Open Source: you're doing it wrong - the Pyjamas hijack

Discussion in 'Python' started by Steven D'Aprano, May 8, 2012.

  1. A.k.a. "we had to destroy the project in order to save it".

    Seriously, this was a remarkably ham-fisted and foolish way to "resolve"
    a dispute over the direction of an open source project. That's the sort
    of thing that gives open source a bad reputation.

    (The sad thing is, when closed source software developers do this sort of
    thing, it gets blamed on "bad apples"; when open source developers do it,
    it gets used as an indictment on the entire FOSS community.)

    Steven D'Aprano, May 8, 2012
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  2. alex23

    alex23 Guest

    On May 8, 1:54 pm, Steven D'Aprano <steve
    > wrote:
    > Seriously, this was a remarkably ham-fisted and foolish way to "resolve"
    > a dispute over the direction of an open source project. That's the sort
    > of thing that gives open source a bad reputation.

    The arrogance and sense of entitlement was so thick you could choke on
    it. Here's a sampling from the circle jerk of self-justification that
    flooded my inbox over the weekend:

    "i did not need to consult Luke, nor would that have be productive"

    No, it's generally _not_ productive to ask someone if you can steal
    their project from them.

    "i have retired Luke of the management duties, particularly, *above*
    the source"

    Who is this C Anthony Risinger asshole and in what way did he _hire_
    the lead developer?

    "What I have wondered is, what are effects of having the project
    hostage to the whims of an individuals often illogically radical
    software libre beliefs which are absolutely not up for discussion at
    all with anyone."

    What I'm wondering is: how is the new set up any different? Why were
    Luke Leighton's philosophies/"whims" any more right or wrong than
    those held by the new Gang of Dicks?

    "Further more, the reason I think it's a bad idea to have this drawn
    out discussion is that pretty much the main reason for this fork is
    because of Luke leadership and project management decisions and
    actions. To have discussions of why the fork was done would invariably
    lead to quite a bit of personal attacks and petty arguments."

    Apparently it's nicer to steal someone's work than be mean to them.

    "I agree, Lex - this is all about moving on. This is a software
    project, not a cult of personality."

    Because recognising the effort of the lead developer is cult-like.

    "My only quibble is with the term "fork." A fork is created when you
    disagree with the technical direction of a project. That's not the
    issue here. This is a reassignment of the project administration only
    - a shuffling of responsibility among *current leaders* of the
    community. There is no "divine right of kings" here."

    My quibble is over the term "fork" too, as this is outright theft. I
    don't remember the community acknowledging _any other leadership_ over
    Luke Leighton's.

    "I suspect Luke will be busy with other projects and not do much more
    for Pyjamas/pyjs, Luke correct me if you see this and I am wrong."

    How about letting the man make his own fucking decisions?

    "All of you spamming the list with your unsubscribe attempts: Anthony
    mentioned in a previous email that he's using mailman now"

    Apparently it's the responsibility of the person who was subscribed
    without their permission to find out the correct mechanism for
    unsubscribing from that list.

    "apparantly a bunch of people were marked as "POSTING" in the DB, but
    not receiving mail (?)"

    Oh I see, the sudden rush of email I received was due to an error in
    the data they stole...

    "Nobody wins if we spend any amount of time debating the details of
    this transition, what's done is done."

    Truly the justification of assholes.
    alex23, May 8, 2012
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  3. alex23

    alex23 Guest

    Even worse, here's what Risinger had to say when Leighton asked them
    to stop sending him email:

    "probably best not to feed the troll, Pascal -- especially one
    overwrought and lost in high dudgeon -- they tend to brickwall common
    reason and simple social advices."

    "Luke has made his decision -- and burned all ties -- by pitching a
    snit of hollow threats"

    "i full-heartily recommend that everyone do exactly as Luke requests,
    i.e. "cease and desist from all communications" with him, regarding
    this project's past or future ..."

