If there’s one problem the internet and access to so much free information and tools has created is a sense of entitlement. Too many people believe they have a right to get everything the way they want it with out doing anything themselves. They don’t have to be grateful that they get to use it, the creators should be grateful that their content is being used that is the only reward they should seek.

And of course it’s a load of crap. The following message got posted about “Code alignment for Notepad++” on the Notepad++ forum

Code alignment v3.0 on Linux Mint 10, based on Ubuntu Maverick, under Wine 1.4.0 causes unknown exception when starting N++. N++ will start but crashes soon after opening Plugin Manager, most likely due to missing .NET 3.5.

[Mad] By what fucking excuse you think .NET is worth anything ? All it does it corrupt and prevent cross-platform support. Either quit or switch language, or help making .NET compatible !! Oh, I forgot ! Micro$oft dicks can’t help !! FUCK YOU.

So I release for free an extension. He decides to run the program in an environment that’s not supported by Notepad++. And when it doesn’t completely work he decides to insult me and question my skill as a professional developer. I took the bait…

I bet if somebody gives you a free chocolate ice cream you tell them to fuck off because it wasn’t strawberry.

Let’s get this clear, code alignment is a free extension. I’ve released it purely out of the good of my heart. I have no responsibility to make you happy and I owe you nothing. Yet you come on here and act like you’re entitled to use it. That I have somehow wronged you.

I wrote this extension to help myself, since then I have added requests for others which have no value to me. But if you think I’m going to waste my time to satisfy a low life who can’t even be bothered to treat me with respect, you’re delusional. Write it yourself.

If i did make it wine compatible i bet you would tell me to fuck off as i hadn’t written a port for eclipse yet.

The main reason I wrote it in .net is because it’s a port of my extension for visual studio. Keeping it in .net let me share the code, develop it faster and not have to maintain duplicate code. Giving me more time to add new features and spend doing other things.

Grow up.

As far as I’m concerned anyone who acts like that is entitled to nothing.

But what responsibilities do people who make free software have to their users? I’ve given polite feedback and suggestions to open source projects projects and have sometimes (luckily few and far between) been granted with a sharp

If you want it write it yourself. That’s why it’s open source.

Code alignment has greatly benefited from community. People have left respectful comments, suggestions and questions and they’ve started some great conversations. And this is where the responsibility comes from – respecting the people who have taken their time to discuss with you how to make the product better.

I believe we have a responsibility to do two things…

  1. To be honest. If you can’t provide an update for a while as you’ve got other stuff on, tell people that. They’ll understand. Don’t just say ‘soon’.
  2. Be respectful, unless they’ve insulted you, respect that they are trying to help.

Doing anything else is great and end users should respect that you are going beyond the call of duty.