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Why isn't anybody helping Chris with the original branch?


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Carcophan
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I would like to preface this with two simple points:
1. I am not questioning you or doubting you
2. I am not trying to be a jerk()ff, but rather am simply playing devils advocate (don't hate me please ) :(



ezuk wrote:
Chris did not lose interest

He has lost interest in development. That does not mean he has lost interest in AHK. I think it will always be his baby....



If he has lost interest in development, how can you(he) still say that it is his 'baby' at this point?


When I work on a project, and it becomes my 'baby'. I take care of it. Nurture it. Care for it. Watch it grow. Help it grow. Give it what it needs.... and THEN , as most 'parents' do, I too... let my baby go when the time is right. I continue to support it from afar, but let it do its own thing.


"It", being my baby. "It", being his baby. "It", being your baby... "It" is only our baby until we lose interest in 'it', "it" is only our baby until we stop trying to advance it, or when we let it go... which you clearly states as having occurred.

As 'ahk' is no longer his baby, why must he still be the 'sole gatekeeper', as you put it?




Most of them don't involve AHK's source, which seems to be the issue of this thread.

It isn't about the source for me. I don't care about the C++ that makes the magic happen, honestly. I DO care however, about needing to learn different branches of the same exact language, when all the branches could seemingly be applied to a single, magical, wonderful tree.



I can't speak for everyone, but if I can make a broad assumtion... people just want 'new features' to the AHK core, without having to learn and choose different side branches of the core language. Not to sully the hard work that go into them, but what is the long-term harm of having all the features combined into this single 'tree'?



It just seems backwards to me, to have an entire community asking for almost the 'same thing', and fighting for it in there own ways by creating there own branches.... why does it seem like 'we the people' care more about AHK than those who own and run it?

There is a quote that I unfortunitly cannot find, nor quote ownership too, apologizes in advance, but it roughly reads: "The minute a business stops trying to grow, is the minute that business starts trying to die."

tank
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+1
Never lose.
WIN or LEARN.

None
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Sep 25, 2009 Version 1.0.48.05 is released: changelog | download
Feb 25, 2009 Version 1.0.48 is released. It is up to 3 times as fast, especially for numerically-intensive scripts. It also adds a while-loop.
Jun 19, 2007 Version 1.0.47 adds RegisterCallback(), which creates a machine-code address that when called, redirects the call to a function in the script. It also adds support for function libraries, which allow a script to call a function in an external file without having to use #Include.

Run this code to get my take on this.
Prev:=20070619,Last:=20090925,Now:=A_Now
EnvSub, Now, %Last%, Days
EnvSub, Last, %Prev%, Days
MsgBox,
(
Between the previous Big Update and this one was %Last% days
From that one untill now has been only %Now% days
Quit Complaining untill It has been Longer
)


Carcophan
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Run this code to get my take on this


Can you perhaps define the difference between a 'general comment' and a 'complaint' please?

guest3456
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I DO care however, about needing to learn different branches of the same exact language, when all the branches could seemingly be applied to a single, magical, wonderful tree.


yes, exactly. (but the rest was spot on too)

jaco0646
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Wow, Carcophan. That's a lot of random observations. I almost gave up and went to bed, but in the end I powered through. :p

as most 'parents' do, I too... let my baby go when the time is right. I continue to support it from afar, but let it do its own thing.

I would say that is an accurate metaphor of Chris's relationship to AHK for the past 1-2 years.

why must he still be the 'sole gatekeeper',

Note here that after all the emphasis on pronouns that "it" has now changed. Previously, we were talking about "it" the source code, which is freely available. Now, we are talking about "it" the website. There is no reason he must be its gatekeeper, but he certainly has the right to retain that position... for as long as he wants. How can you begrudge him that? Besides, any one else may create their own site for their own version and do what they like with it. Why the desire to take over Chris's? Does he need a reason not to give away his property? He has already given us the source. I find it quite selfish to expect that he should give up his website as well.

what is the long-term harm of having all the features combined

It seems to me this argument could be applied to any similar entities. Why not combine Java and C#? They're extremely similar. Why not Ford and Chevy? Many of their products seem identical. What about North and South Korea? They each have Korea in their name, and they share a common language and ethnicity.

people just want 'new features'

Of course they do. And if those features are added they will want more features. And if those features are added they will want more features. Tell me at what point people will not want new features.

an entire community asking for almost the 'same thing',

The community is not as homogenous as you imagine. There has been constant disagreement about direction and design almost since the beginning. The current branches represent some of the different views. Since the developers of those branches do not agree with eachother, how do you expect Chris to agree with all of them at once? And again, this is not a bad thing. Variety is the spice of life, after all.

why does it seem like 'we the people' care more about AHK than those who own and run it?

