Why I Don’t Support Windows

I saw that GitHub Desktop is entering a private beta and, like a glutton for punishment (or a harsher Biblical expression), I had to see what those on Hacker News had to say about it:

No Linux support? Really? — Hacker News

I can’t fault thecrumb or for wanting a Linux version, but expecting one is entirely different.

This struck a chord with me, as my team & I don’t support Windows in project we authored (and several more not listed).

The reasons why are simple and should be obvious:

I don’t own a Windows machine.

Therefore, it’s prohibitively difficult, expensive, and time-consuming to develop against an environment that is largely foreign to me.

God knows how much customization has gone into your machine when considering how much I’ve customized mine just to get everything working comfortably.

Even in a homogenous environment, the most difficult bugs have been due to machine specifics, especially when dealing with tools like Ansible, Homebrew, and even Git.

I’m solving a problem I’m intimately familiar with.

Problems and their solutions are so closely tied to the context in which they’re run that it’s quite possible that an entirely different solution would be better suited a different platform.

What I do know is that the project I’ve open-sourced has been tested extensively, built around real use-cases, and created (instead of using an existing solution) for very concrete reasons specific to said problem.

It’s quite possible that the thorn is my side is similar to but quite different from yours.

Open-sourcing is easy. Support is expensive.

When I browse open-source projects, it is usually to learn first from, and use second.

This same logic is why I open-source many of my projects, so that others may learn, leverage my solutions, or build something greater.

But, each moment I spend solving problems or answering questions around others’ environments, edge-cases, and even legitimate use-cases, I’m stretched thin between a growing family and growing work responsibilities.

Still, I take that risk for the majority that benefits from a problem being solved, rather than hiding from criticism or improvements.

So, please don’t have incredulous attitudes at individuals or companies whose software doesn’t match your specific wants or desires.

Kindly make the contributors aware of what needs the community may have, and let open-source naturally evolve to meet the need.

It’s hard enough being an open-source author, let alone just dealing with life, so please put forth effort to be kind, or offer your own expertise in improving what others generously create & open-source.