KDE 4, distributors, and bleeding-edge software
Posted Jan 29, 2009 16:38 UTC (Thu) by malor
In reply to: KDE 4, distributors, and bleeding-edge software
Parent article: KDE 4, distributors, and bleeding-edge software
There is an enormous difference between getting software wrong -- all software has bugs -- and deliberately misrepresenting your product to get extra beta testing.
They've admitted this. It's not in question. They called it .0 to trick people into testing a product that wasn't finished yet. They're even proud that it worked.
THAT is what I object to. In some states in the US, they have statutes against 'theft by deception', and that's exactly what the KDE team is guilty of -- stealing time from people who trusted them, by misrepresenting the product.
Painful .0 releases are nothing new, but lying to get beta testing is. Above all other things, for free software to differentiate itself, it has to work. If free software is claimed to be stable, it needs to be stable. The KDE team's lies hurt everyone in the community. Most high-profile free software teams do fantastic work, and as a result, open source as a whole prospers. When big projects like KDE deliberately ship garbage to get more testing, they don't just damage their own reputations, they damage everyone's. And what if other teams see their evinced pleasure at all the free testing they got, and decide to start emulating them? The more that idea spreads, the more the quality of free software suffers.
This was a horrible idea, selfish and manipulative, and it should be condemned in the strongest of terms.
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