[Nagios-devel] The nagios community wants to keep its open soul

Andreas Ericsson ae at op5.se
Fri Feb 26 15:37:49 UTC 2010

On Fri, Feb 26, 2010 at 4:00 PM, anthony paradis <funkyman78 at hotmail.com> wrote:
> I expect a professional response from you

Is it just me who can picture Ethan giggling away at the keyboard while
he was writing that email? Personally, I thought it was hilarious :D

But alright, I'll come in with a professional response here.

Most software projects expect the users who want features in the core
code to develop those features themselves and submit patches that
can be discussed and polished to perfection. The Nagios community
works a bit differently. Users are crying out for new features, although
they're often not very specific about what those features are supposed
to be, and even more rarely users post patches to make that particular
feature happen.

It's really quite simple. If you have a feature you want implemented,
you can
a) submit a patch to make it happen.
b) whine.

If you're a positive person (like me), you'll try to make it happen first.
If that fails, you can ask for help with a message like "hey, I tried this
but can't make it work. Here's what I want to achieve and why I think
that's a really stellar idea. Is anyone else capable of making this fly?"

With that attitude, it's really a breeze to get exactly what you want
from practically anybody. Demanding nameless features that you're
not sure what they would do is a surefire way of getting no response
what so ever.

So let's have a look at what requests there are on Nagios. These are
from ideas.nagios.org, which I assume is a decent collection of ideas
that people share. I've only bothered with the top five or so, since it
already shows a very very clear pattern without going further than

* New gui. Lots of people want this. Well, that's something that can
easily be implemented outside the nagios core, and there's currently
at least two teams working on making that true. One is at op5 and
the other is the icinga team.

* Clustering/redundancy/loadbalancing/failover stuff. A lot of
competent programmers (Nagios core devs included) all agree that
such a feature needn't reside inside the Nagios core itself, but would
be much better off written as a module. DNX, Merlin and other efforts
are under way and are nearing production quality or are already on

* New statusmap. Well, we at op5 have developed several already.
They're free for grabs, since we've made sure to publish all our git
repositories. You want to fly around in a 3d landscape in a java app?
It's there for the taking. You want something that works with google
maps and lets you draw whatever you want on a map? That too is
already there, contributed back to NagVis, which we decided to use
for that particular thing. You want something where hostgroups and
their parent relations are drawn? lo and behold, we have that too.
Download it and install it. If you can't figure out how to make it work,
that's a different issue that we can work with after you've tried and

* Web frontend for configuration
Nacoma (the op5 written tool) has been opensource and totally
free for the past year or so. Go grab it. It works wonderfully for
our 400+ customers and we actively develop it.

* SLA reporting tool
Again, it's up for grabs from the op5 git repositories. Just download
and install it and you'll have corporate quality reports. Again, we do
actively develop it.

Besides the above ones, many of the suggestions on ideas.nagios.org
are already implemented or could easily be implemented by someone
who really cares about the feature requested. But people are lazy and
seem to be scared of ending up maintaining a software project, though
they have no hesitation asking someone else to do what they really
don't want to or can do.

The shameful part are all the requests for things that already exists.
I can understand non-developers asking coders for features, but I
have a hard time respecting people who can't even be bothered to
google for something they claim they want, and then whine about
it when they don't get it.

Andreas Ericsson                   andreas.ericsson at op5.se
OP5 AB                             www.op5.se
Tel: +46 8-230225                  Fax: +46 8-230231

Considering the successes of the wars on alcohol, poverty, drugs and
terror, I think we should give some serious thought to declaring war
on peace.

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