This is a late post but I felt it needed to be said. Many of you will have seen Simon J Stuart’s post on why he is shutting down his blog on September 1st. Simon’s post is quite emotive in places but most tragically he is also withdrawing his freely available projects from which many have benefited such as his Social networking libraries and Lua4Delphi (which will become a paid for only product).
Simon’s experience rather reminds me, to a certain extent, of the tragedy of the commons. For those unfamiliar with this dilemma, it states that multiple independent individuals will eventually deplete a shared resource whilst making decisions that are rational for their own self-interest but that their collective actions are in the worst long-term interest of the collective. In this case, it would appear that multiple individuals, consulting their own self-interest have placed what collectively amounts to too much pressure (and allegedly in some cases abuse on Simon).
My own limited experience in contributing code and having code contributed to me does not match with Simon’s experience but then it never really came close to the sheer volume and quality of code contributed by Simon (plus, I never really had any users!).
I fear that it is too late to change Simon’s mind but it might be prudent to suggest that this would be a good point to reflect, as developers, on how we interact with and treat members of the community who donate their time, resources and thoughts to help out others. I know that I, as with many others, will miss his contributions when they’re gone.