Tuesday, May 14, 2002

Deny By Default

AKA: How To Make Me Not Want To Help With Your Project.

So a while back, I helped out a bit with the mono project. I was bored when I first started my job, and I figured I'd make good use of the windows machine work had given me by learning some C# and help a deserving open source project at the same time. I wrote a few low level classes, got cvs commit access, and maintained them for a while until I got busy and then, when I had more free time, I found other, more interesting projects to spend it on.

Tonight, I got motivated for some reason, and decided to download mono again and try compiling it on FreeBSD, just for the hell of it. I mean since most of the people who work on it are "all the world's a linux box" weenies, I figured it wouldn't work, but hey, what the hell.

First, my old cvs account appears to no longer function. OK, no biggie, I did tell Miguel I wasn't going to have time to work on it, so shutting off access was probably a prudent idea. you never know when someone's ssh key will get compromised or something.

Then, after I get it downloaded from anonymous cvs (hey, look at that, they finally got their acts together and set up anonymous cvs servers, will wonder's never cease), and hacked on it a bit until it compiled, I put together a patch for one problem I'd found, and explained another, and sent them off in an email to the dev list.

And low and behold, it turns out they're blocking mail from non subscribers by default, so I get to wait until someone gets around to reviewing the message before anyone can see it. Damn that's irritating. I'm all for preventing spam, but there are better ways to handle it then just blocking by default. If you're trying to get people to help you out on a project (and if you are an open source project, i sure as hell hope that's what you're doing), then putting any barrier at all between the motivated developer and you is just the WRONG thing to do.