[fpc-other] Downward spiral

Tomas Hajny XHajT03 at hajny.biz
Fri May 26 10:13:19 CEST 2023

On 2023-05-26 05:31, HSN via fpc-other wrote:


> All other large projects and enterprises have reliable real time chat
> support, but not us!

The obvious difference between FPC and "enterprises" is that FPC is an 
open-source hobby project, whereas enterprises having some sort of chat 
usually pay this using small part of money collected from their 
customers. BTW, those enterprises having chat try more and more to 
involve bots in those efforts in order to reduce the associated costs, 
i.e. not all of these chats are human powered. It is not true that "all 
other large projects...have real...time chat" (reliable or not). In 
reality, many projects moved from real-time chat to other forms of 
support (if they had such a support at the beginning at all).

> Even the #fpc-dev channel is all but abandoned.
> It used to have a bot giving information about things happening with
> fpc. But not anymore. Something needs to be done about this.
> Why on earth are we not allowed to have an official chat support
> channel anymore??

It is not about allowing or disallowing anything, but simply matter of 
not having members of the project team interested in this form of 
communication and having sufficient capacity for it. Anybody interested 
is still free to use IRC for FPC related discussion, that has nothing to 
do with some channel being official or not.

> This is a severe handicap and puts us at a big disadvantage compared
> to other projects wherein developers can discuss things in real-time
> whenever they like without any interference.

Not true. FPC users and developers have several other possibilities to 
get support and discuss things. The manpower is the limit, not the 

> Lack of proper chat channels also discourages talented people from
> joining our community and participating. I keep hearing people saying
> that pascal is a dead language everywhere I go and to be honest the
> condition of our chat channels does little to disprove this.

Not true. Real-time chat is anything but a modern and fancy 
communication channel which might attract people interested in modern 
and fancy languages.

> Sometimes people have difficulties such as setting up the Lazarus ide
> on their computer and need someone to help or at least the assurance
> that help is available if needed. It’s not a good experience to
> suddenly have a strange problem and have nobody to talk to. Forums and
> mailing lists are great but they cannot replace real-time help.

The response from forums and mailing lists is often much faster than 
support provided for commercial products, yet these products still have 
their customers and users.

> Potential users of fpc/Lazarus see that we don’t have chat support
> and don’t even bother getting involved or give up as soon as they
> have difficulty installing or using.

Not true. Real-time chat is very likely not the first/most preferred 
support option for most new users of FPC/Lazarus and no, it is not true 
that comparable projects all have this kind of channel available.

> It’s currently nearly impossible to get any real-time help with
> fpc/Lazarus related problems anymore because the people who are best
> qualified to do this are either absent or inactive.

That situation has nothing to do with the particular communication 
channel and/or the status of that channel.

> It’s about time we had a active functioning real time irc chat
> support again with active developers and fpc/Lazarus experts like
> other serious projects do.
> Yes I understand that people have real life responsibilities and no I
> don’t want developers to take time away from writing code. However I
> believe that this is more a problem of complacency that can easily be
> solved if all users of fpc just contribute whatever time they can
> spare to helping others in real time chat when they are able to do so.

Again, it is not like that real-time chat is the only option for users. 
Yes, some users may prefer this channel, but the more communication 
channel, the higher overhead and thus less capacity for the real problem 

>  It would be far better to have people who are skilled developers
> endorse the irc channel and generate the content. I prefer a more
> minor role of just helping  with moderation and possibly answering
> questions that are within my skill level.

Understood. However, as already stressed many times, the main reason of 
FPC developers not being involved in the IRC channel is not related to 
your role.


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