Yet again: why are Open Source maintainers so rude with newbies?

My first contact with this was with the rude-wall Graham Campbell from the Laravel projects. I don't have the links anymore, but I recall a specific issue where, after a couple of passive-aggressive messages from both sides, he agreed he started stuff with the wrong foot and he's usually rude in the first place - and then we were able to actually discuss the issue.

Now I am a newbie on Home Assistant and was clueless on why an add-on wasn't working... I found an issue on GitHub with the same problem and no actual solution, and locked... So I opened a new one, wrote a ton of stuff, only to find a crude "provide logs" with no help on how to achieve that. Turns out the developer does acknowledge he's an asshole "at first sight" in how own profile.

So... why?
Is this hatred for newbie questions, without recalling they were also one at some point in their lives?
Are these cocky developers, full of themselves and their important projects (no irony on "important", they are indeed), that can't think of issue reporters as "an actual human being on the other side of the screen"?
Maybe just another symptom of internet interactions?

I totally acknowledge I got rude after his answers, but I still had an honest interest on helping the project from a user POV and he just don't give a damn, probably since he got hatred by my person after showing newbieness?

- original issue with unresponded questions about logging and docs: https://github.com/hassio-addons/...
- my follow-up on the same issue, where I faced the same logging cluelessness: https://github.com/hassio-addons/...
- follow-up with another honest question on the same topic, closed on sight: https://github.com/hassio-addons/...

  • 4
    In some cases it can be a trait they get after having to many “entitled” requests, not every one show appreciation for the work.

    In other cases it could just be that they combine enough skill to be able to create the project and enough pride to feel entitled to respect.

    I have personally been quite lucky in the cases I have approached open source project and have not encountered either case.
  • 5

    If you really want to read pissed and rude comments, I can give you a link to a few mailing lists. Glibc e.g. is _famous_...

    What you don't understand - I think - is that it is annoying when people seemingly ignore written docs and / or don't bother to verify that their issue actually belongs to this software.

    In FOSS, quality assurance is one of the hardest and most painful jobs.

    You have to fight every day against duplicates, ignorant users, ignorant devs, arseholes and all this for free without getting paid.

    Most FOSS projects have a sponsored QA or no QA - for that reason.

    Don't get me wrong - there are arsehole maintainers out there.

    But the guy you linked here seems - compared to the stuff I've seen - like a cuddly teddy bear.

    To reopen an issue and creating another duplicate is ... a _major_ dick move.

    Looking at support section of the Docs...

    Discord, Forum, Chat... Why not start there before burdening the author with additional work?
  • 2
    Lol he was nice to you 🤣 wtf are you talking about.
  • 3
    "why are Open Source maintainers so rude with newbies?"

    being an asshole is under GNU license:p
  • 2
    Hate to say it, but we have short tempers precisely because of situations like this that crop up time and time again.

    As an open source contributor / maintainer, I've taken time out of my life to provide the community with something useful for free, often taking hundreds or thousands of man hours. I've put it out there, allowed others to download and use it, even provided documentation and logs to help it stuff goes wrong.

    Then we get people asking for our help for free - ok, fair enough. We still try to help by requesting the logs, so we can take time out of our day (again, without payment) to go through those logs, look at what the user has likely done wrong, and set them on the right path.

    If, after all that, someone attacks you for not giving them precise instructions as to where the logs are, and then continually reopens issues to try to prove a point, we lose all interest in helping. If I wanted to put up with that crap daily, I'd get a job in customer service, not dev.
  • 0
    @AlmondSauce right, but how am I supposed to get the logs if:
    1. I don't know where to find them
    2. the add-on docs don't explain either
    3. a couple of google results don't help either
    4. and most importantly, in the previous answer there were TWO people asking "where are the logs" and the developer forcefully closed the issue without responding.

    I mean, I also took my own time to report a problem and even took my own time to suggest ways to improve it. It wasn't a mindless issue, I honestly wanted to get it solved for me AND for others. What's wrong with explaining where the logs are, in case I happen to be the THIRD person to have no clue about it, instead of crudely saying "provide logs"?

    I'll understand if you answer "we're tired of dumb people around", because we're humans and I get sometimes you end up bashing an innocent person because of a hundred that came before it. Otherwise............ And even then.............
  • 0
    @RocketSurgeon & @AtuM, the fact he took "time of his day to help me" doesn't give him space to be rude or expect I know everything. I asked for help precisely because I didn't know - if I could find the logs, I would have read them in the first place. I even referenced another issue with the same problem and TWO unresponded questions of "you want logs, but we don't know where to find them". I was the third, and yet he thinks we should know instead of deciding it's the time to properly document that.

    Not to mention I TOO took time of my day to report a real issue and even suggest improvements. "Provide logs" isn't a kind way to greet a lost newcomer.
  • 0
    While I agree that Graham might be a bit on the "don't bother me" as well as some kther devs, I don't see rudeness in this.

    Open Source is one thing, hand holding devs through their issues after documentacion is provided is well, another.
  • 1
    @IntrusionCM should we start discussing why git is named "git" in the first place? HAHA

    I do agree with your points.
    that said, I need to point out that I didn't really duplicate the issue, I was going to discuss another way to improve that problem when he locked the original one... Only then I opened a new one with the ~different~ take on the thing I would mention earlier but couldn't. But then I guess he was already "fed" of me and just thought it would be better to not have a small contribution than "dealing with that pesky un-reader".

