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You may or may not have seen this:

Kevin Downs, the creator and sole developer (I believe) of NDoc has thrown in the towel.  Some of his reasons:

The development and release of NDoc 1.3 was a huge amount of work, and by all accounts widely appreciated. Unfortunately, despite the almost ubiquitous use of NDoc, there has been no support for the project from the .Net developer community either financially or by development contributions. Since 1.3 was released, there have been the grand total of eleven donations to the project. In fact, were it not for Oleg Tkachenko’s kind donation of a Microsoft MVP MSDN subscription, I would not even have a copy of VS2005 to work with!

Ouch!  Looks like open source software that is “free” as in beer is only good for the people using it and not the person(s) developing it. 

Kevin continues:

To put this into perspective, if only roughly 1-in-10 of the those who downloaded NDoc had donated the minimum allowable amount of $5 then I could have worked on NDoc 2.0 full-time and it could have been released months ago!

I can't say I disagree with Kevin.  NDoc is pretty much the only thing out there for this purpose and just about everybody uses or reccommends it. 

As some of you are aware, there are some in the community who believe that a .Net 2.0 compatible release was theirs by-right and that I should be moving faster – despite the fact that I am but one man working in his spare time...

Yup.  Who didn't see that coming?  When something like this becomes popular and is used and depended upon by people, they start to act like they paid for it and it is their “right” to receive updates and fixes.  Wrong.  The whole point of open source is that you get the code too.  You can do it yourself.  It is seldom that easy for even a moderately complex code-base.  Companies simply cannot afford to pay their developers to learn how to modify somebody else's code.

The camel and the straw:

This came to head in the last week; I have been subjected to an automated mail-bomb attack on both my public mail addresses and the ndoc2 mailing list address. These mails have been extremely offensive and resulted in my ISP temporarily suspending my account because of the traffic volume.  This incident has been reported to the local authorities, although I am highly doubtful they will be able to do anything about it.

Yikes!  That is absolutely reprehensible.  While I hope that they do catch whoever did this, I suspect that Kevin is right and that little can be done.

I really feel for Kevin.  He built something wonderful and it has completely gone to shit.

Microsoft is coming out with something codenamed SandCastle and already people are not liking it.  If they were smart, they'd buy NDoc and hire Kevin to continue its development. 

If they were smart...

Just because I can...


posted on Thursday, August 3, 2006 11:40 AM