When Open Source fails

I should be giving a presentation right now.

At this moment I should be rounding into the first hour of my presentation about the Fediverse. Instead I'm sitting on my couch writing a blog post, drinking a ginger beer, and thinking about yet-another-time when my ideals have failed me.

We've been using 8x8 Meets for our Michigan!/usr/group meetings. It was a great solution. I was able to give money to a company that built a thing that I liked (Jitsi). Unfortunately 8x8 decided they no longer wanted to be in the paid hosting Jitsi business and would rather be in the the unpaid hosting Jitsi business. Sure, fine. Using resources without paying for them is quite sustainable.

They offered two options for migration. The first option is to pay then $30 a month for some business phone package that also has the ability to host Jitsi meetings. The second is their Jitsi Moderated Meetings platform.

Now, the Jitso moderated meetings platform would be fine, save for two issues:

  1. The URLS are hot trash. They're these long UUID string of hexadecimal numbers.
  2. It can't support more than a dozen users without completely shitting the bed.

Which is why I'm sitting here drinking a ginger beer rather than giving my presentation. The Jitsi Moderated instance we used shit the bed and several folks couldn't hear or see me, nor could I hear them.

My options are as follows:

  1. Set up my own Jitsi instance. I've done this in the past. It's not particularly trivial to do so but that's an option.
  2. Pay Zoom and consider the problem solved.

I'd much rather pay 8x8 and consider the problem solved but apparently getting a hold of someone to actually take money is akin to trying to buy a copy of Autocad: arrange for someone in sales to get in contact with you.

Zoom makes this very easy. I just give them some money and my problem is solved. I don't even have to talk to a person to make this happen.

So, instead of giving my presentation I'm sitting here, on my couch, drinking a ginger beer, and cursing 8x8 for making it so I have to decide whether to solve my problem by dedicating more time to setting up a Jitsi instance or just give Zoom money to make the problem go away.

Oh damn, Firefox remembered my Zoom account.

$149 for one year and I don't have to think about this any more.

And this is where Open Source fails.