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Freshmeat: freshmeat's Stance on "Trivial" Software

Jan 21, 2001, 20:44 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Nathan Hurst)

"Every day, dozens of hackers send us news of their code and hope for a spot in the appindex. Since we know how much our approval can mean, it honestly does hurt us more than it hurts you when we have to frown over a submission and write back, "You know, this really doesn't fit here..." In today's editorial, Nathan Hurst, part of freshmeat's Australian crew, explains what goes through our minds and why we sometimes feel we just have to say "no."

"In the course of reading, editing, and approving the endless stream of freshmeat that passes our way, we have to reject quite a lot of scripts, small C programs, and PHP classes. While these are clearly useful to someone, we often have the difficult task of rejecting them on the grounds of triviality. In this editorial, I am going to attempt to explain what metric we use for making this decision, some thoughts on what might be done in the future to reduce the need for such screening, and, finally, what to do if your script is rejected."

"Every freshmeat submission bin warrior quakes at the thought of that one submission each day that sits on the edge between clearly in and clearly out. Sometimes it's a script for automating the ripping of an audio CD; sometimes it's a PHP class to display the current date in Roman numerals."

"The reason for this fear is not retribution from the offended contributor (although my spam rate increased dramatically after rejecting one person's script for bulk emailing), but rather the fact that we feel that we're sending the message "You are not worthy of contributing to freshmeat, and, by association, not worthy of contributing to Free Software". This is probably the worst aspect of the job. Sometimes it's a 10-year-old who has written his first Python program, and sometimes it's a seasoned business programmer who has had her first try at Web programming. In any case, we are going to hurt their feelings by rejecting their work."

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