New Features?

  • September 14, 2004
  • Brian Tarricone

I realise often that I tend to be very reluctant when anyone asks about a new feature in anything I work on. Generally, if it didn’t occur to me as a feature, my immediate reaction will be to not want to include it. I know that seems a bit silly, and perhaps mean. I’ve never really been able to explain before (in anything but general “this is just how I feel” terms) why I ususally react like this, but after reading Havoc Pennington’s Free Software Maintenance: Adding Features, I realise that this pretty much sums up my reasons. I think it also enumerates some really good rules of thumb that everyone should try to follow when submitting a feature request (even if you’re submitting the patch, too) to any kind of open source project.

So this is why I sometimes seem like to act like an ass when people are bugging me on IRC about adding features to xfdesktop or xfmusic4. It’s nothing personal, but I need to see some compelling justification before adding a feature when I’m not sure it’s worthwhile.