    There's being an asshole, and then there's being an absolute fucking
    asshole. It seems pretty clear which category this behaviour falls in.
    alex23, May 8, 2012
  4. Guest

    On Tuesday, May 8, 2012 4:10:13 AM UTC-5, james hedley wrote:
    > Agreed with pretty much all of that. It's third-world politics, lurching from one dictator to another. Risinger seems to have banned all discussion of the subject from the list too, I'm not posting anymore because I don't want to give him an excuse to wield his newly found banhammer.

    hello James,

    i'm not really sure what you're referring too ... you appear to be making these things up. i have not banned anything, or even alluded to it, whatsoever. i asked that one specific mail not be commented upon, as a request; perhaps this is the dreaded bannhammer you speak of?

    reading your accounts strewn about is interesting, what exactly are *your* motives? a simple curiosity, nothing more.

    your comparison to gov'ts is pretty skewed i would say, you know this as well as i. regardless of what you think or know of me, i have a permanent track record of being pretty fair and receptive to virtually anything, and am involved in a wide range of projects. Luke is a talented developer, there is no doubt of this, but he is one of the most socially inept persons i have ever encountered. leading your users to statements such as this:

    .... dozens of times on several occasions, is truly incredible. other such behavior, eg. being the only person in the history of the webkit project toever be *ejected* from contributing or communicating *at all*, is further testament to the deficiencies provoking this maneuver.

    however, i have no interest in comparing or being compared. go read my notes again; i have a high level of respect for Luke in many capacities, and this has not changed.

    lets make one thing perfectly clear; you are not the only one who cares of this project or wishes it to succeed. mistakes were made. problems were had. the decisions however, stands.

    > But yeah, a lot of the commentary from the pro-rebel side ( not that any of them admit they had anything to do with it ) really does come across as being ill-informed and childish.

    indeed, you have witnessed little chatter. however, barring your belief ofsuch, i had received dozens of notes thanking me and attesting to a renewed impetus for action. the original goal was to purchase a domain and fork -- i made this very clear in my notes -- ``. however, the most respectable member of the commit IMO convinced me otherwise. names names, yesyou want names? sorry :-(. alas, he, myself, and numerous others are still active and moving forward. the list is actually approaching 100 ... notthe "4-5" you so graciously quoted. i am simply the point man willing to stand the flurry.

    likewise, i did not "convince" the domain holder to give me the domain. not only was he already aware prior to me approaching him -- list member, passive -- he was more that willing to assist in reinstating the projects foundations and direction. he *was* the person who "left Luke in charge" ... why do you think he was the owner? as far as im concerned, the domain was already "hijacked"; this was, in good faith, intended as remedy.

    this was not a easy or light decision, the dissonance exists to this day. the idea was to retain Luke, but he decided to play legal threats as the first card (which i'm afraid can only backfire), before he even knew of the domain changes. hge is not a victim here, nor is anyone else. so please, show some cognitive capacity by realizing this is not as black-and-white as you's like it to be.

    when you decide to include yourself -- sooner, or later -- you are more than welcome.

    @alex23 ... try reading a bit further. as a human i am subject to annoyance and frustration. i probably shouldn't have started the message in that manner, but the absurdity and absolute inaccurate statements being made wererather upsetting. you will note that i make it perfectly clear that Luke is a fantastic developer, and a great part of the team. this of course hasneither waned nor faltered.

    i encourage anyone willing to take the time to consult the archives, pyjamas' and elsewhere, as they are the only path to proper answers. this will impact the project in both known and untold ways, but we have a great numberof minds willing to push beyond.


    C Anthony
    , May 9, 2012
  5. On 09/05/2012 12:02, wrote:
    <cut all>

    Hello C Anthony,

    I am an pyjs user and introduced the project as one of the fundamental
    parts of a new application that is now core of a company of a reasonable
    size (30+), customers include several companies in the top 10 of largest
    IT infrastructures, I can mail you a list in private if you wish so.

    I agree that the project leadership had certainly room for improvement.
    I also agree that to move forward there had to be made some choices.

