As sure as night follows day

Here we go again, as sure as night follows day.

Then again, if the only complaints about the process are coming from people who have never contributed a line of code to the site in their lives, I can safely conclude that we’re on the right track.

Read Where’s Then go read the post (and importantly, the comments against it) that inspired Nathan’s outpouring: Volker Weber: Quo vadis OpenNTF?

And there was me thinking that was quite a popular site which gathers a lot of comments. I’m glad Nathan is setting us straight, and that no-one is complaining about the current red-tapery apart from Volker.

Now, given Jeff Gilfelt’s observations maybe it’s a good thing IBM are getting the intellectual property and legal things in place—that way they can protect themselves from… themselves.


  1. Volker is an enormous ASW that's good at stirring things up.

    I listened in on the OpenNTF conference call last Friday and I can't fault anyone in this day and age for wanting legal things in place.David Jones#
  2. I'd be perfectly fine replying at, but Volker is apparently afraid of me, and blocks any reply from my email address. Nothing like suppressing dissent to make sure you sound like an authority.

    Ben, I know you have a valid login. It sure would be great if the developer of DominoWiki provided some input on the process redesign. There's a reason we specifically asked for code contributors to come to the table, so that there's an opportunity to ensure that everyone's concerns are met. If you don't want to tell us what you think is wrong, how is it you expect it to get fixed? Osmosis?

    FYI: the TwitterGadget thing is a red herring. A widget in Notes, as I'm sure you know, is nothing more than a parent URL. It's no more subject to legal clearance than an HREF inside an IFRAME tag.Nathan T. Freeman#
  3. Volker is an enormous ASW that's good at stirring things up.
    If I hear the term “ASW” one more time I’ll scream. How about a little imagination and independent thought?

    So what’s wrong with continuing the discussion about OpenNTF? And why can you only have an opinion of something if you’re directly involved in it?

    As a project chef I’m interested in code n stuff. I could care less about validating contributions, IP law and all the rest. That’s my prerogative, same as it’s cool for others to get involved in the process should they wish.

    Everyone is pissing and moaning about chefs / contributors who don’t step up to the various committees or who weren’t on last Friday’s call. Well sorry about that, but some of us have other interests or were otherwise engaged.

    Finally the TwitterWidget is not a red herring at all, as well you know.Ben Poole#
  4. Ok, "Volker will say/do just about anything (within reason) to get attention on the internet and is good at stirring things up."

    Nothing is wrong with continuing a discussion about OpenNTF and I never said or hinted that there was something wrong. However, why not post something ON OpenNTF about whatever complaints or concerns you have and let the discussion occur there? If you want to make a larger audience aware, link to your OpenNTF thread on your blog.

    I also never said you couldn't have an opinion if you aren't directly involved so please stop with your assumptions.

    I don't care much about the IP law and all that mumbo jumbo either but listened in because I was able to do so and might be able to add something to the conversation, which I didn't. While I know Nathan and others are trying to get more people involved, I don't think they are "pissing and moaning" about it but that's just an opinion of mine. Personally, I'm thankful for any past contributions you have made to OpenNTF, Ben, and for any future contributions you might add.David Jones#
  5. It's not a red herring, Ben? Then please tell me what the violation or misrepresentation is. After all, you say "I could care less about validating contributions, IP law and all the rest" so I'm curious what you're basing your claim that there IS a problem on.

    I asked the Committer for that widget (Niklas) about it. He said IBM did due diligence, and believes that since widgets are simply URLs parented in a Notes client through a browser, they don't require license clearance. The process of a committer is to exercise due diligence on contributions, which is the same process that exists for both the Apache Foundation and the Eclipse Foundation.

    The Chairman of the IP Working Group has requested of the Steering Committee that we change the Terms of Use in the catalog to reflect the status of widgets, as detailed here: The resolution was so passed, and I believe the IP Manager is in the process of making the change.

    If you don't want to worry about IP clearance and licenses, then great! Don't worry about them! Why are you bitching that other people ARE worrying about them? Do you think that everyone's priorities should be exactly yours and no others?

    For a long time, policy was to have no policy. Then, when that stopped working, and things grew stagnant, IBM said "we can help break the stagnation if you have a policy." So IBM and Vince created one by fiat. Then they asked 7 people to join a consortium. We agreed. Those 7 decided that the policy that was decided by fiat wasn't a good one, so we wanted to change it. And rather than change it by fiat, we would come up with the new policy in a transparent fashion that included everyone who wanted to participate. We decided this before the inaugural meeting of the SC, because I CALLED EVERY PERSON IN THAT GROUP ON THE PHONE AND PROPOSED THAT WE NEEDED A TRANSPARENT DECISION PROCESS THAT REFLECTED THE CULTURE OF OPENNTF.ORG.

    If you don't want to participate, okay! No problem. Much like an election, you're trusting your peers to come up with a solution that you'll like without being involved in the decision process. And much like an election, the debate is happening openly, with all stakeholders welcome to be a part of it.

    What alternative to that process would you propose? One where everything is behind closed doors? Where secret cabals whisper in corners to decide what the results should be?

    What alternative besides the open, transparent process for decision making that we've established would you prefer? If we don't have committees, working groups, forums and conference calls, then we don't have visibility to the decision process. Would you consider that better? Do you believe that would yield outcomes that take the needs of code contributors in account? How would we even know what those needs are?Nathan T. Freeman#
  6. I do think that this whole episode is little odd. Anyone thinking that IBM was ever going to get involved in a serious way without the IP questions being answered can't have thought about it very hard.

    If you want to contribute to Apache or Eclipse then you have to jump through similar hoops and they both have similar levels of bureaucracy. Eclipse is a bit worse as far as I can tell, but what do you expect from something coming out of IBM.

    Maybe I'm a little more IP aware / paranoid than most developers, but I'm extremely cautious about where code I use comes from. It's one thing to download something and run it. It's another altogether to incorporate it into your own work and then distribute it to a client. You really want to be sure that it's on the up and up. Just checking the licence doesn't help if you can't trust that the person giving it to you has the right to distribute it in the first place.

    I'm finding it very difficult to be upset about the prospect of OpenNTF having similar standards to Apache or Eclipse. It makes it much easier for companies to say, "if you got it from there we're good to go" Otherwise you're in for months of due diligence assuming it doesn't get vetoed straight off the bat.

    Yes, it's all very dull. Yes, it's a pain in the arse. Yes, it probably could have been handled better. But once this is all done, it'll be done and we can get back to concentrating on the projects.

    It certainly seems to be the case that the people working on this are trying to do it in an open way. I'm not sure what else could be asked. Unless I'm mistaken and this is really a hijacking?Kerr#

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