Some comments on commenting

I have tried in the past to periodically summarize the comments that readers have so kindly taken their valuable time to contribute.

However, although the volume of comments remains low enough that I could continue to do this, I have decided to discontinue this practice.

I have also decided that I should refrain from posting my own comments to user’s comments, unless I can make a good case that I should do so. After all, it’s my blog. I get first crack when I write a post. If a user then makes a comment, I think I should just let it stand, for all to read and assess on its merits.

It seems to me that the best way I can honor a comment is not to address it here, but to see if the commentor has their own blog, in which case I should take some time to read it, and then try to make a comment to their work on their turf, in their blog.

I have also started posting some comments to blogs and sites I find of interest. When I do so, I make mention of my blog, so others can see where I’m coming from.

I’ve done this several times lately, mainly in posts to lwn.net on stories of interest to me.

It’s been an educational experience. The main lesson I have learned is that the “free” versus “open” schism is larger than I had appreciated.

The “free” folks are *very* serious about any perceived slight to their work. They are bulldogs.

That is of course their right. But I must say, as someone who has often said that “if you aren’t having fun doing open-source then something is wrong,” that I wonder if they are having the fun that should be their due. Witness the relentless insistence on “GNU/Linux,” “FOSS,” or — my personal favorite — “FLOSS,” which was I thought something you used to clean your teeth. Do they find this fun? I wonder.

I had a surprising encounter earlier today. Indeed, it was that encounter that prompted me in part to write this post.

Steve O’Grady posted a link to a post by Manuel de Icaza, a well-known open-source programmer, who happens at this time to work for Novell. Steve’s comment on the post was “Miguel responds – aggressively – to PJ’s piece on the ‘fork’ of OO.o”. All this was in reference to a recent Groklaw post on the Microsoft / Novell alliance.

You can find Miguel’s post at OpenOffice Forks?.

You can read it for yourself and make your own call, though I do happen to agree with Miguel’s sentiments, as I have written similar thoughts in prior posts. PJ seems to have a real bee in her bonnet on this topic. Indeed, that’s one of the reasons I recently wrote several posts on forking, the “Yogi Yarns.”

However, what I found most interesting about Miguel’s blog was the software he had chosen to power it. When I went to post a comment, I was unable to do so.

I’m hoping I missed something. I find it odd that an open-source developer would run a blog that does not allow comments. It’s a surprising omission.

Your comments? Welcome as always, at least in this blog.

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