Newbies get a hold of drupal but are soon left uninspired because all they can see is a few blocks, nodes, and a nasty bland theme. (I was one of them) Therefore, with drupal, only those with the vision can work through the first stages of web development. Since I have been a drupal user, (3.x) I have seen a big change in design quality. I still truly feel that the community needs to do more to get the best designers and themers interested. And once they are, make it easy to find and access the necessary information. The theming documentation (I know it is currently being reworked) needs to be more concrete. like the developers API documentation.

I know this isnt the right place to be complaining, im just sharing my sentiment.

Oh No! Not at all!

tallship's picture

Your sentiments are shared by a vast cross section of Drupal fans. Even for those of us who are systems administrators and engineers, who know better than to go with say, a Joomla install, shaping a Drupal site is simply one aspect of launching a site that is still going to need to be addressed w/some code, so we're forced into the role of developer, and then also having to take care to affect changes the "Drupal" way, rather than some other quick hack that will be blown away during an inadvertent upgrade.

And even then, a learning curve is involved.

Most of the books I come across either jump right in with PHP development and explain the Drupal way, or they begin with installing and telling you that, once you've correctly installed a couple of modules, your site is active and anything else is beyond the scope of the book.

Something in between, or better still, the middle part of the book, is sorely needed.

Some of the best tutorials I've seen had to do with theming with fusion, and also a few of the lulabot vids.

But even so, Drupal has come to be generally regarded as "the PHP developer's CMS", instead of the 'accessible and extensible CMS".

Well, we move on a bit to address one more point: That modules are so very often poorly documented. Okay I'm going out here on the flame limbs now.... "You'd think that the people who wrote many of these modules are Windows users, since, unlike UNIX folks, the documentation is so shoddy it is often almost worthless - UNIX people document their work and provide readable docs.

I know, that was a little harsh, but seriously, there is an almost complete lack of quality control when it comes to the documentation of modules - basically, read the code itself if you want to know what is going on. I find that aspect the most undesirable trait.

Finally, Drupal is the stuff! But even though it's great to build platforms and presence upon, at this time it is the stuff for developers, not web designers - an overgeneralized observation shared by many in the webhosting and web design communities.

So no! Not at all! I enjoyed your post and concur. It was appreciated by at least one, and I feel your frustation. The only advice I can offer is to simply tell the client you're going to create a database driven dynamic [fill in the blank here] website and just not even bother to tell them it's Drupal, coz that might scare them.

In reality, once the site has been completed, the user is empowered to manage the affairs of the site themselves, but the word Drupal to the general public means, ju ju black magic and code warriors going into battle with the PHP brigade.

I hope that helps :)

Kindest regards,

Bradley

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Bradley D. Thornton
Manager Network Services
http://NorthTech.US

Registered Linux User #190795

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.

Michelle's picture

Well, we move on a bit to address one more point: That modules are so very often poorly documented. Okay I'm going out here on the flame limbs now.... "You'd think that the people who wrote many of these modules are Windows users, since, unlike UNIX folks, the documentation is so shoddy it is often almost worthless - UNIX people document their work and provide readable docs.

Wow. Insulting much?

I spend quite a bit of time documenting my modules and my choice of OS has nothing to do with that. I just happen to be fairly decent at documenting and take the time to do it. Not everyone has the luxury of time or the command of the English language needed to properly document their modules. Considering these modules are being given to you for free by volunteers, I'd say you should be happy when one is documented at all. For those that aren't, well, I'm sure they'd love your contribution.

Michelle

Considering these modules are

ridolfidesigns's picture

Considering these modules are being given to you for free by volunteers, I'd say you should be happy when one is documented at all. For those that aren't, well, I'm sure they'd love your contribution.

Bah, I find the lack of documentation in a module can be frustrating too. I don't find it often but it does come up. Then I have to take extra time figuring out instead of designing/developing. If drupal wants to be taken seriously as a CMS then some standards do need to be in place in terms of documentation.

Yes this is all free and open source but why do something at all if it's not going to be done right?

.

Michelle's picture

Because far more people can write docs at least usably well than can code. To not contribute a module just because you are unable or unwilling to do the documenting is silly. If the module is worth using, odds are someone will put together some sort of docs for it or a tutorial or something. Better to have to work a bit to figure out an un(der) documented module than have to write the module yourself, especially for those who can't code.

And Drupal does just fine with being taken seriously without placing unnecessary burdens on its contributors.

Michelle

It's not better to have to

ridolfidesigns's picture

It's not better to have to spend time figuring something out when you don't have the time or when you are on a deadline with a project. Yeah, in my free time, no problem.

To not contribute a module just because you are unable or unwilling to do the documenting is silly.

Just sound like an excuse to be lazy. If you aren't good at the english language or whatever, why not take the time to figure it out if I am expected to figure out the module that isn't documented well?

Lazy?

Michelle's picture

Are you actually listening to yourself? Someone takes the time to contribute a module back to the community for free but either is not able or is not willing to go the extra step and document it for free and therefore they are lazy? And if they don't know English, well, then, they had better get off their ass and learn it because you have a deadline.

