A number of folks have been talking about “choice” in open source recently.

See the classic post by Adam Jackson: Linux is not about choice and Will Woods followup: two fallacies as well as a google+ post by Greg Kroah-Hartman: here

I broadly agree with all of them, but I’d like to talk about a related thing here.

Folks are free to choose how to spend their time and energy, free to ask others to spend time or energy (which of course those people are free to ignore or decide not to do) and free to use whatever software they like. Thats all great.

I’d like to further posit that the most efficent way to get people to help you with your choices and spend their time and energy on making those choices happen is simple: “Strive to be positive”. If someone is working on software you dislike and don’t have any intention of using, move on, and instead work on what you DO intend to use or find agrees with your choices. Choosing to spend your time and energy knocking down people doing things (especially if you don’t agree with them) just makes you waste your energy on that and slows down the people you are flaming. I’d also posit that it makes your life full of negatives and much less enjoyable for both you and people you are flaming.

If you find you are in a discussion where you can’t find a way to be positive, it’s time to back away and go do something that is.