    However, as the person introducing this project in a commercial venture,
    I am also the one having the responsibility of it in my setting.

    I have been put in a position where I have to come up with answers, like
    why the examples page didn't work, why the project seems fragile and if
    there is any viability at all.

    Of course, I still believe in the project, with all it warts and so
    forth. However my position has been made needlessly difficult, because
    the action you took did not leave room for choice.

    Let me explain this, if you had forked the project, created a new
    domain, mailing list and, took over the majority of the devs, I would be
    able to make a choice if I go with the new guys or stick with the couple
    of old ones, just like the xorg fork.

    If your argument is that this was your intention but was persuaded to do
    other wise, I would say that is a lapse of judgement and not a very good
    restart of the project.

    Unfortunately mistakes made in public, even if arguably they are not
    mistakes at all, are not easy forgotten and can end up haunting you.

    I hope you will take these comments with you as a lesson learned, I do
    wish you all the best and look forward to the improvements you are going
    to contribute.

    Martin P. Hellwig (mph)
    Martin P. Hellwig, May 9, 2012
  6. Guest

    On Thursday, May 10, 2012 3:06:47 AM UTC-5, james hedley wrote:
    > > i have not banned anything, or even alluded to it, whatsoever. i askedthat
    > > one specific mail not be commented upon

    > OK, sorry if I misunderstood, but that's still suppression in my book.

    James, how can you realistically condemn a simple request with such colorful words, now and in previous messages, yet simultaneously claim to support Luke's many impositions ...

    .... i could easily drum up a hundred more, if i were both inclined and extremely bored. i have been in contact by other users who claim a similar state as yourself, and frankly, everyone save yourself expresses a far more genuine interest ... your comments are riddled with dissonance ...

    > > reading your accounts strewn about is interesting, what exactly are *your* motives?

    > My motives are as I've stated; I'm a commercial user with products in development
    > which use Pyjamas and that I have a long-term stake in. With a bit of thought, anyone
    > should see why I value stability and continued viability. It's a long game but the
    > potential payback to pyjamas could be huge *if* it can keep commercial users on board.
    > This is where the existential threat to pyjamas comes from and why I and many others
    > consider the takeover to be reckless and unjustified.

    perhaps. in retrospect i would have approached some aspects a bit differently. interestingly ... things seem to be panning out in ways that will benefit all ... isn't that right, James? to be honest though, of all the commercial users i'm aware, none have responded as you describe.

    this was not a lone wolf operation, and neither are discussions in flight. i think if you temper your reactions, and turn down the volume, you will find that things are shaping up rather well ... i am very much aware of the events unfolding, as are you. whilst you paint me the enemy, new paths have been opened ... achievement? unlocked!

    > > Luke is a talented developer, there is no doubt of this, but he is one of the most
    > > socially inept persons i have ever encountered

    > I don't think this is the right place to bash people or even defend them on a personal
    > level.

    i'm doing neither. this is an mere observation after multiple years of interaction, and my own research into past endeavors.

    > We get it though. You didn't get along with the guy.

    well, no, i don't think you get it ... are you paying attention, at all? igot along with him just fine; i've already detailed this elsewhere.

    > > the idea was to retain Luke

    > I'm sorry but I don't believe this. Luke can speak for himself of course but this is
    > not how you keep people on-board.

    well, don't then :-(

    .... but several did, and it's the cross-my-heart-pinky-swear'in truth. after many months of lengthy discussion it felt right. after 10 minutes of reactionary thought it feels less right to you ... that's certainly understandable, and maybe even correct. was it *really* the right thing to do? maybe not, this was unprecedented. already however, great things are in motion, and i feel good about the feedback received, outside and in.

    > > he decided to play legal threats as the first card

    > He's claimed that you lifted data from his server without permission. I'mnot commenting
    > on that, but if it's true then this is a massive roadblock in the viability of the
    > project. I for one don't want to be involved in it. Can you picture the scene where a
    > developer or businessperaon goes into a meeting with very senior, very conservative
    > executives trying to pitch a product, and it turns out there are serious legal concerns
    > surrounding the technology platform?

    unrelated ... the technology is freely available.

