An interesting debate started to arise this week. It all begun when Matt Flaming of Paranoid Android fame sent out a Google+ post. The short of the post was that he would like people to be more appreciative of the work devs put into building, creating, maintaining, fixing ROMs. Matt’s point (from a dev point of view) was that users can become too expectant in what they should be getting. After all, devs are most often not paid for their work, are often doing this in their spare time and are often under a lot of pressure to push out fixes, patches and updates. So all-in-all, quite understandable.
We covered the story and reinforced the notion that devs should be a little bit more respected. In short, there is little point (or reason) to give them a hard time, when most of them are trying hard to achieve the same end goal – get you the content you want. The article was generally well received. Although it has brought up the debate of what should be expected from devs. Should we expect more? Should we expect less? Why are expectations bad? Is it not this expectation (and pressure) that fuels devs to work harder, be better and achieve more? Would they perform and put in just as much effort if they were not being hounded by fans of the ROM? You can see a prime example of the user side of the debate in this reddit thread which popped up in response to Matt’s G+ posting.
Matt does point out in his post that devs do this for themselves first and this may be true. Although, some devs out there might disagree with that. But once a ROM goes ‘public’, does the emphasis change? Devs may have started doing it for them? But now, whether it is liked or wanted, people depend on them to maintain, fix, patch, update. The emphasis has changed. Of course, the devs could always stop the work or stop making any of the work they do publicly available, but then everyone loses. As such, it is difficult to know which side of the debate to fall onto? It goes without saying that devs should be respected for their efforts. After all, they do bring a wealth of customisation to the open source platform that we all use. Without them, the android landscape which look much different to what we see today. But, should users simply be expected to ‘put up and shut up’ waiting for the various fixes and updates to land on their devices? Does that not sound wrong too?
Of course, in an ideal world, the debate of what should be expected from devs would not be an issue. But we do not live in an ideal world. We all want the best device, with the best ROM, running the most up-to-date version and we all want it now. So, in the lack of a perfect world we are left with this debate, is it wrong for ROM users to expect more from ROM developers? Or is it wrong for ROM developers to expect ROM users to not want more? Let us know which side of the debate you fall on?