Pulling the Plug on Automatix2
Love it or hate it, anyone who runs Ubuntu has at least heard of Automatix. This program made it possible for any Ubuntu user to easily add a host of new programs and media codices to a desktop. Now, however, Automatix's developers are being pulled away to other projects, so they have announced that they will no longer be working on their popular software installation program.
Already sad, now I am sadder with this news. I personally find Automatix2 to be a step forward for Linux. People might say this or that, but as a user, I strongly believe in Automatix2's intentions and efforts. Damnit, now what? Do I have to learn how to configure my nvidia driver by reading these instructions once I decide to install a new distro?
Let's face it guys, Automatix2 helped bring ordinary Juan's like myself to Linux. Now what? Now what?
I'm really pissed off.
I guess this is one drawback to this Open Source thing, once they got bored, their servers go down, they see greener pastures, they see a new project, or once their cat gave birth - everything halts. No accountability whatsoever. "We're sorry and we hope somebody else continues it for us."
In a corporate setting, this can happen too, but with very bad consequences. The media goes wild, people get fired, heck some even face criminal charges for "Labor Abandonment". At least here in the Philippines, there is such a law.
But if the magic of Open Source kicks in, somebody would take on the reigns. But from what I've seen in the boards over at Automatix2, the lead developers seem to be scaring people away from their baby:
Site hosting is not the issue.. we have been on a dedicated server for the past 1 year and as part of the Automatix team, I have maintained the server personally. It's obvious that a few thousand dollars have already been spent on this dedicated hosting in the past one year....
Maintaining Automatix is not trivial and requires not only an extremely good understanding of the Debian package management system and the nitty-gritties of Ubuntu and Debian, but also the willingness to stay up-to-date with all changes that are occurring in this dynamic environment. All this requires a lot of time, expertise and dedication....
If I could say something appropriate for my pissed off mood today, it would be: "Apology? We don't need your apology, you let us down by not making sure that this wonderful thing that you've created gets passed on to others at least, at the very minimal least - with a smooth transition. Now you're saying that you're sorry for letting us down? You've robbed us of one choice - the choice of choosing Automatix2. Anyway, maybe one day I'll edit this post and post something nicer. But today, i just want you all to know that I am dreadfully frustrated about this. You guys gave up that's what you did."