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djberg96 (2603)

djberg96
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Journal of djberg96 (2603)

Tuesday July 30, 2002
07:34 PM

Hubris (rant)

[ #6778 ]
Yesterday on the Ruby mailing list, I published my basic version of a Tail class to see what people thought it. Paul Brannan offered some interesting feedback, and offered a different approach altogether.

So, today I took part of Paul's idea, sprinkled my own ideas on it, and had a pretty good implementation going. It wasn't complete by any means but it was coming along. I was working out how I wanted to deal with just a straight tail (vs. a tail -f), when I noticed that someone had published a "file/tail" on the RAA.

"What's this?", I thought. "Did Paul come up with something in a flurry of creativity?". Nope. It turns out some guy from Germany published it. Curious, I downloaded it and decided to check it out. My irritation grew rather quickly when I discovered:

  • There is no real documentation
  • The install script is busted
  • The implementation is bad
  • It's *broken*

What irritates me even more about this is that he didn't even bother to ask for ideas on the mailing list or newsgroup.

In any case this one had me severely pissed the rest of the day, but that had me thinking, "What, exactly, am I pissed about? Is this hubris?".

Now, I know what you're thinking. "You just wanted to publish this yourself. You wanted the credit and the glory.", you're probably saying. I thought about that, but I decided it wasn't true. If the implementation had been well thought out and it *worked*, I wouldn't care a bit. In fact, I would have been rather happy. As it is, simply providing bug fixes isn't going to be enough - the whole thing needs to be scrapped IMO.

What really irritates me is that I wanted to see someting *good* and this just *isn't* and now the name is taken (not that another name couldn't be used). This module was published in a hurry without any real careful thought going into it whatsoever. I think it was so that the *guy who published it* could get *his* name in lights for a moment.

So, is this what hubris feels like?

Well, anyway, I'm going to keep working on my own version.

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  • Replace it (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jdavidb (1361) on 2002.07.31 10:20 (#11244) Homepage Journal

    Send your version to him as a bug fix. (Politely.)

    Or just wait. If he actively maintains the module and makes it better, great! If he doesn't, ask for maintainership in the standard way (asking the author, or the community if the author doesn't respond). Wait awhile, though. You never know what he might do.

    --
    J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers