in reply to Reliable software: SOLVED (was: Reliable software OR Is CPAN the sacred cow)

I probably shouldn't bother replying to this because I know it's just a flame... but ....

I think you're a foisting idealistic concepts on what is almost an entirely volunteer operation (I say this knowing that there are a few fortunate souls out there who are able to convince their employer to fund development that eventually finds its way to CPAN). I've spent quite a few years working with and for non-profit organizations that depend heavily on volunteers and these experiences have shaped my understanding of volunteer-oriented organizations.

The vast majority of volunteers give freely of their time and volunteering is only a part of their otherwise busy lives. You can't expect a volunteer to produce the same quality of work as say a professional engineer who is being paid to design a bridge. Sure, some volunteers will produce work equal to or sometimes even better than said engineer but this isn't something you should expect from them. Rather, you should be thankful that they're contributing in the first place!

Secondly, a volunteer-based organization WOULD NOT EXIST were it not for the many volunteers performing their often thankless jobs. When working with volunteers you must be prepared to work alongside those who are highly skilled, those who are not and all manner of individuals, personalities and talents.

Most importantly, don't castigate those who give freely of their time. You'll quickly discover that volunteers resent this and will flee from any organization that does. Volunteers aren't thanked enough.