It seems that way because people are inherently egocentric and value their own interests above others. Also because we the people have not spent years working on AHK like a full-time job and gotten burnt out by it.


Any person may take away anything from AutoHotkey at any time. Gratis. Why aren't people satisfied with that? Rather than take away, so many want to take over. :(

tank
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Any person may take away anything from AutoHotkey at any time. Gratis. Why aren't people satisfied with that? Rather than take away, so many want to take over. :(

kinda like the paleface took over the indians land after the indians shared it freely. put them in reservations and refused to acknowledge them as citizens of the land that is more rightfully theirs unless they give up allegence to their beleifs
Never lose.
WIN or LEARN.

jaco0646
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:shock: That's an extreme comparison, but yeah.

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...and gotten burnt out by it.

...I completely understand "getting burnt out"...but if Chris has, then why not pass on AutoHotkey/the website to someone who will take care of it?...it could be done with the understanding that Chris still owns it & can take it back at any time. Chris could dupe the website to another directory, give someone (or a team/group) access to it, they could make changes to that, then at any time he could snatch it back...if he just feels like it...or if the trusted party demonstrates untrustworthiness.

This is how I want IronAHK to be AutoHotkey 2.0, pass on AutoHotkey.com to Titan...for now...& if he decides to come back, he can. Actually, Titan already has AutoHotkey.net, so really all Titan needs is to use the name AutoHotkey instead of IronAHK. But we still need someone to edit AutoHotkey.com to mention that it's now defunct/unmaintained & people should visit AutoHotkey.net for version 2.

Rather than take away, so many want to take over. :(

...well, if he's never coming back, he don't need it...he has the right to come back at any time, but until then why not a take-over?...he would have to agree with any take-over, so let him decide. Also, what are we supposed to do if he really DOES never come back & stops paying for the hosting? We need someone with access to copy/backup the site & forums, so a take-over COULD happen in an emergency.

domain:                          autohotkey.com
created:                         29-Dec-2003
last-changed:                    13-Jan-2010
registration-expiration:         29-Dec-2010
...so, worst-case, we have until Dec 29, 2010 for Chris to re-emerge, at least to pay the bill. But if he doesn't want to come back why should he pay the bill? Maybe he would welcome a take-over?

jaco0646
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There will not be an emergency. Please don't be alarmist by suggesting that Chris would be irresponsible and let the site's registration lapse without notifying anyone. That's rude.

Maybe he would welcome a take-over?

He would not. I have asked him more than once whether he finds the site administration burdensome, and let him know that others would take it or assist with it. As long as it remains relatively low maintenance he is content to manage it personally (and exclusively). I believe he would be interested to see another branch create its own website. This would demonstrate better than any take-over the goals and perspective of another branch.

The future of IronAHK is a discussion for another thread, but as a complete rewrite, to me it represents a fresh start rather than a simple continuation (i.e. version 2). It has occurred to me that AHK would be (is) more of a burden on it than anything. It may be too early to say, but I suggest that perhaps an entire rebranding is in order: new software, new website, new name...

sinkfaze
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Now, we are talking about "it" the website.


Actually, I'm pretty sure Carcophan is talking about "it" the AHK product in general, which probably means more "it" the official release of AHK but may also include "it" the website. With the rush of recent changes it has created a complexity to work with so many references for means to solving a problem (AHK, AHK_L, IronAHK, AHK_H, etc.), IMHO we're at a point that some decision making, some consolidation or even isolation of ideas, is needed to bring clarity back to the AHK product.

I don't think anybody here is holding anything against Chris if he's burned out on developing, but the AHK product still needs his oversight and guidance. There's enough working changes to AHK that his input is needed as to what is to be added to AHK (if any) and when. If none of the changes we've seen align with his vision for AHK, so be it, but if some of them do I don't believe any of the developers here would honestly say no to a request for help in creating a build with only those changes to be the official release. He can still be the "gatekeeper" in a more limited capacity, but he needs to fulfill the responsibilities of that limited capacity and demonstrate to faithful users that he's available for those responsibilities.

I believe he would be interested to see another branch create its own website. This would demonstrate better than any take-over the goals and perspective of another branch.


IronAHK is really the only branch in the conversation since AHK_L is not really a branch so much as a working fulfillment of desired features in AHK itself.

