User talk:Hooray/SandBox/FlightGear Performance and Run-Time Footprint Debate

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What's the meaning, and purpose of this page? Personal issues should be dealt in private and not brought in public, even more so not on a wiki, which is supposed to be neutral and informative.

This new exercise in futility is just the latest in a long run of late from a couple of contributors to the wiki, could we please just stop this now????

Op-eds and debates have their place on blogs, and other such personal channels, not on (official) wikis which are supposed to supplement documentation, and carry the clout of apparently being an 'official statement' from the project.

I4dnf (talk) 11:14, 9 July 2014 (UTC)

It does make a lot of sense to present, and summarize, the main arguments and issues that were raised by several contributors. As you may have noticed, compared to the original thread, this is already somewhat "redacted", i.e. minus several emotional statements and tirades. Thus, the purpose is quite simply to get to the meat of the discussion, i.e. the main issues and the suggestions presented by several people, so that people can make up their own mind without having to waste 30 minutes going through pointless debates. This being -quite obviously- a collection of quotes, it is far from appearing "official".
If any points made here seem "authoritative" it's just because of the exact people who made them, i.e. Thorsten's rendering/GLSL/effects statements obviously carry more weight than mine for example. We've had other heated debates about FlightGear issues, no matter if it's lack of usability, lack of a good GUI, lack of a 2D rendering API, lack of combat support etc - in varying forms, many of these were addressed over time, in response to debates like these.
You don't have to agree here obviously - but frankly, I also don't agree with things you have done and said in the past, as you know. Like Thorsten so eloquently stated on the forum: We all have different ways of dealing with such situations. The wiki has proven to be a fairly usable platform to present such issues in a less emotional fashion. It is for a reason that we've started locking emotional threads after posting a link to a wiki article presenting the main issues (e.g. FlightGear_and_old_Hardware): it helps us waste less time. As for your suggestion to deal with personal issues privately: I couldn't agree more with you (and would have loved to see you applying the same standards to your own disagreements with fellow contributors!), but this is not an attempt to continue the original debate or just make my own point here, it's a summary of all the main arguments and proposals. Those among us who're interested in understanding and fixing such issues, and prevent such debates, actually require some way to gather, evaluate & analyze all standpoints. This has worked well enough for other heated debates, so I don't see why it shouldn't work this time. --Hooray (talk) 14:35, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
First of all let's get things straight: I have never redacted or quoted someone out of context, I have never presented my personal opinions as the "project's official stance". I have merely used my right given by the EU law, on my work, so please spear me the "you've done same/worse" discourse, as that's not going to stick.
Btw, no, bullying other people and shutting their mouth under the guise of "project stance" does not mean the debate was solved. It just means that your louder shouts and your abuse of clout has subdued their comments. Censoring the forums and selectively deleting disgruntled posts and/or locking threads and using the ban-hammer threat doesn't mean that either.
I'm merely saying that I think personal opinions should be clearly marked as such (no, looking at the history of edits on one page doesn't mean that it's marked as personal opinion), and that I think they have no place on the wiki in the first place. And that I think you're abusing these quotes to paint an image that suits, at most, your personal idea of this project and its development (like it happened in all those other cases that worked oh so well).
I4dnf (talk) 15:14, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
There's no "out-of-context" quoting taking place here, if surrounding context is omitted, the corresponding header makes the point pretty obvious. Besides, that's exactly the point of quoting people, while still linking back to the original posting/discussion: so that statements can be looked up and checked.
I've never said that you've done "something worse" - I just said that your applying good standards, but apparently not in the scope of your own work, contributions and discussions/disagreements.
And not sure what you are referring to WRT to "EU law". The GPL, and the FSF, are pretty clear about "retracting" contributions-once you release work under the GPL, you are granting others all the freedoms that you are taking by "reserving the right" to retract your work at any later time. See the FSF/GPL FAQs. Their point is quite specifically that individuals acting that way are harming the project, which is exactly which more established projects like the kernel or gcc, require people to sign contracts to prevent such havoc from happening.
I totally agree with your point on censorship, but people aren't being censored, it's just that debates that would otherwise need moderation (which IS taking up time) are reviewed and locked if necessary, while providing a less heated platform (i.e. the wiki) to present different views.
