[PD] Very large patches unstable?

Mathieu Bouchard matju at artengine.ca
Wed Dec 2 22:35:27 CET 2009

On Wed, 2 Dec 2009, Matteo Sisti Sette wrote:

> Well, I admit I don't know the answers; in a commercial software 
> scenario it is easier, because you are paid to develop the software, and 
> I [am supposed to] pay to use it, so asking to fix things is a right for 
> me, and fixing things is a due for you.

It's not that easy with commercial software either. Naturally, it depends 
on the specific company and product. But chances are that if you just 
found a rare-enough bug (difficult to come across), then for the company 
it might make more business sense to take the time that could be spent on 
your bug and instead allocate this effort on increasing the deliberate 
vendor lock-in, even considering the impact on their own reputation. 
Companies may decide to fix the bug anyway, and in that case, consider 
yourself lucky.

> This is not the case with FLOSS and I don't really know what is the 
> motivation for the developer to, well, develop.

That's great of you: some people would instead claim that they know, and 
then when they see real behaviour of FLOSS authors they'd call it 
"illogical" or "paradoxical". Those people don't know that they don't 
know, whereas you, you don't claim to know. And frankly, no-one can find 
all of the reasons.

> but assuming you are interested for some reason in developing the 
> software and you are doing it, what kind of contribution can I give as a 
> user? The answer is "feedback", and feedback consists, among other 
> things, in DEMANDS.

There's this major difference between «demand» in English and «demande» in 
French, such that both of those words get translated to a completely 
different-looking word in the other language. I believe you are meaning to 
say «demande» as in French, because «demand» in English is more like an 
order for something that MUST be done. The invisible walls of language are 
worsened by the fact that people do as if they can always rely on 
nonverbal cues, even when they read pure text.

> Well yes, I agree with that, or I understand that. Does that mean that 
> we should be happy with the presence of bugs? Seems like you're saying: 
> "What do you prefer, a boring, simple, limited but rock-solid software, 
> or a powerful, flexible [whatever positive adjective you may want to add 
> here] but buggy one?"

Depends on which bugs. Bugs have different priorities. Different people 
put different priorities on bugs.

> It is not a "finished" product (if such a thing even exists).

Miller Puckette opened the 2007 convention by saying that PureData is 
almost finished.

> What are the weak points of PD (don't be afraid, I won't try to list them)? 
> Well, to make an example everybody knows the graphical interface is 
> tremendously slow. That is well known; I don't know how much priority the 
> developer community give to that problem (quite low I guess), but the problem 
> is well known, so there is no need to discuss about it.

At the time of the 2007 convention I worked a bit on accelerating 
TkCanvas. I mentioned it on the pd-list but got no replies. I don't 
recall anyone else suggesting that as a solution.

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| Mathieu Bouchard, Montréal, Québec. téléphone: +1.514.383.3801

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