Long story short, people would like to at least know Chris is not burned out on his product and hear from him in some capacity in the forums to that end.

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There will not be an emergency.

...no, there never is an emergency, until there is one, that's why it's called an "emergency". Better to be prepared, then sorry that years of forum posts are lost.

Please don't be alarmist...

...I said "worst-case". Not that I really think it would happen, but it's possible. You can wait until Dec 28, to worry, I won't.

That's rude.

...rude could be interpreted as leaving AutoHotkey in Sep, 2009 with no Announcement of being gone long-term. Maybe he didn't know he was going to be gone this long (forever), but I would appreciate it if he came back & made one more post explaining how he feels about the Future of AutoHotkey, then we can all stop guessing/worrying.

He would not.

...instead of each of us separately E-mailing to interrogate him, he should come back for one more post to make things clear. But also why not? Does it help to not do anything with AutoHotkey? Has he ever elaborated on why he left?

I believe he would be interested to see another branch create its own website.

...that's fine, but it would help if he would edit AutoHotkey.com to mention the available branches (on the download page, as a prominent alternative to AutoHotkey {not buried in the forum as a side project}).

The future of IronAHK is a discussion for another thread...

...no, it isn't, it's up for discussion in this thread. AutoHotkey 2.0 is never gonna happen as it was intended, so IronAHK = AutoHotkey 2.0.

...to me it represents a fresh start rather than a simple continuation...

...it's a fresh, cross-platform start, but one that is supposed to be compatible with AutoHotkey syntax, so it's a continuation.

...but I suggest that perhaps an entire rebranding is in order...

...I can't think of a good name to convey: "The best scripting language that you never knew you needed until you found it!"...
[*:1d3unrwj]TBSLTYNKYNUYFI? (or TBSLTUNKUNUUFI)...umm, no.
[*:1d3unrwj]AutoHotkey?...conveys Hotkeys, but not Scripting.
[*:1d3unrwj]AutoScript?...too close to "the evil one"....I don't know, AutoHotkey works for me tho, since I can't come up with anything else. IronAHK conveys Iron, wtf?

ezuk
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There will not be an emergency.

...no, there never is an emergency, until there is one, that's why it's called an "emergency". Better to be prepared, then sorry that years of forum posts are lost.

....

...rude could be interpreted as leaving AutoHotkey in Sep, 2009 with no Announcement of being gone long-term.


I must say that had I been Chris, these are exactly the sort of comments that would drive me away.

This feeling of "Chris owes it to us" is problematic, in the least.

I'm the one who brought this up, so of course I agree that something should be done. But it won't be done by blaming Chris.

Here is a constructive idea:

1) Compile a list of features really needed.
2) Create as much code as we can for it (or take code from the other branches)
3) Make a community drive to get some _money_ pledged for it
4) Offer money + code to Chris in exchange for implementing these changes on a one-time basis. Say $1,000-$2,000 or so -- we should be able to do that together, with proper marketing.

If AHK is so important, people would pay. I know I would, and not $10.

Think of the incredible amount of work Chris put into this, and the project has not been monetized _once_. How can he be reasonably expected to keep working at it for years when it's just costing him money, and when most of what he gets in the end are complaints?

I think we should try to _help_ Chris, not bash him on the forums. And BTW, when Jaco tells you that there won't be an emergency, I think he knows what he's talking about -- he's obviously personally connected to Chris. I would take that.

So once more:

We should make a list, collect code, collect $2000 (via Kickstart), and give it to Chris. I'm pretty sure we could get a new version in exchange, and for once, that would be fair.

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I must say that had I been Chris, these are exactly the sort of comments that would drive me away.

...I didn't start down the "rude" path, someone called me rude & I replied "...rude could be interpreted as..."...& I don't see how my "preparing for an emergency" comments would drive Chris away.

This feeling of "Chris owes it to us" is problematic...

...he might at least owe us some explanation of what happened: why he left?, why did he stop liking to write AutoHotkey?, is he ever coming back?...I don't think that is too much to ask. Maybe he don't "owe" us anything, but I'd still like to know why.

But it won't be done by blaming Chris.

...I'm not blaming him, I'm just confused on what when down after Sep 25, 2009...something happened & he decided he didn't want to bother with AutoHotkey anymore (or didn't enjoy it or something).

..._money_ ... money ... money...

...I know you're ezuk from some magazine, so maybe you deal with Payware more often, but Open Source Freeware & "money" don't mix. Sure, if I had money, I might offer it, but I don't & I don't expect too many people on the forum to have it either. People search for Freeware because they don't have money...if anybody on the forum does have money they should've already donated.

