There comes a time…

I read this blog entry from a hard-working former Gaim developer today. It’s sad, yet so familiar…

I’ve been holding back this blog entry for a long time, but given that I’m not the only one who has been mistreated, now might be a good time to describe what happened to me in what used to be an awesome project. It’s also a way to hopefully clear my name, so to speak, as some have been told some very negative things about me as of late.

As many know, I was a developer on Gaim for many years and wrote a bulk of the framework that it’s made of today. At least for a time, I was respected, and my work was appreciated. At one point, a number of users started messaging me asking why the lead developer or other senior developers were saying such negative things about me behind my back. I wasn’t sure I believed it at first until a trusted friend told me what was said to her about me. It was after that that things took a sharp turn downhill, and while I won’t go into details, it was enough to make me never want to contribute a line of code to the project again. I’ve been informed since that my name is synonymous with crap code, according to a couple senior developers. It was really hard to hear this.

Now, I know this has happened to other people. Users and developers. A number of people in the past who have wanted to contribute to the project have been strongly rejected. I hope I was never the cause of any of that, as I tried to work with most people and help them along. My apologies to everyone out there who has had a bad experience with the Gaim project.

I don’t know what Gaim’s future holds, but in the past year I’ve learned not to care. My work on Gaim has helped me to establish connections in the open source community, and for that I am grateful. It has also helped me to get a job that I absolutely love.

I’ll forever miss the project as it used to be, and hope someday it’ll reach that stage again.

13 thoughts on “There comes a time…

  1. Greetings, after reading your blog entry I somehow got a deyavu. I made the same experiences when contributing to GNOME. Exactly the same stuff you just wrote about GAIM I could say about GNOME.

  2. I know what you mean there. I’ve had my share of abuse from certain of the gaim “developers”. Abuse, flameage and trolling appear to be their main ways of communication with the outside world.

    It’s been enough that I quit even attempting to cooperate with them, both for Gentoo, and in my professional work.

  3. I used to regularly commit patches to Gaim, years ago when I was just starting college. It was fun to be involved in a project, but I soon found out that most of the lead developers were huge jerks. On the one hand they’re always saying that if people want support for this-or-that feature they should write a patch. But then they turn around and berate the patch writers. It was really frustrating and after a year or so of this I just gave up. I see some of my (old) patches have been recently folded into 2.0.0cvs, though. Heh.

    You were never one of the jerks, though. I imagine you can think of what developers I’m talking about.

  4. I have to say that the (few) patches I had for Gaim that didn’t go through you were the most painful ones I had to deal with.

    Thanks for making working on Gaim so easy and fun.

  5. Chip, sorry if I’ve ever said anything negative about you. I respect you, and I like a very large percentage of the code you’ve written for Gaim, and I’ve learned a lot from it.

  6. KingAnt, you have never been negative toward me, and I appreciate that. I have always enjoyed working with you and would love an opportunity to do so in the future. I have a tremendous amount of respect for you and the work you have done on the project over the years. I didn’t mean to imply that all the developers in the project are difficult to work with. There are many I have a lot of respect for.

  7. I joined #gaim and mentioned the issue and I was told that I wasn’t aware of the other side story, which is true, but after reading these comments I just doubt that the other side would have anything to say about it.

    I love gaim, and would hate to see it go down because of a few stuborn or maybe even sold out developers. Instead of leaving the project, is there something we can do to make them see that what they’re doing is wrong?

  8. I joined #gaim and mentioned the issue and I was told that I wasn’t aware of the other side story, which is true, but after reading these comments I just doubt that the other side would have anything to say about it.

    I love gaim, and would hate to see it go down because of a few stuborn or maybe even sold out developers. Instead of leaving the project, is there something we can do to make them see that what they’re doing is wrong?

  9. I don’t understand what the problem is. One of the most powerful things about free software is our ability to fork the codebase and continue development as a separate project, in order to route around problems. Whether those problems are license related, community related, or just differences of opinion regarding implementation, having the ability to fork provides much flexibility. It’s a natural thing. Projects that fork tend to either have their code merged back after its proven itself (gcc/egcs, debian/ubuntu, and so on), or the project doesn’t build momentum and simply disappears. Either way, it’s not something that should be avoided.

    If you want to work on gaim, then work on gaim. If the project leaders are assholes, and the community vitrolic, start gaim-ng (or freegaim, or seanfreegaim, or whatever), and others who feel similar will follow. Make an attempt to keep the community nicer, encourage people to help out, etc, and the project will grow at a faster pace than the original.

  10. That’s a bummer, man — I’m sorry to hear it. Never observed any of the shit talking you mention, but then again I was never heavily involved in the project either.

    Sup Andres. By the way, pretty much every fork of Gaim has failed spectacularly.

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