    I did read the README file, which is, or should be, the main documentation source. There are no instructions there for post-install procedures or the likes. I think I'm not wrong to see a blank screen as an error? So I went directly to the issues.
    In the end, I wanted to provide some docs feedback, since my issue WAS related to docs, but then he was way pissed off to care for anything.
  • 0
    I see many people are mentioning "docs are provided", but I need to point that isn't actually the truth.

    The original developer skipped the fact that I didn't know where to find the logs, which is a button at the top (that I didn't see), right beside the extra docs. I mean, why would a package have TWO places with docs? If I had read the README and didn't find what I need... It means there's no extra docs on the package. Unless it's a ~big~ project which would have a wiki (and link to it from the readme).
    Thus, I can't see how I could be blamed by not finding the docs, if I wasn't able to find logs either. I know the HA UI isn't his fault, but considering I was the third person to not find the logs...
  • 1
    *have a lil hug or cookie*

    When I follow the link to the main page, there's a link "📚 Read the full add-on documentation"


    After point 4 under section "Installation" comes the Configuration section, starting with log_level.


    Under known issues and limitations is listed that I have been pawned checking is a feature, not a limitation.

    I'd expect that setting log_level to debug would do the trick?
  • 1
    Wait, first give me that cookie.

    Yeah, right. Now, let's get straight to the point: I just noticed the README I can see inside Home Assistant IS MISSING exactly THAT link. LOL

    When I got to the github page I skimmed the readme and thought "ok, this is the same I have already read, nothing new here".

    Thanks for "solving the mystery".
  • 1

    I feared so.

    You can have even more cookies ;)

    At least it's now clear how this happened, though this has nothing to do with the plugin.


    Never trust the documentation, it's lying.

    :) ;)

    But really glad that could be resolved.
  • 0
    @IntrusionCM That was not the question, and it seems that the dev also failed to understand what the question was. That's why he pointed to the part of the docs which explain HOW TO enable and configure the logging.

    The question however was where ARE these logfiles afterwards? Where do you have to look so that you can actually read them and check their content?
  • 0
    @Fast-Nop, so that's a complicated matter. The guy is an important developer of HomeAssistant ADD-ONS, but nor him nor the add-ons are responsible for teaching users about the main application's UI.

    I, being myself, would shield my project from clueless users stating "read the logs (you can find that at the top bar)", but he was a bit shorter and stopped at "read the logs".

    I must agree, it IS in the docs, but it's helpless if you never saw the docs link because there's a HUGE readme in front of you that looks like docs.

    Bottom-line: it was possible to make it better and easier, but I can understand why he didn't think about it at first.
  • 0
    @Fast-Nop I read in the link addons and that it seems to be some docker voodoo plodoo so I'd expect that either the docker logs command for container would be the right thing or the main program for which the addons are contains a log viewer...

    I'm split between saying "if you set it up, you should know it" or "this could be documented".

    Though if it is docker and the docker logs command is empty... I'd be ashamed as an author.
  • 0
    a quick google search would indicate the logs aren't stored anyway. Apparently Hassio addons use the journal to store the logs

    so either docker logs if you're running it inside a docker or journalctl -e -f would show you the end of the journal and follow it. the addon probably has a specific service name that you could either filter out with grep or using -d option and providing the name

    not sure if this is what you're looking for, but I think it is?
  • 0
    The logs are somewhere else entirely - there's a "hidden" tab with docs and logs at the top of the screen. I skipped those tabs because my eyes jumped to the title and the sections below if - that look like a README, so I expected to find the actual instructions there.

    The bad UI (if we agree it's bad, that is) is not the add-ons fault, but the main system's (HomeAssistant) instead.
  • 4
    @IntrusionCM I usually write documentation with the intent that it has to be clear. If I get back questions, I check whether the manual should have answered that, and in which section specifically. Then I answer something like, did you check section 5.5.2 of the manual?

    Because, there are several possibilities:

    - The user didn't bother to read it. Case closed.
    - The user did check the manual, but failed to find the relevant section. That may be a problem with the document structure because the headings should give a hint where to look.
    - The user did check the manual and found the right section, but the wording is ambiguous or lacks crucial aspects.

    The latter two possibilities are documentation bugs that I need to fix.
  • 0
    9/10 Persons in IT are passive aggressive arrogant assholes that love the opportunity to be like shit to other people.
  • 1
    @igorsantos07 It was how you asked for the logs, not the fact that you asked.

    If you'd had said:

    Hey man, really sorry but I can't seem to locate the logs - any pointers as to where they may be?

    ...then I'd bet you would have got a much better response. As it was, you went on a rant about how the software had a problem with expecting the users to check the logs, and turned the guy right off.
  • 0
    He did something you find usefull, you are newebie , raise issue without context or way to reproduce it. Maintainer does not want to waste time with you, ask for logs(minimum data) to really find out what happened. You have no idea how to do it and get met because he hit your ego ? wtf.

    Next time be nice and respectful with no expectation and maybe somebody will help you, otherwise don't waste time of more productive people who actually contribute to society.

    10x user time 1xmantainer time. Think of it this way.

    Search for stuff on the internet and when you invested 10x times time and still didn't find answer then kindly ask for specific help.

    I have huge respect for all the maintainers and love them <3. They provide wus free stuff for asking nothing, some people think of it as given, and demand support as well. It really hit the nerv.
  • 1
    Dude he was pretty nice to you.

    He asked for logs instead of just closing as duplicate.

    You then immediately insulted his project after he tried helping...

    He kept things pretty cool I'd say, especially given how rude you were.

    To answer your question, the reason a lot of FOSS maintainers are rude is because of users like you.
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