Saturday, September 30, 2006

Annoying CS PhD students

Every few weeks, I receive an e-mail much like the following:
I came across the jEdit project at

I am a doctoral student at the Department of Computer Science, Florida
State University. As a part of my dissertation, I have developed a set
of metrics and a mechanism to track the effects of changing
requirements on software design - we already have several
publications on these ideas. We are looking to apply the mechanism as
a case study on your project. In addition to the material available at
SourceForge could you provide the requirement and design documentation
to help us understand the system better ?

If this was a one-time thing, it wouldn't bother me at all. But it seems that large numbers of PhD students simply spam the entire SourceForge web site with queries much like the following:
  • Can I have design documentation?
  • Does your team use XP, Agile, SOA methodology?
  • Can you please fill out this survey?
  • etc

I will not write your thesis for you. Tell your supervisor that spamming open source projects is not the right way to do research. If you want design documentation, read the fucking source code, ask questions about how it works if you need to, but don't expect me to do your work for you.

Or at least, don't tell me that you're wasting 4 years of your life doing a PhD in computer science.

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