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[Debian-sf-devel] Re: Public relations and journalists, again

From: Rick Moen
Subject: [Debian-sf-devel] Re: Public relations and journalists, again
Date: Fri, 6 Dec 2002 13:34:37 -0800
User-agent: Mutt/1.4i

Courtesy copy of my post onto LWN itself (now that I've seen Roland's 
rather peevish comments, there):

Roland, I'm not a "reporter", but thank you for considering me one.

I'm just a sympathetic observer who has been sad to see the multi-way
split among development teams, following the numerous confusing and
non-helpful moves from VA Software Corp., when it took its codebase
proprietary and then sent out the mixed signals alluded to earlier. I
was also saddened to see people like Tim, among others, being prevented
from assisting any of the open-source successors to alexandria, until
legal obligations to their prior employers expired.

I'm sorry you feel slighted: The letter (not "article") could only cover
a bit of territory within the space LWN could be reasonably expected to
grant, and I had to rush to complete it before LWN's publication
deadline. I'd love to have spent a week getting to know all of the
existing forks better, but that would have conflicted with timeliness.

What I do know is Tim, the contribution he can make now that lawyers
aren't obliging him to sit on his hands, and the junked-up VA codebase
he has already subjected to some much-needed pruning as his first step.
I'm therefore delighted that Debian-SF will be working with him -- and
equally, that he will be working with you.

It is indeed true that Debian's package is based on 2.5. I checked the
package listings. The fact that Debian-SF does most of its development
on 2.6 (which I knew and alluded to briefly in my letter) doesn't make
my statement inaccurate.

I'll also point out that my letter, in pointing to a possible
"renaissance" of open-source development, did _not_ assert that it had

And the "A key piece of open-source infrastructure is back" meant "back"
as a thriving, unified project. Which I hope and expect will be
happening, with the help of (among other things) mindshare, a matter
I'll return to below.

You choke on "lost momentum"? Here, have a virtual glass of water. Yes,
lost momentum. This was inevitable in the multi-way split that occurred,
is a fact regardless of how long your changelog is, and mentioning it is
in now way a slight on those who've been keeping Debian-SF, Savannah,
and the others going for the last couple of years. I'm hoping that
publicity and reunifying work will help regain that momentum --
publicity that I've been trying to help you get. You may be unaware that
VA Software rejected Slashdot story submissions about the launch of
GForge. I have been attempting to compensate for that by attempting to
get the word out.

Rick Moen

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