The sense of entitlement around here is unreal.

Michelle

And if they don't know

ridolfidesigns's picture

And if they don't know English, well, then, they had better get off their ass and learn it because you have a deadline.

No, I don't expect anybody to do that for me because I have a deadline. It's just frustrating when I see a cool module that I can't use because it isn't documented well. So I just won't use it in that particular website. It has nothing to do with me thinking that somebody should do this or that for me. I have figured out plenty and I still have a lot to figure out.

Drupal does have a high learning curve for some (me) if not most. I don't think you understand how frustrating it is for somebody trying to learn when something isn't documented well. I always assumed that well documented code was a standard approach in programming? Perhaps I am wrong?

I totally agree Michelle

BastouBach's picture

I agree with you that so many developers are doing an awesome job at creating modules that allows Drupal to be one of the best CMS out there. Documentation is most of the time done well enough to get you going. It is really for the users of the modules to write the rest and/or post tutorials.
There definitely is a language barrier for many folks out there and also coding and writing documentation is a totally different skill...
Let's please be grateful for the Drupal community that allows many of us to make a living just because all this is contributed for free.

...

Jeff Burnz's picture

Have you ever bothered to write up your findings as documentation and provide that to the project maintainer, or create book page in the hand books so others might benefit?

If you haven't then who is the lazy one here?

Your comments are extremely insulting, and clearly you have no real idea of the time and commitment involved in building and maintaining Drupal projects, after all, lets look at your commit history: http://drupal.org/user/227027/track/code

Surprise surprise...

I suggest you walk a mile in our shoes before making such ridiculous statements.

I may not have contributed

ridolfidesigns's picture

I may not have contributed documentation yet but I have contributed when I have found issues. I do what I can as I learn more. It has nothing to do with me being lazy, it has to do with the fact that I don't know enough about drupal to contribute documentation.

I know it takes a lot of time to code a module. What I can't understand is why people get all pissy when somebody suggests something. Every time I have ever made a suggestion, it's always been this same thing, why don't you do it. Well I would if I knew how. I am learning programming once I get better at it I will contribute more.

...

Jeff Burnz's picture

Because we've all heard it a hundred times before and its really lame.

I am learning programming once I get better at it I will contribute more.

Oh lord, if I had a dollar for every-time I heard that - my god man, you've been a member of Drupal.org for 3 years! If I look through your tracker most posts appear to be posted by you, in other words you don't even help other people - so you never write docs, never contribute code, don't help other people and you want everything for free and for it to be well documented! Unreal. Top that off with - you want to be able to slag off developers and label them as lazy and not have them get pissy about it!

Like Michelle said, listen to yourself, the sense of entitlement is unreal.

And there is no requirement to be a "programmer" to contribute documentation.

Jeff, I don't expect anything

ridolfidesigns's picture

Jeff,

I don't expect anything for free. I make a post on the forums and if somebody has time to help then so be it. I don't expect it. The times I have been on the forums and had time to look through them to see if anybody needed help, the answers were already provided to the questions I felt I was qualified to help with.

I might have been a member of drupal.org for 3 years but I am a slow learner with this stuff. I am just getting to the point where I feel I have something to give back. Please don't judge me because you have made 50,000,000 commits.

Dude seriously though, I kind of respected your work, now I could care less what you do.

People like you are the

Jacine's picture

People like you are the reason I think twice about contributing these days when I've got something to share.

"Dude seriously though, I

jaredef's picture

"Dude seriously though, I kind of respected your work, now I could care less what you do."

There's no room for children here.

Yeah, you are right. I was

ridolfidesigns's picture

Yeah, you are right. I was going to get rid of that but it appears as if I can't now, unless I am missing something.

Is it Drupal's goal to be

jaredef's picture

Is it Drupal's goal to be satisfied with "eh, it will work" or "lets build something EVERYONE can use". How can Drupal grow if it cant make it easier for the rest of the world to get involved. Sure we should accept shoddily documented work, its free after all. But can we not aspire to something greater?

.

Michelle's picture

Aspire, sure. Force, no. It's wonderful when maintainers take the time to document. I sure appreciate not having to dive into code to figure out how something works. But I'm also thankful to those who only contribute code because I'd sure rather spend X minutes figuring out existing code than Y minutes writing non-existing code especially when Y - X is quite large.

Michelle

I agree. We all know

jaredef's picture

I agree. We all know developers spend a lot of their otherwise free time crafting modules for the rest of us. But I think we need a "Thorough Documentation" stamp or something. With drupal, everything is "at your own risk", thats what makes it powerful. However, it would be nice to get a heads up before diving straight in.

You'd think that the people

Alexander N's picture

You'd think that the people who wrote many of these modules are Windows users...

Really?

None of the garbage in this thread is constructive criticism for Drupal contrib developers.

But hey let's have some more of it, please. It's scientifically proven that moronic whining and insulting analogies totally work as an incentive for developers to keep giving you software for free to use at your company, while you're doing nothing, providing nothing.

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