I am growing busier and busier, and it would seem that by some degree of irony, the days are getting shorter and shorter. In fact, I have never felt as out of time as I do now. A pity too, as I have never had such a lust for indulging in different endeavors as I do now. So to retain my sanity, I’ve had to make a few prioritization’s in regards to what my day is spent on. These may or may not affect you.
Kubrick is, as you may have gathered, very popular. Which I of course am happy about, since it must mean I did something right.
But by now 70-80% of my incoming mail is related to support questions on Kubrick. These mails can be roughly categorized into three categories. 1) Various Support Questions, 2) Praise and 3) Bug Reports. Of the three, I get mostly 1’s, a good deal of 2’s and finally not a whole lot of 3’s.
Ironically, my primary interest lies in the exact opposite direction. First and foremost I want to know what’s broken and what can be done better. After that, I like getting praise, but – and this’ll sound cold, but it’s honest – after a couple of hundred people telling me that I did a good job, like with most other thrills, it slowly looses its potency. Which leaves the ‘various support questions’, which I have pretty much no interest in dealing with. Shock! Horror!
These questions range everywhere from “How do I change Kubrick to have 3 columns” over “How can I integrate ProductX into Kubrick?” to complex ‘multi-questions’ that would require days to answer properly. When I first released Kubrick, these questions were fun to do. I knew the code by heart and found it nice to have a challenge all of my own to deal with. But I just don’t have the time, and to be quite frank with you, the interest in dealing with all these questions any longer.
I know how it is to be in a situation where an answer to a question would get things moving again, so I can fully appreciate people’s eagerness in seeking out help for their blogs. And also I can fully appreciate that as the author of what is at its heart an open source project, I also have a responsibility to confused users.
But I feel that enough hours have been put into helping people along and in taking the precautions needed to have Kubrick stand on its own, that I can slowly start to take my hands off of the project and put it out to sea.
I wrote two requirements in the readme that comes with Kubrick. The first is WordPress and the second is: “I’d recommend that you know at least a smidgen CSS, XHTML and PHP. I have done all I can to make sure things work out of the box, but there are countless factors I can’t foresee, and so it might be necessary that you’re able to make the necessary adjustments.” I did this, to underline that people should expect to rely on themselves for making the needed changes.
Bottomline? I’ve had a lot of fun with Kubrick so far, and it’s been a great experience for me to both write and publish, with a lot of very valuable experiences that I am already relying on in other aspects of my life. But I have to be honest to myself about it, and the conclusion I’ve come to is that I no longer will be able to answer every single support question that I come across.
The Official Kubrick Support Forums are still open for business, and I still keep my eye on them every day. But I won’t be answering every unanswered question that I come across, which I have otherwise attempted thus far.
It is a staggering amount of questions that are either a) answered by the person him-/herself within 24 hours of asking it, b) a lot of questions could easily be answered with a quick glance at the WordPress wiki, c) a few people have little idea how complicated some of their questions are in terms of structural changes and what not and d) WordPress has a fantastic community, which has been incredibly helpful in helping me carry the weight of Kubrick’s support questions. I won’t mention names in fear of forgetting someone, but you know who you are, and your time is the most valuable donation I could get.
As I mentioned when I put out 1.2.6, I still have some ideas for improving Kubrick, and I intend to weed out whatever bugs left in it and see it released for WordPress 1.3. Ryan Boren has done a downright astoundingly cool job of porting 1.2.5 to work with the new theme manager in WordPress 1.3, and I suspect this will be the version that ends up being labeled 1.3.0.
As I have also noted on the about page, by the contact form, I won’t answer support questions mailed to me any longer. With one exception, which I’ll get back to in a second.
The reason is three-fold. 1) because of what I’ve written above, 2) because an answer to a single person is a waste of time when that same answer could be archived in the support forums where other people can stumble onto it and finally 3) a lot of very cool people hang out around the support forums, and they have often proven both faster and more thorough than me.
The exceptions for support mail, are when we’re dealing with a bug report or a donation. I want as many bug-reports as I can get, to make Kubrick as good as it can become.
I never expected donations, nor did I do Kubrick in hopes of making money off of it (in which case I could come up with a range of other more profitable things to do). And the generosity shown by the people who have chosen to use the donation button on the Kubrick page have really overwhelmed me. I mean here’s a product which you could get for free and do with whatever you want, and you don’t have to pay a single penny.
And still some people are generous enough to donate.
That has really taught me a lot about human nature, not to mention hopes for future, more commercially minded online endeavors. In turn it has also motivated me to front the cash for a range of shareware programs that I use, as well as making a few albeit minor donations to for instance the furthering of Firefox.
Because of this, I will continually support people who’ve been kind enough to donate (helping me work wonders for my neck).
I’m looking forward to wrapping up Kubrick and starting new projects. Thank your for your help, your time and your donations. Upward and onward.
Binary Bonsai Version 4 is 85% done.