Personal opinions are what they're, and they can be easily identified as such by looking at the link, which is part of each quote. The edit history doesn't contain any such information obviously.
There's no "abusive quoting" taking place, it's a summary of points raised by fellow users and contributors-not even very selective, I added quite a lot of stuff that I disagree/d with personally.
But then again, I also once disagreed with the idea to implement a weather system in scripting space, or to implement a 2D rendering API on top of the property tree, or to add scripted AI. And I once ripped out Nasal and replaced it with a different scripting engine - that was several years ago, these days, it is obvious that I was wrong in many of these instances-and I've tried to support several of such efforts/occasions, despite my original reluctance/disagreement.
Which kinda goes to show, that the wiki, and summarized discussions there, does work exceptionally well - in fact, much better so than the majority of heated debates on the devel list or the forum. You may not agree with me, or the discussions and features I was involved in, but there clearly is a benefit here. The good thing about contributing to a project like this one is that people don't necessarily have to agree to still collaborate, or even just contribute to an unrelated area.
At the end of the day, it really doesn't matter. However, people who are using their track record of participation and contributions as leverage to "veto" and make their points, and threaten to possibly pull certain contributions, is always going to be harmful and cause havoc. It is with great relief that I find this an uncommon behavior among people involved in more critical parts of the project, like the core code, or we would really be in a pathetic situation.
Don't get me wrong: I disagreed with Thorsten on several counts, but that's been previously the case already, and while it may take a while for the dust to settle, I have no doubt that we'll collaborate again, and probably exchange lots of messages behind the scenes.
Case in point, we've gone through this at least a dozen times before and just went on a few weeks later, so I have no reason to believe that this will be any different. I have the utmost of respect for Thorsten, not just for his work, but also for him as an individual, because he's really trying to improve things on a "meta" level, not just in terms of "features" but also project coordination and collaboration-often enough acting as an interface between core developers, contributors and end-users. Obviously, this can be very daunting and frustrating. But no matter how strongly the two of us may have agreed on technical terms, he's never refused to answer any questions that I've had, and neither have I. --Hooray (talk) 16:14, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
First of all, I don't see the reason to duplicate forum posts here, when a simple link might be enough.
Second, whatever interpretation of GPL you choose, it doesn't supersede the copyright law. While GPL is just a license, the author of whatever work is involved still has the ultimate right to change the license or stop distributing his own work. I also might say that GPL is not the best license for works other than code, since there are various licenses better suited to artistic contributions. Don't know why Flighgear chose GPL for other works than code. As a Flightgear contributor, I see the subject of the IAR80 as a non-issue. I4dnf can do anything with his contribution, even if it's unorthodox by our standards.
Adrian (talk) 20:39, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
1) it's so that people don't have to go through dozens (or even hundreds) of postings/tirades to find the main points made by fellow contributors, as previously stated.
2) I am not a lawyer, and even if you and I were both lawyers, our "opinions" would be irrelevant still. Which is why I kept referring to the FSF/GPL FAQs explicitly, which supports the main statement here, but which also states pretty clearly why the FSF expects written statements from its contributors (e.g. GCC) [1] [2].
3) There's no point in debating this here and now-no matter the outcome, it won't have any effect whatsoever, for the simple reason that 1) FlightGear traditionally doesn't consult lawyers or pursue such debates, and 2) that FlightGear as such is not a legal entity at all - we've seen good contributions removed for questionable reasons before - and probably will see that happen again. This was never a matter of 'copyright' or a developer deciding to stop distributing his own work, it was exactly about asking for previously GPL'ed contributions to be revoked by others, which isn't just implicit right like "copyright". Please refer to the FSF/GPL FAQs for details though-they're available in a plethora of languages. --Hooray (talk) 20:57, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
You might be confusing the GPL issue with the bit about the FSF requiring people to surrender copyright to them, in order to defend in court. Either way, copyright is recognised in almost every country, while GPL may not have stood a trial. Hence my statements above. I don't think we need to discuss this further here, but references to the IAR will bring this up inevitably ;-)
Adrian (talk) 22:05, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
