Author Topic: "It will be ready when it is ready"  (Read 3084 times)

Martin Iturbide

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"It will be ready when it is ready"
« on: May 22, 2016, 05:38:36 pm »
Hi

I'm not sure if I'm being too sensitive but there is still some level of rudeness on some OS/2 developers that annoys me.

For example, a developer that asks for donations and says that is very important to pay for the paycheck for its people, which I agree complete, but when someone asks for an estimated time of delivery they reply "It will be ready when it is ready".

I was asking this for a person on the chat room that speaks Spanish and asked this in good faith. But I got this "sassy" answer from the developer. What should I translate to that spanish-speaking person? Maybe it means the short answer for "I'm worried about the quality of the software and I want to create the best software for the user, this is why I can not give you an estimated time of when it is going to be completed."

Maybe the developers had been trolled very bad on the past and that is why sometimes they are very rude. So when someone asks for a deadline they feel attacked because of the years of past trolling. Or it is some kind of arrogance that I have hear on the past that the developer thinks that the user does not know what they want, so the user became the fifth wheel of the car ?

What do you think is "It will be ready when it is ready" a good answer? Maybe I'm misinterpreting the english or it is the "lack of communication skills" that some developers may have.

Will it be possible to follow the words of Wil Wheaton in both sides, user and developers?

Regards
« Last Edit: May 22, 2016, 06:05:58 pm by Martin Iturbide »


Martin Iturbide
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Re: "It will be ready when it is ready"
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2016, 06:08:26 pm »
I'm not sure why you see this answer as rude.  In my experience, it's simply the most honest answer a developer can give.  Certainly I don't think I know any developer who means to be rude or 'sassy' by saying this.

Maybe it has something to do with the context, though...

Andreas Schnellbacher

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Re: "It will be ready when it is ready"
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2016, 06:14:34 pm »
There's no general answer to your question. It depends on a specific case.

One hasn't the right to demand anything, as long as it's not commercial software. Making donations usually improves motivation, but nothing more. Being an advocate for OSS, I think this item is clear to you.

I remember quite a lot of cases when developers made false estimations about the release date. The developer you're talking about could have run into that. But first you should respect what he said about it. You have to respect his decision to not release anything uncompleted.

Usually developers aren't that strict. They just sound so. One could try to convince him to release a beta or alpha version before.

Martin Iturbide

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Re: "It will be ready when it is ready"
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2016, 07:47:36 pm »
Sorry. Maybe in this case it is just me.

But I really feel like I don't want to talk, share ideas, suggest something, or even submit tickets for bugs to some OS/2 developers anymore because they take it the bad way.
In the past I got answers like "WRONG!!" , "This only shows your ignorance and lack of respect for my time" ....my favorite "Please learn to say stupid things".

- If you ask your cable company to fix your internet connection and get a reply: "It will be ready when it is ready". It will be bad, right?

- If you ask a company that is going to release a new service, that you haven't paid for yet, when it is going to be available and they reply "It will be ready when it is ready". Is it ok for a company to say that? What would you think about that company?

- If a friend will make you a favor to fix your computer and you ask "when do you think it will be ready?"your friend can reply "It will be ready when it is ready". Is that polite?

Sorry, it is just how it feels. I really don't want to talk to some OS/2 developers anymore. They may be great coders but awful to interact with people that are not in their same technical level.

Regards
Martin Iturbide
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Martin Iturbide

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Re: "It will be ready when it is ready"
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2016, 07:49:20 pm »
...please just notice that I said "some developers", I'm not generalizing.
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Mike La Martina

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Re: "It will be ready when it is ready"
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2016, 12:40:24 am »
I am a retired software developer with 30+ years in the industry.  And from my experience just about every colleague of mine needed Wil Weaton's advice.  It is not unreasonable for a patron of a software development effort to request some kind of time estimate.

I regard a curt response to any question as rude in every case.

Pete

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Re: "It will be ready when it is ready"
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2016, 03:33:56 am »
Hi All

I consider myself an "occasional developer" by which I mean I do a little bit from time to time.

