Reading earlier things I've written, I'm like some kind of half-drunk crotchety old man on a rocking chair on his front porch, shaking his fist and muttering at "those crazy kids".
I do acknowledge the difference between a proper review and the bitter opinions that I spit out. A proper review is thorough, and compares/contrasts, has screenshots and/or video/media, and is generally really useful in both promoting the hope for a project and helping put a spotlight on issues in a productive way that can actually motivate the developer(s) into action. My rants are really just for my own amusement. Well, they're really just for venting.
I've got piles and piles and piles of notes for every piece of software I've laid hands on since the early-90s. I've chatted with developers directly, participated in mailing list and forum discussions, posted on bug-trackers and the like.. but the vast majority of my experiences have stayed unannounced. I still have notes on various bits of DOS and Windows 3.1 software. Yay?
The problem is that it's easy for me to just shit on my keyboard and hit "Publish", and it's a significant commitment to become a participant in a project not just by thoroughly reviewing the software in the first place, but in submitting all that info in a way that's useful, including traces for crashes, how-to walkthroughs, and all kinds of followup as the issue is worked on.
It's one thing to say "hot damn, why can't I have control-left and control-right to cursor between words?" and it's another thing to:
- Visit the home page and figure out their bug-report process.
- Visit their bug-tracker or whatever, and figure out how to submit.
- Possibly sign up just to be able to submit.
- Search through the bugs-list to check for duplicates.
- Post, and provide a lot of information.
- Stay subscribed to that ticket, and follow up later if it goes ignored.
- Participate in future testing, and give additional feedback when changes are made.
Possibly even get an SVN/git development version to do testing.
That's a seriously long laundry-list of stuff to learn how to do - and actually do - properly.
Hell, I love it when I have a great program with a committed small team that actually listens to their users and makes improvements to their program. I used to use SVN versions of programs when the author was really serious about getting things done. Every week or so when I did an update to re-test things, I'd see issues drop off of my list like fall leaves in a tornado. No, wait.. that's not quite the image I wanted. Hmm, like sweat dripping off of a horse in a tanning booth? Like grease dripping into the coals of a barbecue? Oh nevermind.
So yeah, I'll get around to real reviews one of these days. Maybe each candidate program for Oldschool Linux will get a proper review. I'm already getting comments and emails on my various "roundup" rough-notes.
Btw, WordPress is horrifyingly bad at taking notes.