as you know, I tend to agree with Emilian and Adrian that it is in general not a good idea to copy forum posts to the wiki. One of the problems with quoting (only parts of) forum posts is that nuances and coherence easily get lost. Having a single person make a "summary" of a discussion inevitably means it is somewhat biased. Next to that, some of us have spent a considerable amount of work to remove outdated and now-irrelevant information from the wiki. I'm afraid that adding hundreds of quotes about current afairs undos that work. Our time is much better spent on doing real FlightGear work. In fact, I find it rather sad that I deem it necessary to write on this talk page.
If the goal is to present clear and to the point facts, the whole debate could be summarised in two or three paragraphs. Most quotes have quite some overlap and wandering. I just had a quick look at the scenery section and found pretty much the same statements over and over again.
Let me just add one final note that it is not our (the forum moderators') policy to close emotional topics and point to the wiki. Discussions are to be held on the forum and are welcomed as such. The only cases where we've closed topics, those participating kept on re-iterating the same points (essentially a non-discussion) or kept on making denigrating remarks.
Gijs (talk) 21:02, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
Well, most wiki articles go through dozens, if not hundreds, of iterations - this one hasn't gone through a single iteration yet, it's merely copy&paste obviously.
All the attention you guys are giving to this in its current form isn't exactly warranted: I could point out dozens of occasions where I received similar comments in response to wiki articles/portals (or even subforums!) that are meanwhile not only established, but also successful/popular.
Your point about a single person summarizing an issue, and it being inevitably biased, is obviously valid, but that's not by/my choice - previously, Thorsten and others helped with such things, as you know.
This time, it seems unlikely that Thorsten will get involved anytime soon admittedly. But otherwise, a wiki always contains "work in progress" and participation is rarely a matter of a single point in time (as in 07/2014).
Here, the same rules that apply to forum/devel list/gitorious participation, should apply as well: if you disagree with someone/something, don't just leave, or threaten to pull some contribution, but just be be proactive-not just in terms of vetoing, but in terms of changing things for the better.
As can be seen by the number of discussions referenced here, we do have a recurring debate/issue here. And it would not be smart to just ignore it.
People just don't quite agree regarding the actual nature of it. But over time this can surely be identified and addressed.
This wouldn't be the first thing that takes several years to materialize in FG, or even the first issue that takes years to be recognized as such.
Just look at some of those "RFC" articles that were written 5+ years ago, back then, nobody quite agreed with them-these days, we're actually seeing concrete actions and features being implemented. In fact, by core developers, and other contributors, who stood up against those very articles originally.
I am not sure how adding to a single article can "undo" any work done by others: people are not required to read it, people are not required to contribute to it, people are not even required to help maintain it.
Besides, I am one of those guys who regularly deletes outdated stuff here - and regarding some of the deletions that recently took place, I don't even agree with them necessarily. There were still valid points made in some of those "Proposal:" articles, some of which I am in fact currently working on, and I would have loved to look at them - or even just the edit history of the article.
At the end of the day, this is a common phenomenon: people focusing on disagreeing with others, rather than seeing the potential merits of even just agreeing with parts of an effort, no matter how controversial and questionable it may be - it's that, what motivates me, and a few others, to get involved in sidekicks, despite finding a plethora of reasons to disagree with the original work, i.e. due to technical considerations, design shortcomings etc.
Don't get me wrong: it took me ~20 minutes to copy things here and categorize them, and I would have loved to spend my time differently. But obviously, we're having a problem here that will not be solved over night-which is why a wiki-based effort to present the issue is much more likely to bear fruits than the forum/devel list. Ultimately, people get to decide how they want to spend their own time, and I also find other things more enjoyable-but we're having a problem, as can be seen by the number of threads and postings, and we should work out a way to come up with a strategy to avoid such debates in the future by solving the underlying issue. As could be seen by my recent postings in the devel/canvas forum, I have also started to make things better configurable, and more optional to allow people to better understand where resources are utilized. But until that materializes, I'll use this summary to prioritize my work. Feel free to move it some user-specific sandbox if you are bothered by this being in the public namespace, and please ignore it if it's causing you guys so much trouble .... thanks! --Hooray (talk) 21:49, 10 July 2014 (UTC)