The only application that I am currently "occasionally" maintaining is USBcfg. Shortly after the last release, v0.8.2, I had a request to add the capability to deal with the config.sys file when the file attributes were set to ReadOnly/Hidden. I agreed to add that capability to the next release however I have run into a few snags along the way which has delayed the next release somewhat:-

1] Hard disk crash coupled with 2]

2] After replacing hard disk (1] above) I plugged in my USB backup drive to restore all needed files and the backup disk failed - 2 years worth of data and source code...

3] I suppose I should be grateful that I had an older "retired" backup drive that had the source code for release v0.7.5 as at least it was a starting point in rebuilding USBcfg. I had to download a copy of USBcfg v0.8.2 from hobbes for my own use and to remind myself what updates had happened since v0.7.5.

Alex Taylor helpfully pointed out to me that NewView can save a help file as an IPF file which saved having to rewrite the Help file from scratch - I did have to reformat the IPF source saved by NewView from the v0.8.2 Help file as most layout formatting was lost in the save process.

4] While struggling to get USBcfg back to v0.8.2 release level I have had to cope with a house move and all the redecorating/refurnishing/repairs and modifications that go with the process - repairs and redecoration are ongoing and we still have boxes to unpack 9 months on. I have also had to locate a house within a specific area and price range for my son. Of course the house he wanted out of those available needed extensive repairs and modifications meaning constant consultations with builder about how to do what and why and - How Much? !!!

5] With the source code getting close to the 0.8.2 release, probably as close as I am going to get without having the original code, I added in the requested ability to work with config.sys files with ReadOnly/Hidden attributes set. I also made a few changes to the interface and thought I'd get USB 3 support in place - being hopeful that support will arrive with or shortly after "Blue Lion". I was thinking that I was close to a release and then... I read a post in the os2world forum that got me thinking a bit.

Basically the poster wanted to know why USB drives were not working on his system. USBcfg showed Controllers Installed were correct and Mass Storage (USBMSD.ADD) was Enabled - but the USBD.SYS base driver was not Enabled so, of course, none of the other device drivers would work as they all need this driver as well.

When I initially wrote USBcfg I knew next to nothing about USB and was simply working with the options in the driver readme files; I did not realise at that time that USBD.SYS and USBHID.SYS are required in order for other drivers to work. I am currently doing a lot of rewriting of code so that USBcfg will Disable all device driver options until USBD.SYS is Enabled; Mouse and Keyboard need both USBD.SYS and USBHID.SYS to be Enabled.


6] I should also mention that my wife is an Insulin Dependent Diabetic who has a more severe version known as Brittle Diabetes. To keep the explanation simple: She can go from a stable condition with a Blood Glucose level at 7.3 to near comatose, it varies from person to person but is usually within the range 1.2 to 2.8, in the space of 15 minutes - this was actually timed by a Diabetic Consultant at the local hospital during a Consultation Session. He was amazed at the rapid drop in her Blood Glucose level. As you can guess I have to keep rather a close eye on her...

6] And, of course, There is Life with all of it's distractions - just returned from a much needed weeks holiday.


When will the next release of USBcfg happen? - When it's ready  ;-)


I do not mean to be rude/curt/sassy by the above - just trying to suggest that maybe there are reasons for the lack of a timeframe by some developers and that you may not really want to know those reasons. I hope I did not bore you too much with mine...  :-)



Regards

Pete




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Re: "It will be ready when it is ready"
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2016, 03:57:30 am »
As a developer I have been known to be rude while in the midst of a long session, especially one that has not gone well. I have never been rude to a customer but seem to not be as nice to fellow workers. If I hear "it will be ready when it's ready" that says to me the person is not doing to well and does not want to tell you.

RBRi

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Re: "It will be ready when it is ready"
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2016, 10:51:38 am »
Hi Martin,

at first: i really appreciate the work, you have done over the last years for this community.

1. What is your motivation to start this public degradation. Why not talking with the person directly?
The biggest problem we have, is the lack of developers and a can't understand why all the folks that only using the software are doing there best do demotivate the developers. For me, it is a simple calculus to figure out that sponsoring by 20€ or even 50€ for doing the development of things like VBox or OOffice will never be enough for such huge development effort. So the motivation is crucial for ongoing development.

