On what "community" really means
By jmcp-Oracle on May 28, 2006
One particular poster seems to find it difficult to do more than troll and be abusive, inflammatory and insulting about all the hard work that the OpenSolaris community (that's Sun people as well as non-Sun people) has done and continues to do in order to make (Open)Solaris better.
One Sun poster this afternoon asked:
Sure, and Mac OSX, Linux, Windows, \*BSD, and a host of other systems would be nice if they had DTrace, ZFS, Zones, SMF, et all...
Alas, Sun can't solve all the problems in the world, but they have been able to solve some pretty difficult ones, and they've released much of that technology to the open source world.
Have you made any contributions to Solaris yet, or tried?
A very valid question. After all, this is a community we're talking about here, and one of the benefits of being part of a community is that you get to voice your opinions. One of the concommitant responsibilities that comes with being a community member is the requirement to contribute in some way. That can be large (eg porting an app or driver, putting back code to $SRCTREE or evangelising the community) or small (logging bug reports, answering survey questions, answering questions on newsgroups or mailing lists, talking about your experiences using constructive criticism in both public and private fora) and anything in between.
Our non-Sun protagonist responded:
1) I'm not a programmer.
2) I shouldn't need to do something that is SUN's job.
Which I think totally misses the point.
As far as I can determine, our non-Sun protagonist deems everything about OpenSolaris to be Sun's responsibility. Well guess what, it's not wholly Sun's responsibility. Sure there are things which Sun can do that community members cannot (like work on the presently-closed parts of the source tree), but that doesn't mean that non-Sun people cannot contribute or should feel that they can't contribute. The OpenSolaris community is more than just Sun. Anybody who cares to can look at the discussions going on or even at the code which has been contributed by non-Sun people. There's even a page of metrics which right at the top shows that of the 13650 people registered on www.opensolaris.org, only 1400 are Sun employees.
I don't particularly care whether you're a programmer or not. What I care about is that you contribute constructively to the community, to make it better for all of us. If you want to give feedback, make it constructive. Offer to help the desktop, games, laptop, immigrants or any of the other groupings/projects/communities that make up this community as a whole.
That is what a community is --- a group of people who help each other.
Don't just whinge and irritate from the sidelines, get in there and be \*part\* of it.