I was going to limit this to my personal blog. I wasn't going to make the fatigue I was feeling over the constant struggles this project provides an issue for the project at large. And then something happened; we got a particularly nasty support request from a user. I'm going to go ahead and reproduce it below.
I am getting a message that the server is over quota and my link will be stored until tomorrow unless I want to pay $1 ? What good is the link going to do me tomorrow and if the server really is over quota why will;l $1 free it up? Is this a new fee or something? If it is this app is dead to me and I'm sure many others. If this isn't a bug then it down right wrong to hold my link hostage for $$
Tino gave a pretty detailed response as to why this reaction is insulting and outrageous. I tried to give a more level response, but we're both pretty much on the same level as to how we feel about this. It's a betrayal. It's nothing more than us bending over backwards, trying to provide a service, and it seems like the nicer we try to be about it, the more we're told we're "malicous" or holding links hostage or some other absurd assertion about how us providing a free service by paying for it ourselves is really an evil move on our part.
The project is still going strong. I'm still responding to bug reports. I've found the cause of an issue and will be issuing a fix in the next day or two to try and address it. Another issue is in Google's code, not ours, and we're working with the Engineer behind the API to fix it. He says it's fixed, but is waiting on a rollout. All we can do is wait, sorry. We'll keep working on the bugs that we can fix. But it's getting hard to pour my sweat, blood, tears, and money into a project and not only not get compensated for it, but get verbally abused at every turn. I'm 21 years old, guys. I'm a college student, taking a full course load and working at the same time. I try to provide the best service I can, and try to apologise when I fall short. My shortcomings are many and varied, and the community has borne the brunt of all of them at one point or another. And I'm sorry for that, I am. But malice is not among my shortcomings. And when I go to bed with a heavy heart already, it's hard for me to wake up to people telling me that I'm not being fair to them because I expect even a modicum of engagement from them.
This isn't a post looking for sympathy. This isn't a post looking for donations. This isn't a call to action at all. The sole purpose behind this post, if I'm to be 100% honest with you, is to remind you that there are people behind this project. That people will be reading your support requests. That people worked hard on this and die a little inside watching you talk about how badly it sucks.
This is breaking me down, guys. In my phone call with Tino tonight, I mentioned that writing software for this wasn't even fun right now. It almost brought me to tears to say that, because I purposefully did not pursue an education in programming because I wanted it to remain something pure and fun.
Since the start of this project, I've been banging on about how it's our project. How the community is in control and calls the shots. Well, the community needs to take some responsibility, too. We can't do this alone. This needs to be a partnership, or the project will have to be shut down. We're reaching out to you, desperately flailing in the dark. Please meet us halfway.