2. I was on the chat and saw the answer and for me this was perfectly ok. Why? Because "It will be ready when it is ready" is a clear statement about the project. It is not rude; it is common developer slang for a dedicated type of projects. It means that we do it for fun (or because we can do it, or we like to proof that we can do it) and we do it the way we like. There is no time estimation (if there is someone out there that is able to do a good time estimation for projects like this he/she can contact me) and the developers will release if they are happy with the status/quality of the project. What the hell is wrong with this? If you not happy with this, you (or everybody else) is totally free to do the work; make a project plan; checkout the source and do it.
And keep in mind all the missed mile stones we have seen in the past - and all the developer bashing we had because of this.

After many years doing no real development for OS/2 i just started to work on NewView again. But discussions like this are making me think about this step....

If you really interested in more and better software for OS/2 start developer motivation. Start sending eMails and say thank you for new versions. Start reporting issues and try to make this issues as expressive as possible.
I personally like to us OS/2 a bit longer, so please be careful with our remaining developers to keep the sytem alive.

    RBRi
« Last Edit: May 28, 2016, 11:29:01 am by RBRi »

Rick C. Hodgin

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Re: "It will be ready when it is ready"
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2016, 02:46:02 pm »
What do you think is "It will be ready when it is ready" a good answer? Maybe I'm misinterpreting the english or it is the "lack of communication skills" that some developers may have.

The person giving the reply may not have intended it the way you took it, but once they saw your surprised reaction, and if they didn't intend it that way, they should've given a better explanation.

It's sometimes frustrating for developers working on large projects because life things come up, unexpected issues come up, and people are always wanting real timeframes and it's not always possible to give an accurate one, but just a "I'm shooting for this now, and will revise as required" one.

Wil Wheaton's advice is pretty crass, but the general concept is on point:  do unto others as you would have them do unto you, and seek in all of your doing to improve the other person's life and experience with those things to which you are involved.

If we all lived by those rules (which come from the Bible, by the way), then there would be a lot less negativity in our interactions.  But because people summarily dismiss Biblical things, we live in the world we have because what's left when you take God out of things is something that is, by definition, !God (not God), and there you have all manner of foul and harm.  It's not supposed to be like that, which is why we all need God.

Best regards,
Rick C. Hodgin

Andreas Schnellbacher

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Re: "It will be ready when it is ready"
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2016, 11:08:01 pm »
[...]
Ronald, I agree to all what you've written.

Martin Iturbide

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Re: "It will be ready when it is ready"
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2016, 05:38:27 am »
Hi Ronald.

I'm sorry Ronald but my early post was only the tip of the iceberg.

My issue on that case was that I was asking for time estimates for a person that speaks spanish and asked that. How should I translate "It is going to be ready when it is ready"?. It is just too demotivating reply that for a person that has not been actively on the community.

I think it will be rude to bring up names (or even show chat logs or emails) and I prefer to bring this conversation to the public to see if something can be understood from both sides. I don't want to e-mail them directly because they will think they are 100% all right because "they are the developers and know what is good for the user", I had tried that on the past without good results. Please notice that I'm not generalizing.

I got trolled because of the OS2World Github repository, some dev told me that it was a waste of my time , while at the end other developer thanked me for consolidating the source code there. The trolling that annoyed me most last year is one that told me that asking for donations to go to video stream Warpstock was a waste of money because they will make a better use for the money (because they are developers and the community needs software ). Right now I'm asking again for funds because I think it is important to stream the event for the user community and I'm on the Warpstock 2016 directors team, but it is not nice for me to ask for donations with that kind of trolling on my back. 

I haven't made any money running OS/2 with other staff members since we started and I don't want to make money from this (it is not the moment yet, this is not an important end-user market), but I can not afford to have additional expend costs for doing OS/2 stuff in my family budget. Last Warpstock was going to be my second and last, but I decided to give it a try for the next one since the team of directors is awesome and want to have the greatest Warpstock year after year. Last year I was very disappointing with that comment from a prominent member of that community, but maybe he has his reasons because... "maybe"... he is risking his own money on OS/2 and he don't see the return money flow as he expects too.

