Chuckellania for October 8th, 2021

Published on Friday, October 8, 2021

There's been an ongoing kerfuffle over the .NET Foundation these past few days, and if this is the first time you've heard of the .NET Foundation in a while, or at all, you're not alone. I think that's precisely part of the problem: it hasn't made a great case for itself on what it's good for.

This seems to be one of the better summaries of what's going on:

[A] lapsed maintainer forced their pull request into a project without following process and over the explicit objections of a current maintainer. That lapsed maintainer is also the executive director of the .NET Foundation, the open source umbrella organization that the project is a member of. After forcing her changes in, the lapsed maintainer cited the foundation's goals as the justification for the PR.

Discussions revolve around topics such as:

  • why wasn't this (of various values of "this") communicated better?
  • what are the benefits and downsides of moving a project to the foundation?
  • will changed leadership improve on this, or is the concept fundamentally flawed?

I still have a hard time figuring out what the exact story here is.

Various pieces come from Rodney Littles II and Glenn Watson (both of whom heavily involved in the long-running ReactiveUI project), as well as Rob Mensching (of the even-longer-running WiX project).

Then there's an apology from Claire Novotny, who's also the aforementioned "lapsed maintainer".

The story is perhaps interesting more in its larger context of: how do you foster an active OSS community for your ecosystem? How do OSS maintainers feel legally and financially safe and valued?

(Not like this, perhaps.)

Kaleidoscope, a Mac app for comparing files, has reached 3.0.

This follows an acquisition (and dev team change) earlier this year, after the product seemed dead in the water for a while.

They've bumped the price from $69.99 to $149.99, with the old $69.99 now serving as the upgrade price. It's the Mac Pro effect: if your market is small and shrinking, you can either give up or offer a high-priced product for the relatively few who are still interested.

Kaleidoscope always struck me as designed with a lot of love, but also hard to find a market for.

As Michael Tsai puts it:

I imagine that this is a tricky app to sell because, even though it’s great, parts of its functionality are available in tools that developers already have: BBEdit, Tower, Xcode, FileMerge. And in most cases I compare files using those apps because I’m already in them. But sometimes I need more power or want more convenience for a certain workflow, and then I’m really glad that I have Kaleidoscope.

IDEs, versioning tools, etc. tend to already include this, leaving a stand-alone app as useful only for more niche scenarios.

Israel is seeing a significant reduction in death rate among those who have had a third COVID-19 shot. Maybe that's only for now, and it'll wear off the same way?