I got involved with a discussion on XDA-Developers.com.

(warning, long post ahead)

The topic of this thread that I was involved in was, "Azrienoch and Sassi left?" (referring to +Azrienoch Jeff Smith and +Sassi BoB), but the conversation quickly derailed from discussing specifically them and into a discussion about the moderators, admin, staff, developers, and users of their forum.

Needless to say, it didn't quite always stay on track.

However, everyone in the discussion maintained a level of intelligence and respect for each other. I was surprised by that, because being someone who hasn't really been involved with XDA I expected a bunch of hostility.

I did learn some interesting things about XDA by being involved with this discussion though. The most impactful thing I learned was that they are trying to foster a culture that they think caters to developers. While doing this, they completely negate what I feel is the most important part of developing on an open source platform: fostering learning and education within said platform.

Perhaps I am naive though. From what I was reading in the XDA thread, there was no need/want/ambition to to share or educate at all. As a matter of fact, what I took from the conversation (from the people involved within the discussion) was that they mostly wanted to be left alone. The idea of supporting an end user or answering questions about their published work was at the very bottom of their priority list.

How can you be OK with wanting to publish code, solicit donations on said code, yet not want to provide any support for it? In my opinion, that's an extremely arrogant attitude to have.

Perhaps I'm off base on this, and if I am I'm sure that I'll get tore apart in the comments. But before you rip me a new one let me make this statement: I have no issue with a developer soliciting money for their hard work. Everyone deserves to be paid for what they do. It's when a developer maintains an attitude of arrogance based upon the work that they publish and they refuse to "take the time" to support said work that gets me bent.

Unfortunately the moderators and staff at XDA-Developers feel that the best way to cultivate a culture that supports development is to manage users as if they were a burden to the entire process.

Rather than encourage conversation and development within the community, their goal seems to control it.

I thought that this post by "Developer Admin/Elite" pulsar_g2 summed up XDA's manifesto quite well: "I think some people forget that XDA is a developer site, FOR developers, BY developers. XDA was started off by a few developers, in order to share info about getting latest versions of software onto their devices, and extending support for them beyond end-of-life.

At some point on the route, smartphones hit the mainstream, and the userbase has been somewhat diluted. Some of our more dedicated developers felt that xda-tv was a distraction from our core aims, and perhaps even encouraging the problem more... A renewed focus on development on the portal and XDA-TV will encourage the right type of members to be here.

Let's be clear about one thing - XDA isn't about numbers! Let's be realistic here, you can have 1,000,000 "noobs" join up to watch some entertaining (yes, they were good and entertaining, credit where it's due!) videos, but are those 1 million noobs going to be able to achieve something like writing a RIL layer to bring ICS to a device otherwise abandoned by its manufacturer?"

What this says to me is that if you aren't a "Recognized Developer", you aren't welcome at XDA. If you are there to learn, flash software to your device, or ask questions... you are fairly much a hindering the site and are in the way of XDA reaching it's goals.

They should tell the 35,000 users that are currently browsing their forums that.

In summation, I think it's despicable that the largest open source mobile OS site on the internet is flipping the bird to the greatest opportunity it could possibly have: advancing the acceptance, usability, market share, and education of open source development for the sake of pandering to an ultra-minority and their egos. Instead of fostering a sense of community and being welcome to new users, official staff refer to them as "noobs", delete their comments, and lock their threads.

And, as a perfect example of how the staff likes to control discussion, the thread was locked... yet staff continues to comment in the thread, change posts, etc to support their argument. Well, you can't moderate or close this post, jack holes.

To those in that thread that could debate like adults and have a grown up conversation, thank you... and I'm happy to continue working working with you in any way that I can.



[post edited to correct grammar]
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