I have to agree with you about the dearth of so-called "librarian
developers". There just aren't that many and I think most of the ones =
do exist are more likely to be computer science grad students working on =
library project. So while they're definitely a software developer, =
probably not librarians. Simply working on a library-focused OSS project
does not make one a "librarian developer". I'm not saying the total =
is zero, but it's probably a lot smaller than most people think.
I also tend to agree with the problem of developer feuds. I recently =
something about Torvalds swearing off the linux kernel listserv because =
the frequent flamewars that occur there. Far too often elements in the
IT/Programming world split into two separate and diametrically opposed
camps. This may not be true for very specific areas of work like
library-oriented OSS projects, but it does seem to hold true for
IT/Programming in general.
[mailto:oss4lib-discuss-admin@...] On Behalf Of Morbus =
Sent: Tuesday, December 02, 2003 2:42 PM
To: Chuck Bearden; oss4lib-discuss@...
Subject: Re: [oss4lib-discuss] What's Wrong with the Open Source =
Having read them, I'll try not to comment on their specific
opinions, since I find grande faults and non-starters in both.
>Personally, I think Suehring's rebuttal is rather more convincing
>than Turner's critique, but both are interesting to read.
I, in turn, happen to think Suehring's rebuttals are rather weak <g>.
>What really struck me is how inapplicable Turner's criticisms were to
>the library open-source community. Of the five points (
> 1. Too many developers "scratch the same itch".
In off-record conversations, my impression is that there
aren't that many librarian developers in the first place.
> 2. Open Source developers love a good feud.
Largely, most of the feuds between developers is about implementation - =
runs faster on what platform, whether to OOP and polymorph or not, how =
spaces a tab should be, whether tabs should be used at all, blah blah ha =
blah. The feud's themselves are largely based on opinion, and not facts.
Librarians, on the other hand, deal strictly in facts (and, =
facts about fiction). Librarian developers would, seemingly, cater more
toward truth and not whether one implementation, language, or format was
better than another.
> 3. Open Source developers often scratch the wrong itch.
I think this argument stands up when you take a look at open source =
*in general*, but NOT specifically: the number of text editors available =
Windows, for example, number in the hundreds and very few are open =
Being able to choose from "only" five nameservers is a relief.
Theoretically, librarian developers have a much smaller range of
applications to want: it's gotta be related to the tasks of a library,
not a typical home-user (who would have infinitely more itches to =
No sound drivers, no window toolkits, no graphic display or converters.
> 4. In the Open Source Community, you're either "with us or against =
Librarians would want to stick together since they've been around the =
a few times, comparatively. I certainly don't know the magnanimous =
of Librarian Culture, but I know they've been around a heckuva lot =
than the OSS vogue of the last fifteen years. Likewise, all the hard=20
decisions have already been made: this is the format it should be done =
this is the process we expect you to take, these are the cornerstones =
you mustn't touch, and the OCLC will rip off your merit badge otherwise.
Programming is very, very easy. Anyone and everyone can do it, and with =
looseness of the languages nowadays, you can write really sloppy =
rather quickly and without much effort. The fact that there's "with or=20
without us" mentality is because beginner programmers feel empowered =
they just wrote a web browser in no lines of code, even though it has=20
absolutely no worthwhile features compared to any of the others. But, =
someday it will, and "NNAB 1.0" (NABB's Not A Browser) is released to =
world with illustrious "Coming Soon!" features. Time sets in, and it=20
becomes vaporware with the rest.
Myself, coming from a programming and lustful "keeper of lists" =
and wanting to learn about "librarian crap" amounts to a lot of reading. =
feel like I'll have enough knowledge in a year or so before feeling =
empowered... otherwise some grizzled geezer from the basement is gonna =
my ass because I forgot to "AACL the 704 sub-indicator according to rule =
3.12 of USMARC Rev 2.3. .. . . BEYYYyoOtch!".
I don't think "beginning programmers" have that same sort of dedication: =
hell, I don't see "Becoming a Librarian in 14 Days" books, but there are =
myriads of "C Programming for Dummies", "Learning Perl in 14 Days" and=20
"Visual QuickStart Guide to .NET". All emphasize quickness over quality, =
which is the exact opposite of librarians (indeed, there's room in this=20
argument for the whole "the internet will make librarians obsolete" of
yester-decade, and that certainly didn't pan out either).
> 5. The Open Source Community has a huge chip
> on its shoulder... called Microsoft.
Man alive, that argument is so 1990's.
Morbus Iff ( i put the demon back in codemonkey )
Culture: http://www.disobey.com/ and http://www.gamegrene.com/
My book, Spidering Hacks: http://amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0596005776/
icq: 2927491 / aim: akaMorbus / yahoo: morbus_iff / jabber.org: morbus
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