    > If it isn't true then perhaps you should put people's minds at rest by giving a detailed
    > explanation of the whole mail server situation, including where the data originated, where
    > it is now, how it got there and why the accidental mailing of so many people occurred.

    acting as an agent of the organization, i reinstated services people had purposefully subscribed to, in accordance with an infrastructure transition. these were pre-existing relationships to a service i managed. alas, i wasunaware of the reasons to -- or existence of -- joining a list, but optingfor "nomail" ... thus the state was reset, ie. resuming reception thereto.following this realization, all existing members were simply requested to join a new list at their willful discretion. data was/is neither leaked norcompromised in any way.

    if anything, organization leaders failed to register with the Ministry their collection of personal data, and also failed to train agents on proper handling, if need be.

    .... that's the official statement, but like i said 100 times, i don't give a {explicit deleted} about this, and never wanted to: i seek the best for everyone. this thought stream is more likely a shoot yourself in the foot kind of path ... and not my own. while i do sincerely apologize to those affected/upset, the reality is a handful of people received a handful of mail,in a good faith attempt to reinstate a service they had both requested andretained. this was subsequently ceased once it was clear there was an issue with the latter, and a final, good faith attempt was made to detail and offer resumed services elsewhere ...

    so what?

    lets hypothetically suggest there was some transgression, people/Luke/whomever feverishly pursue, and the book get thrown my way ... what will anyone have gained? nothing. all that results is my life gets difficult, my fiancein final year of grad school is possibly compromised due to finances, and my toddler son must endure any hardship along with us ... more blood please? or revenge? or [...]?

    there is a positive resolution for everyone, and it will be found.

    > > indeed, you have witnessed little chatter

    > I'd invite anyone to review the pyjamas list for the last 7 days before they make
    > up their minds. Some of the statements I've seen have been regrettable.

    i don't know what you're referring to, or even talking about, at all. things have been rather peachy keen ... we even had some emerge from the shadows! ;-)

    > > by realizing this is not as black-and-white as you's like it to be.

    > I have an ethical objection here, but moreover; it clearly just runs against my
    > interests to support your actions. I'm not sure you considered the commercial users
    > here, and with respect nor do I really get the impression you've understood it, still.

    alright ... i *am* a commercial user. while the events may run afoul something, it certainly isn't your interests. when i give presentations, and early questions are not about the project, but some particular member, that signifies a problem ... i'll let you fill in the gaps.

    > By the way; I'm not associated with Luke at all. I've emailed him off-list a few times
    > this week to discuss some angles to do with my work, but that's it.

    "it" you say? ok ...

    > In fact, I support Kees' proposition that Pyjamas should seek sponsorshipfrom the
    > Python/Apache/Free Software Foundation. This would resolve questions of legitimacy and
    > leadership.
    > In my ideal outcome, we could tailor pyjamas more to business use; e.g.
    > tidying up any license issues, offering a commercial support contract (this will help
    > mitigate the damage done to perceptions of credibility), publishing a commercial
    > use policy (one of the foundations could offer support with this I hope).

    oddly enough, your goals are inline with the advancements being made, and the some of the inadequacies behind the transition. understand that several inconsistencies were *introduced* by former leadership, and are only now being reconciled. regardless of your stance on the actual methods employed, you stand to benefit, and i daresay, *WILL* benefit. we are on the same side, James.

    contingent upon acceptance of an agreeable resolution, i am more than happyto transfer assets to the PSF, so we can simply absolve each other and getback to writing some damn code. however, such decisions will be made with the same care and consideration as those which brought us here ... i'm not in a hurry to witness the very encumbrances i worked hard -- and received much flak -- be reinstated. so far so good ... let's just continue working toward that goal, together.

    i am tight on time and resources, so this is be my last correspondence here... best to everyone.


    C Anthony
    , May 12, 2012
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