[time-nuts] Releasing sources (was Re: Brooks Shera)

Poul-Henning Kamp phk at phk.freebsd.dk
Thu Mar 28 17:45:53 EDT 2013

In message <CABbxVHuY3SB4x9LFsB9ubJuA_jc5ioqwS9=w=uMwtE9-EbZAXA at mail.gmail.com>
, Chris Albertson writes:

>The way around that trick is to be firm.  Make a policy of ONLY
>answering questions there the person states what he has already tried
>and where he has looked and then say you will only post links to

I actually have an even more draconian policy, but for reasons which
would be obvious if I disclosed it, I cannot disclose it :-)

Yes, it is sort of security through obscurity, but I have a
pretty high volume to filter out.

For instance every other semester I still get a deluge of emails
from Japan because a CS professor assigns some pretty nasty
homework in some of my Open Source code[1]

My large-scale reaction to the volume of feedback, has been to make
the code I release less accessible, but still available.

For instance I very seldom, if ever, write a usable HOWTO or even
README file anymore.

Usually I don't do any "publicity" unless I come across people who
specifically ask for covered functionality, and give the impression
that they can cope with the learning-curve.

Yes, it's not the good and helpful neighbor I would love to be, but
there is so much code to hack, and only so little time...

But take it from me:  It's still a good idea to make your projects
available, because every so often, you'll make a new friend who is
worth all the trouble.


[1] I've communicated with the professor, and we hashed out a scheme
where I return a canned reply which goes "That was covered in the
lecture last week, right after the professor told the joke about
..."  Any student who is stupid enough to ask a TA or God forbid
the Professor about the joke they missed, will get what they deserve.

Poul-Henning Kamp       | UNIX since Zilog Zeus 3.20
phk at FreeBSD.ORG         | TCP/IP since RFC 956
FreeBSD committer       | BSD since 4.3-tahoe    
Never attribute to malice what can adequately be explained by incompetence.

More information about the time-nuts mailing list