Pidgin Controversy Triggers Fork
Found at slashdot and techreport,
"Pidgin, the premier multi-protocol instant messaging client, has been forked. This is the result of a heated, emotional, and very interesting debate over a controversial new feature: As of version 2.4, the ability to manually resize the text input area has been removed; instead, it automatically resizes depending on how much is typed. It turns out that this feature, along with the uncompromising unwillingness of the developers to provide an option to turn it off, annoys the bejesus of very many users. One comment made by a Professor that teaches "Collaboration in an Open Source World" argued that 'It's easy to see why open source developers could develop dogmas. [...] The most dangerous dogma is the one exhibited here: the God feature. "One technological solution can meet every possible user-desired variation of a feature." [...] You [the developers] are ignoring the fan base with a dedication to your convictions that is alarmingly evident to even the most unobservant of followers, and as such, you are demonstrating that you no longer deserve to be in the position of servicing the needs of your user base.'"
Although the freedom of opensource allows many possibilities, a separate fork over one feature is quite ridiculous. I really hate when something like this happens as it just gives more fuel for anti-opensource zealots to use as examples how opensource when managed wrong can become a pissing match that results in the community becoming fragmented when views differ.
Well I disliked the change too, but as I do not use pidgin that much it did not really matter for me. Of course the new behaviour is different from all other available instant messengers, why pidgin developers think it is the only and best way to do I really don't know.
I'm not disliking what the fork does, I also think the pidgin devels are being pig headed using the gnome crews "sensible defaults" philosophy. One persons "sensible defaults" differs from another persons ideas of what "sensible defaults" are. Having a feature that allows configuration freedom and then removing it to force users to use the application to what the devs feel should be the defacto standard is stupid. I just hate that a fork has to be done to circumvent developers egos.
Originally Posted by Kano