Re: [xml] Bug or User Error

On Fri, Jan 30, 2004 at 12:28:50AM -0800, Christopher J. Grayce wrote:
With all due respect, Daniel, I kind of agree with some of this.  I've
been using libxml2 for quite a while, and I've done my best to study
the documentation, the tutorials, the mailing list archive, and I've
pored over the source code myself, walked through it with the debugger
step by step, et cetera, and I *still* get snagged by features or
"features" which, no doubt, are clear to you when you built them,
but which catch me by surprise.  

I'm not a fool, either.  I've been writing large production scientific
code for 18 years, all on Multics/Unix/Linux systems and generally with
open software and GNU tools.  

Unfortunately, the documentation for libxml2 is just not especially
well-organized and decidedly incomplete.  I'm not complaining about
that -- you've done great work on the library itself, it *is* an
open-source project, and anyone who doesn't like it is free to do a
better job.

But -- it's a little often the case that you yell at people for being
dumbheads and not reading the docs, etc. -- a little too often, IMHO.
You don't have to be an especial dumbhead to be puzzled or surprised
by libxml2, for reasons above.  It may be that the people who are writing
to the list are not quite as dumb or lazy as you may be assuming.  And 
in any event, we all ask dumbass newbie questions from time to time.  It's
not unreasonable to hope that, therefore, when it's our turn to be the
expert, we're a little patient with those just get starting.

I'm not trying to be a jerk or unappreciative of all you've done, and
I know very well what it's like to be frustrated in the way you are.
Just some feedback, is all, perhaps food for thought.

  So tell me. What should I do ? 
  - Quit my job, loose my earnings and try to fullfill all the request
    to the lists 24 hours a day ? 
  - Quit my job, loose my earnings and try to write a book about libxml2
    which anyway won't give me enough revenues to even feed me.
  - Just ignore requests ?
  - anything else constructive ?

If I get really annoyed, it is because I care about this. Otherwise I would
just ignore posts, right ?


Daniel Veillard      | Red Hat Network
veillard redhat com  | libxml GNOME XML XSLT toolkit | Rpmfind RPM search engine

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