Dolphin as an Ecosystem Absence of Ethical Judgement Implications

DosDawg posted 9th of June 2011 in Community Voice. 11 comments.

I thought oddly of the reference to the release of Dolphin as an ecosystem. I pondered that for some time, and couldnt understand how this reference came about.

As expressed from

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It is a mistake to describe the free software community, or any human community, as an “ecosystem,” because that
word implies the absence of ethical judgment.

The term “ecosystem” implicitly suggests an attitude of nonjudgmental observation: don't ask how what should happen, just study and explain what does happen. In an ecosystem, some organisms consume other organisms. We do not ask whether it is fair for an owl to eat a mouse or for a mouse to eat a plant, see more we only observe that they do so. Species' populations grow or shrink according to the conditions; this is neither right nor wrong, merely an ecological phenomenon.

By contrast, beings that adopt an ethical stance towards their surroundings can decide to preserve things that, on their own, might vanish—such as civil society, democracy, human rights, peace, public health, clean air and water, endangered species, traditional arts…and computer users' freedom.

When the term is considered, it brings new light to some of the thinking. or does it?
That is interesting, but a more important question in my opinion is whether Dolphin is truly "open source". It might be open source in some technical or legal way, but I am not sure it really operates in "the spirit of open source". In a true open source community, they may be a group of programmers working on the core code, but the community contributes to the code and improvement of the software. That doesn't happen here - there are common sense fixes that everyone needs see more that this community fixed in D7.0 but were never put in the code, so we have to do it ourselves each and every time - a huge waste of effort. May critical core functions are now in paid mods - Antons Page Control and Ultimate Alerts come to mind, but there are others. This has been becoming less and less of an open source community, and more and more of a commercial one.
Andrew Boon
Pretty much the only imposed condition that somehow limits "freedom" within Dolphin "ecosystem" is the license that requests a fee in case of reference removal. In every other sense people can do what they want - modify, re-sell, trade mods, discuss, etc. etc.

Contribution of code is also welcome, Caltrade. In fact we've given write access to SVN to a few non-BoonEx developers in the past and we always happily consider any suggested code improvements. This is the same with see more other open-source projects. Dolphin is not any more limited in that respect. So, considering how Dolphin license price went down to $99 now, the lowest ever, I don't see how this "This has been becoming less and less of an open source community, and more and more of a commercial one"? SVN is public, development is public, even future development plan is as public as possible.
There are tons of code contributions that happen all the time here, that never get put in the product - removing the promo block for logged in users, making it so the return character works in blog posts, adding a php block, getting rid of those cartoon characters in the avatar directory, getting rid of the "Orca" name - and on and on. Often we will discuss this in the forums and publicly wonder why the improvements made by the community are not put in the code, but no one from Boonex see more ever responds.

There are also critical functions that are in commercial mods that you almost have to buy - Anton's page control comes to mind, as the ultimate notifier - alerts are a critical part of any social application and without them projects will fail. In additions, almost all the modules released with the software are too weak to stand on their own - directory, classifieds, wall, etc. I think there are at least five or six hundred in mods you have to buy to even have a prayer - still not horrible, but hardly free, and people don't know this. The more serious issue is fixes done by the community that never get put in the code.
Andrew Boon
Suggestions that don't get included into the main version are normally those that can't, for some reason, be included. So, the D8 is an attempt to reassess the core to make way for more changes. same applies to some of the mods - we discussed how we plan to include so of the commercial mods into the core, as soon it is ready to accomodate.
Wait that makes no sense Andrew,your statement "Suggestions that don't get included into the main version are normally those that can't, for some reason, be included".

If your developers can not do it , then how can they create mods that do it? Developers, even some of yours that say they can't do it, manage to do it, and charge a hefty price!

I take offense to that statement Andrew. We are NOT children, we are (maybe were now) loyal members that have been with Dolphin for a long see more long time! Stop speaking to us like we are children, or stupid and do not read between the lines! I think you can see after all the back lashing that has happened lately, that we are getting fed up with the run around a mutiny is knocking on your front door!
Andrew, in reading CalTrades responses here, what I gather from him is that its not that there are suggestions being requested from BoonEx specifically. What is being referenced here is the fact that there are those in the community who have done the legwork, and who have provided the sourcecode and the lines where that code should be placed. So if the patch or fix is provided from a community member, how is it that these fixes are not implemented into the next patched version?

The forum, which see more is supposed to be part of the Dolphin platform and is running under one license agreement for banner and branding removal, has been discussed from Dolphin 6. The fix has been discussed many times in the forums.

Futher where you make your statement that suggestions that dont get included into the main version are normally those that cant for some reason. if they cant be included, then what is the reason, and why are these reasons not expressed to the community, and not just ignored. or find that the primary developers for dolphin are releasing these functions as a paid solution in the market?

there are many FREE fixes that are provided by the community members, and those fixes are proven to work, yet each time there is an upgrade, those fixes have to be reapplied because the contributed works are not included in the core, which was missing the feature. case in point is the ability to have a php block.
Like, why Deanos tools are not included or atleast adapted in the core. When Deanos can provide a mod for free i think he will be glad to know that his mod is going to be a part of the core in the future Dolphin.

if one can make a difference, when 100 devs are ready D8 will be phenomenal.
Nathan Paton
I don't think Deanos Tools itself should be implemented (it's a module), but it's features should definitely be included in the core product.

I don't usually use third-party mods and modules, but when I do, I always look towards Deano's offerings. His modules have shown that there are some noticeable holes in Dolphin's default feature set.
Sure, Deanos tools should be a core implementations. unlike other modders, Deanos is Admin centric, which is of a great use to site-admins.
Andrew, is there any update on that compiled list of what will be released in now two weeks?

what can we expect to see get addressed?
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