Re: bleh

June 12, 2022

This post contains some of my thoughts on the blog post bleh.

Drew is one of the more popular free software developers out there, so it’s sad to see this sort of post from him. He’s been a source of inspiration for me–someone that can dedicate their life writing FOSS software and being able to choose what he works on. It feels wrong to armchair blog from a cushy software job. It’s already hard enough for him to make a living doing that sort of thing, but it’s even sadder to see the crap he has to put up with. You might think someone could give away all their work for free and people would only thank them for it, but the unfortunate part of the world is that there are plenty of leeches that don’t feel bad about hating on his work. I’m currently hosting my blog on a paid SourceHut subscription, so at least I can say that I support him that way.

He’s no saint either–but to do the job he does, you have to grow a thick skin like he says, and being diplomatic can’t come easy. I thought back to the early versions Linus Torvalds, and his famous flaming emails. He has learned nicer ways to communicate with people since those days. I think Drew might be able to learn a few things from him.

Another thought I had was the scene from The Wire. The video is titled The Wire: The parable of the bowls of shit. I’d watch it before reading my take below on it. He’s talking about why he didn’t run for Mayor again. Long story short, it’s the story about how the mayor is served bowls of shit, day after day, year after year. I haven’t been in a high-up leadership position where I get to do that, but I can imagine that’s the sort of thing you get to put up with as a leader. It’s sad that you’d get the same menu working as a FOSS software leader or maintainer, but I guess that’s life. I’ve had plenty tastes of it as I have worked on projects that are aimed at helping software developers–they are often a particularly whiny and thankless bunch.

I was hoping some day I could retire and work on FOSS all day, but I may need to remove the rose-colored glasses.