If AHK is so important...

...it is important, but it's Freeware, not a Microsoft money-grab. Chris still hasn't ever put the Donate link anywhere on the main page...that's how Freeware-supporting he is, he don't want people to think they have to Donate. (I think people with money & businesses should, but that's just me.)

I know I would, and not $10.

...then do: Donate to AutoHotkey...but you might wanna make sure Chris still checks that account.

and the project has not been monetized _once_.

...it has been monetized as Donations (the only preferred Freeware method). Do you know what Open Source Freeware means, it means no money!...(unless you have some & feel like Donating).

How can he be reasonably expected to keep working...

...well, he's not working on it, problem solved. But, no nothing we do can force him to work on it, that his decision if he wants to or not.

I think we should try to _help_ Chris...

...how? Where are we supposed to upload our code?

...not bash him on the forums.

...who's bashing?

when Jaco tells you that there won't be an emergency...

...I hope he's right too!

collect $2000

...$2000, lol...pocket change!...don't get me wrong, AutoHotkey may be worth it, but I don't have it.

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I think we should try to _help_ Chris

You say that as if others haven't offered already. Lots of people have, but Chris shares a more limited vision of the project than most of the serious developers do, and he's not been very available for the last couple of years. You can't fault the community for that.

Here is a constructive idea:

1) Compile a list of features really needed.
2) Create as much code as we can for it (or take code from the other branches)
3) Make a community drive to get some _money_ pledged for it
4) Offer money + code to Chris in exchange for implementing these changes on a one-time basis. Say $1,000-$2,000 or so -- we should be able to do that together, with proper marketing.


For what purpose? Chris hasn't asked for it, so why would we think he wants to do anything like that? He's certainly capable of putting a post out there asking for help of any kind, but he's obviously chosen not to do so. I'm guessing it's partly because those most active and capable of helping have already expressed an interest in areas that Chris doesn't support - enhancements like embedded COM, native arrays, etc - and so asking for input and then turning the bulk of it down publicly wouldn't do much good. It'd probably be a buzzkill.

The fact is, regardless of what he said to you about interest in continuing development, his actions speak louder than the words he shared with you. He's not attempted to engage the community here has he?

How can he be reasonably expected to keep working at it for years when it's just costing him money, and when most of what he gets in the end are complaints?

I'm not sure that anyone expects him too if his passion is no longer enough. Not anyone reasonable.

The way I see it, AHK is kind of like Perl was 15 yaers ago.

Perl was started kind of off-the-cuff and emphasized quick and easy scripting. Lots of power in a little package, with no intentions of becoming a true development language. It was so capable and powerful that it was addicting to use though, and that kept others clamoring for more features, and that made people use it for more and more complex tasks. After release 4.0, it was at a bit of a crossroads. It became clear that it's lack of certain features and formalism was holding it back from being capable of even bigger things, but there was a strong desire for it to maintain it's lovely quick-and-dirty simplicity too. Some serious thinking and effort was necessary to enhance it into a true development language while maintaining it's powerful and concise quick-scripting roots, and it took Larry Wall - perl's creator - to organize and consolidate the vision while sharing the reins a little bit. The amount of development was more than one guy could do as a hobby, but there were plenty of people willing to help. The result was perl 5. A few changes had to be made to it's syntax - a smidgen of compatibility was lost - but in the end it was a beautiful merger of two visions.

This could happen with AHK too. I think the enhancements in AHK_L are a great start of this, and IronAHK is an excellent branch too, but more work really needs to be done because AHK does have a lot of little quirks and feature deficiencies that hinder it . But Chris holds the official keys, and if his vision is exclusive of the vision of those that are willing and capable of helping, then it's up to him alone to do the work. If he has any passion remaining, it doesn't appear to manifest itself in enhancements or even much community discussion any longer, and that unsurprisingly dampens the enthusiasm of others. If it dies on the vine, or if we continue to get different branches that segment the community, who's fault is it? He holds the keys to the one and only official build, and there doesn't seem to be much going on.

Thank goodness for the active developers we do have. Just imagine where we'd be without the contributions of Lexikos, Sean, Polyethene and Majkinetor, just the few that immediately come to mind. Certainly there are others, but remove the unofficial contributions of just those I've named and AHK is much less capable and much less exciting. It's languished advancement would be much more obvious and I'm sure many more in the community would be gone already.

Just my two cents.