Blocked on foxdot's issue tracker

Hi! This is my first post here.
I’m a developer for Arch Linux and package a lot of pro-audio software. One of the packages is foxdot (as I’m a SuperCollider user and contributor myself). A package enables users of Arch Linux to install foxdot using the system’s package manager pacman.

One of the duties of a package maintainer is to collaborate with upstreams (e.g. foxdot), report and potentially fix problems, that would prevent the software to function or be incompatible with ‘packaging guidelines’ (check the Arch Linux wiki for further info on the topic, as I’m unable to post more than two links…).
This is something I take quite seriously and try to help and improve upstreams wherever I can (search for ‘dvzrv’ as the contributor in foxdot’s issue tracker on github).

One of the reoccuring issues with upstreams is, that sometimes versions appear on the respective language package repositories (e.g. pypi dot org or rubygems dot org), that can not be traced to a specific tagged commit.
This has repeatedly been the case for foxdot (see issue #187) and for version 0.8.4 (on pypi dot org) I tried to report this issue (again), as the tagged releases don’t match (version 0.8.3 is the latest on github).

However, I now find myself blocked from reporting or commenting on existing issues in the foxdot issue tracker:

For a free software project I find this behavior rather alarming (also from a security perspective) and would like to point out, that this is not how “working with the community” works.

As I have no other means of raising this issue, I decided to sign up to this fine establishment and say hi.

Maybe anyone can help resolve this?

Hi there, I can understand your frustration and I will try my best to explain. I have been working on FoxDot in my free time for a number of years as a personal project that has become relatively popular within the live coding community thanks to the efforts of a number of people. However, it is still just a personal project that is just for fun, except, in recent months, it has no longer become fun.

I have been working on FoxDot in my spare time while studying, working, and maintaining personal relationships and as people’s expectations of what the project “should be” grew, the mental drain the work took on me did so too. I have my own issues with mental health that I do not wish to discuss here but I found myself dreading opening my inbox and seeing the discussions on GitHub. I’ve always done my best to accommodate requests but many comments started to go from “it would be cool if…” to “do this” and “this should be…” and it felt like my hobby was being invaded and criticised. To have so much love for something and then one day feeling like you don’t have the energy to even think about it is very disheartening and upsetting.

As a result, I decided to take a few months off and focus on other aspects of my life and mute any threads / users that were having this impact on me. Even though many of these were small issues, it was the volume and frequency of them that prompted me to take this action. I have still tried to engage with the community in this period and managed to actually do a bit of coding while I was stuck on a train. While I appreciate you want to help share FoxDot with more people using Arch linux, this is a non-professional project that is updated ad-hoc and may not adhere to certain software development specs. If this is something you take seriously, I don’t mind adding you as a contributor so you can tag releases if/when I forget if you like?

Thanks for your understanding.

Hey Ryan,

thanks for your honest and extensive answer. I didn’t get back earlier, as I was away for holidays and then kind of forgot about the entire thing for a while… life.

I’m sad to hear, that you’re not doing well and that FoxDot has become more of a burden than a joy for you. I entirely understand, that you needed a timeout from things and that it’s hard to find a balance for all this.

Following up on your suggestion: Of course feel free to add me as a contributor. I’m relatively short on time myself, but would sure like to help out, when I can.
In general I’m of the believe, that this could be something very useful in general: Extend the circle of direct contributors, so that the maintenance burden doesn’t only rest on you personally! This is of course something you have to decide for yourself (and find the appropriate people for).

Thanks for getting back to me and all the best!