I know that there are developers that get trolled from a user that donates $5 dollars and want results "right now". But I also think that some developers also are acting badly to disqualify the intelligence of the user (or their needs). I think that something in the middle needs to be worked out.

But the door is open, maybe it is just me that I have accumulated trolling on my back and that "It will be ready when it is ready" was the last drop. I guess it is just exactly the same when developers get trolled by sassy user. I will have to let it go.

Regards

« Last Edit: May 28, 2016, 05:49:46 am by Martin Iturbide »
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Re: "It will be ready when it is ready"
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2016, 02:27:02 pm »
I don't understand all what you said and why or when you got the felling that someone 'trolled' you. Maybe my English is too bad or our understanding of troll is different. Anyway think that's not the important thing I want do discuss. But one statement -
Quote
But I also think that some developers also are acting badly to disqualify the intelligence of the user (or their needs).

Remember a good developer is a good developer cause he is good in developing things. I know a lot of developers cause I'm working in developing departments since decades (both hardware and software). Most of the good developers are not good in sales, advertising or moreover some of them even lack what others call 'basic social competence'. The best developers I know have a saying which goes something like that (translation!) - If I'm only 10% as good in advertising myself or sales as I'm in developing, then I would be the boss of a big company and making big money at least 10 times more than I'm doing with developing. Means people are most of the time good in one field. You hardly find people being very good in developing AND being very good in communication at the same time. As I said above the 'good talkers' would have much more chances to earn big money in other fields than developing sophisticated software or hardware.

Most of the times users don't have any developing knowledge and don't have the faintest clue what needs to be done during developing or porting some stuff. They even can't (or wont) imagine the amount of unexpected and not foreseeable things pop up during handling big projects (which makes time estimations difficult. Of course doing such projects as a full-time job you, the developer, put in some space for the unexpected and if all goes wrong put in more man power to meet the timeline. But such things are not necessary and doable for hobby projects and spare time developing). Even programmers with limited knowledge who have done some scripting or simple windows/PM programming very often don't even see how limited their knowledge is compared to what's needed to port stuff like FF or AOO or building drivers for NICs or graphics.

As a full-time developer (what I am) although appreciated you do not need much motivation beside the salary on your account. But as a hobbyist and spare time developer (what I am too) you depend on having fun in what you're doing AND feedback from others. What you do not need are users winning around about errors in documentation (when the same people are not even willing to contribute to improve or make translations) or winning about dev A has offended me a year ago or didn't found the right words I'm capable to understand.

Ask yourself what's the difference from a users point of view in 'it's ready when it's ready' and 'we do not have a date for delivery now' (this is what another speaker said) except wording? You do not know when and if you get anything. No more no less. It's not satisfying. But do you want the time back when we got dates for delivery which where delayed again and again?



Martin Iturbide

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Re: "It will be ready when it is ready"
« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2016, 03:59:02 pm »
Thanks for your replies.

Ask yourself what's the difference from a users point of view in 'it's ready when it's ready' and 'we do not have a date for delivery now' (this is what another speaker said) except wording?

Wording is important and it is what I'm complaining about, it is what defines how people treat each other. Wording is what define if people is going to leave the community or not (sometimes it is not only drivers and software). It may be difficult for someone of science that only see results, but wording it is what defines a lot of things in the real world where you have to collaborate with other human beings.

I'm sorry guys but this is how I feel and I'm blocking some developers from my contact list (which is not much) because of that. I will not boycott them (or make secret phone calls in the shadows like some other guy do in the community), or treat them badly, but I think that their "communication skills" may be toxic for other users on the community.

Maybe this is one of the reasons why developers do not get enough feedback, thank you notes, or bug reports. The user may be just scared of which kind of reply will get from the developer.

Regards
« Last Edit: May 28, 2016, 04:02:39 pm by Martin Iturbide »
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Re: "It will be ready when it is ready"
« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2016, 04:19:02 pm »
Martin, it looks like you could use a secretary to read things for you and make them more appealing. Then you can translate nice things.