This is a somewhat off topic, but since I didn't find any other forum to post it in, and replying directly to Gostev wouldn't be much of a discussion (it'd probably end up in his trash), I'm posting it here. Either way, it's about the forum digest, so what better place would there be.
I've been using Veeam Backup & Replication for many years now, and in summary it's been nothing but great. I've recommended the product to other users, both currently in the industry using competitor products, and new users entering the virtualization business. I haven't been on this forum for a few years now since I've simply had other things to do, and my Veeam stuff just works. In short, this is not a post from a disgruntled customer/user.
Getting to the point, I'm also a mostly happy reader of Gostev's "Veeam Community Forum Digests", reading all of them every time they arrive. While they're named Community Forum Digests, one could think they're just about what happens in the forum, but this isn't the case. Gostev usually covers a bit from the forum, but also a bunch of things happening in the industry, usually a nice pick of things to know about. So it's a bit off topic too, to be fair, but usually in a good way.
However; Over the last six to twelve months, possibly more, there's something going on in these digests that I've noticed and reacted on but didn't do much about because heck, you can't make a fuzz of everything in this world. But lately, this has in my opinion escalated to a level where I think it is simply unfair and no longer factual, but rather spreading FUD. And when this happens, I find it sad, because I think well of Gostev and he's in a position that I think should stick more to facts than unreasonable opinions, if I may call them that.
So what's the thing? The thing is that, even though Veeam is very actively working interoperating with Linux and has supported e.g. Linux hosts as repositories for a long time (which I use and am very happy with, by the way), there's more and more negative and now lately plain incorrect stuff being written about Linux and/or the open source community and products in Gostev's digests. I think that's not fair.
In the last digest, Gostev wrote the following in reference to https://stackoverflow.blog/2017/05/23/stack-overflow-helping-one-million-developers-exit-vim/ (which was a great fun read!):
Can you imagine the real magnitude of the issue considering that Stack Overflow is a developer-only community? And we're talking the default text editor in most *nix systems. This issue actually says it all about that mythical "community that will come and fix everything, thanks to the source code available". No, this will never happen for one simple reason – no one in that community cares about the user experience.
I'd be happy if Gostev could publically correct some of that, because:
- Really, I've been in both the open source community and the opposite for many many years, and I have yet to hear anyone seriously suggesting that the OSS community thinks of itself as some kind of savior in the sense you suggest. If anyone gave you such an idea, it's most likely none of the actually serious contributors to open source, but rather some FUD you heard. Don't put the blame for that on the open source community.
- The value of source code being available is something I won't comment on, because this is probably one of the things where there's differing opinions. I know I see a big benefit in that compared to when you have no idea what the source code in the software you run is, but that's an endless discussion for some reason.
- This is the main problem in this digest: "No, this will never happen for one simple reason – no one in that community cares about the user experience." - What on earth are you talking about here? Who are you to suggest that noone in the open source community cares about user experience? This is a very definitive statement, and it is 100% wrong. Beyond that, it's nothing less than a kick in the balls to anyone working very hard, often in their spare time, to contribute to open source projects of various kinds, to make available good alternatives for all of us to use.
Saying that noone in that community cares about user experience, that's about as wrong as you can get, and since this is a statement from a person like Gostev and in the position he is in, and in the digest that reaches so many subscribers (I don't have numbers for that, but presume that a lot of people are reading them), it's hard to see a good reason for putting it out there.
I can only assume the reason is ignorance and lack of understanding of the open source community, how it works and operates, or that there's simply business related aspects in the sense that spreading FUD about it will benefit Veeam. Regarding the latter, I do however think more highly of Gostev than to believe this is the case. I believe and hope you Gostev is not the type of person that go around talking down on others like this for no fair reason, especially in this definitive manner.
Hopefully what you wrote was just a bit too exaggerated at the time of writing, and you can confirm that this is not really your opinion about the open source community and all the hard work they do. You know as well as everyone else here that this community has contributed tremendously to software that is used by more or less everyone all over the world. In fact, in this very same digest you mention you had switched to Android for your phone. If the community having contributed to what Android is today hadn't cared about user experience or building a good product, then why would you use it in the first place? Not to mention all of the different libraries and other system components you and/or your company use every day. Or are you only using proprietary closed source products? Hardly possible.
Part of what the open source community build is user experience, and every day I see discussions going on about how to improve the usability and UX of software etc for the user - that is something which is a big big part of building great software, and it's not something only paid UX designers can do.
Finally, VIM. Indeed, a person not knowing how to operate VIM will have a hard time getting out of it IF they actually tried to use it first. If they didn't, they'll just type :quit and press enter and that's it - they're out of it (for reference, at the bottom of this post you can see the helpful entry screen VIM presents you with when you start it). VIM has as you might know a very different approach to how you use it and edit text in it, and this very different way of using it is THE MAIN POINT of it. This is the actual reason people use it, because they find a great great value in it. Personally I have used a lot of editors throughout the years, especially "regular" editors, so I'm well versed in both sides of this discussion.
Since a few years, I use VIM or VIM compatible (in terms of how to operate it) editors instead of regular ones. I'll repeat that; Since a few years, I am INTENTIONALLY using VIM-style editors (and where possible, I configure "regular" editors to use VIM-style editing/navigation), because I have actually taken the time (about a couple of hours) to understand the immense value that getting into this way of editing gives me, and more specifically I have invested the very short amount of time it takes to understand the basics of it. Believe it or not, but it really doesn't take you more than an hour to understand the most relevant parts that will give you way more than an hour in return once you just get to using this editor the right way, and it's pretty logical once you get into it. I dare to bet that most of the people who are bashing VIM in one way or the other, probably including Gostev, have not actually understood what VIM is really about, and why people use it. If they had, they most likely would not contribute to or write things like Gostev wrote in this latest digest.
Regarding "Can you imagine the real magnitude of the issue considering that Stack Overflow is a developer-only community? And we're talking the default text editor in most *nix systems." - there is no actual issue here, at least not with VIM or Linux. I understand a part of this statement is about VIM being the default editor in many operating systems/distributions, but if there's an issue here it's about people trying to use something in a way that it's not intended, rather than the software itself. If a million people would try to fly an airplane like they drive a car, that would indeed be an issue. But the issue isn't with the airplane, the issue is with the people trying to use it in the wrong way. Same thing here - don't suggest that VIM or Linux is the issue at hand, when it's the user trying to use it without understanding how to operate it. Doing so is simply not accurate or fair.
My apologies if this became a lengthy post, but I really think Gostev took things a bit too far this time. Please don't bash a community you apparently are not part of and do not really know how it works. It's a community that is bringing you and most other people out there a lot of value every single day, regardless of it being through some user experience related aspect or just having written code or specifications or improved operability between your devices by having contributed to some protocol they use to communicate. In the future I hope Gostev can stop talking down on Linux, open source and related things, and rather encourage the fact that this is something that is contributing value to us all every single day. Let's just all get along and be friendly and factual instead.
As promised, the VIM entry screen:
- Code: Select all
~ VIM - Vi IMproved
~ version 7.4.752
~ by Bram Moolenaar et al.
~ Vim is open source and freely distributable
~ Help poor children in Uganda!
~ type :help iccf<Enter> for information
~ type :q<Enter> to exit
~ type :help<Enter> or <F1> for on-line help
~ type :help version7<Enter> for version info