This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things

Richmond richmondmathewson at
Thu Sep 10 13:13:55 EDT 2015

On 09/10/2015 07:59 PM, Richard Gaskin wrote:
> Dirk prive wrote:
> > I tend to stay quiet a lot, and prefer being silent on the side
> > lines
> ...but when you finally did write here it was very valuable, so I hope 
> you'll do so more often.
> > but I have noticed that there is a difference between what was
> > expected from an open sourced LiveCode and what is actually possible
> > with the open source version of LiveCode.
> > When people hear "open source", I think it is completely normal that
> > they expect to read the source, make adjustments, and give them back
> > to the project. This way the project can be improved by anyone that
> > wants to help.
> > That's how open source works generally.
> > With LiveCode we apparently have binary stacks that can be edited,
> > but the changes can't be merged back into the project.
> > That completely goes against what you expect from an open source
> > project.
> You've identified the crux of the problem well:  LiveCode was never 
> designed with modern FOSS methods in mind.   Indeed, it predates most 
> modern FOSS workflows we take for granted today. This is one reason 
> LiveCode Builder is being designed as it is.
> But LiveCode Script remains very valuable for all the reasons we enjoy 
> using it, and given that its nature is inherently incompatible with 
> some aspects of current FOSS tools we have to invent alternatives to 
> bridge the gap, things beyond what Github or any other off-the-shelf 
> system could ever have anticipated.
> I'll write more on that later today. I just had a very productive 
> meeting with the team in which they raised this very issue and we 
> brainstormed some options for handling it, and I look forward to 
> sharing where we are with that as soon as I get some other emails out 
> of the way.
> Here, the dynamic you describe applies in both directions:
> > When some people vent frustration over this, others on the list
> > attack the messenger for the message.
> Having read nearly every post on this list since its inception, I 
> believe it's fair to say that conversations tend to go south when a 
> post becomes more about presumption than productivity.
> I believe pretty much every team member, and members of the community 
> who enjoy using LiveCode, have all expressed very explicitly at one 
> time or another that ALL discussions aimed at improving LiveCode are 
> valuable, even when they involves criticism, noting the challenges 
> involving the product or the usage experience.
> When things become less productive here it's often through the use of 
> unnecessarily emotion-laden terms, or making presumptions about 
> others' intentions.  Sometimes these go as far as including implicit 
> (and even occasionally explicit) suggestions of incompetence or 
> duplicity.  It's rare in any conversation on any topic in any venue 
> that any good can come of that.
> If we all just wrote here the way we'd discuss things over a dinner 
> table there'd be much work done accomplished and little in the way of 
> uncomfortable feelings.
> This list is about making software, using and improving LiveCode. 
> Anything that helps improve either LiveCode or our use of it is not 
> merely acceptable, but essential, and that includes open and frank 
> discussion of ways to improve the LiveCode experience.
> All members of this list should expect to be treated with 
> professionalism and respect.  That includes all members of the 
> community, and the core dev team as well.
> If we see exceptions to that we should address them, and rather than 
> make more noise here I'm happy to help with any grievance process that 
> might help move things forward through private email if preferred.
> Hopefully there will be little occasion for any grievance as long as 
> we all treat one another with courtesy and respect.
> We have much work to do, on our own projects and with LiveCode itself. 
> Let's try to keep conversations focused on meaningful outcomes for 
> those goals, and the rest will take care of itself.
> > I think more work should be done to make this a true open source
> > project.
> > That is my opinion, and I don't expect LiveCode to listen to me.
> You are the reason LiveCode exists.   A software is valuable to the 
> degree that it satisfies its users.  Your presence, and the presence 
> of the others here, makes LiveCode possible.
> The ever-more-frequent posts from core team members suggests they're 
> not only listening, but actively engaged.
> A code base like LiveCode is complex stuff, and the process needed to 
> make it happen no less so.  It takes all of us working together to 
> pull it off.
> My own modest contribution is to donate chunks of my time to help 
> coordinate activities between the community and the core team. Where 
> there's friction, or even just any lack of ease, that's among the 
> things a good Community Manager will be available to help with 
> whenever possible.
> Later today I'll share some of the things I've been discussing with 
> the core team on behalf of the community, but it needn't be limited to 
> that.
> Let's please continue to brainstorm here on this list any and all 
> productive ideas for making LiveCode and ever better part of our 
> software development toolkit.


Very well put in a well-balanced way.


More information about the use-livecode mailing list