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Howdy pardner...

I'd like to welcome you to this here page o'mine, which has been whipped up in no time flat to give some support and outside discussion to the presently stunned Mambo open source project and community.

Why you say? What the heck is this all about? Well pilgrim, you've found yer way to just the place ya'll need to be to get those queries answered. Sure 'nuff this here place is where we can maybe have a chuckle over what's been goin' down of late, maybe even open some eyes to where this all could be headed.

So kick back in front o' the fire and we'll spin some yarns about what could be the biggest showdown Mambo has ever seen in the ol' west

Thankye kindly fer visitin',

The Lone Mamber

Monday, August 15, 2005

What a tangled thread we weave...

How come ya'll know so much about these happenings, I hear you ask? Well, besides being a quietly dedicated mamber (member of the Mambo community), I've been reading the announcement discussion thread on the official forums.

It's this that has started alarm bells ringing for even the most die hard supporters of the alliance between Miro and Mambo. Well, perhaps not the most die hard, because that little group is quite plainly as mad as a cut snake, but don't take my word for it.

Here be some choice quotes from said thread, spiced up with some commentary from yours truly. Hey, them's fancy words!

Firstly, from Jim Begley, one of the newly appointed Foundation board members:

"The reason the post was made by the Foundation, and by Peter Lamont, as chairman, was because it was announcing its incorporation, something the Mambo core team has been considering for some time. The reason the announcement did not come from the core development team is that the Foundation board has a different makeup than the development team. Some of the board members come from Miro, some come from the Mambo project, and others, like me, come from the software industry. Each member of the board was selected based on what they can bring to the project.

On the topic of community involvement, the Foundation is based on community involvement and empowerment. Our goal is to bring the community deeper into the process of steering Mambo to your needs. We also want to reward those members that contribute to the Mambo community with additional benefits. There is structure to all of this, but a democratic process requires this. More will be announced on this over the next few weeks."
Ah, this sounds all well and good, what a nice man. A comment from Robert Castley, first man on the job for the original open source Mambo project and also a board member (oh yes, he's back!):

"To back up the comments from Jim, the Foundation is a completely seperate entity to Miro. I repeat ... no ties with Miro."
Now for something completely contradictory from Peter Lamont, just a few posts below:

"In answer to an earlier post, laws are meant to create freedom, who ever heard of an effective self-regulating body? The foundation simply puts a process in place and gives members a democratic right to have their say in accordance with the rules of association. Those rules and other documentation will be on the foundation site in due course. If you really want to have a say in the Mambo foundation, be a member and contribute.

In answer to an even earlier post; The foundation was an idea put to me by members of the dev team early this year. After long consideration I decided to choose my own board members from the community based on what I felt was a good mix of skill, management experience and a love of Mambo and to sever ties between Miro and Mambo by providing the foundation with their own unique license which allows them to continue to release Mambo as free software under the GPL."
Oh boy... This is the start of several bombshells to drop from the gullet of the man on the throne.

Mr. Begley asserts that the Foundation is based on community involvement and empowerment. Now Mr. Lamont lets us know that he is not only the Chairman of the Foundation, but he also hand selected each member of the board. The community never heard about any of this leading up to the announcement, and had no say in the selection or formation of this... club.

That's about as empowering as being buried upside down in the sand with honey on your unmentionables.

Then Jim Begley gives us all a reassurance that all is well, even though for some reason none of the core development team have come forward with any comment:

"I can appreciate your wanting to hear from the core dev team. However, there actions should not be your guide in having confidance in the foundation or not. You need to consider how the project 1) fits your needs, 2) is something you want to be active in 3) is structured in a way that rewards and supports you for your contributions. I don't pretend that you will have all of the information to make those decisions yet, I just think they should be made on a personal basis."
Ah yes, we shouldn't even care what the core team think! We should trust in our benevolent saviours Miro International. Oh did I mention that they "saved" Mambo from the evil threat of Brian Connolly last year? No wait... Here's what Peter Lamont had to say about that in an interview on Mamboserver.

"Connolly’s claims have been shown to be baseless. Further, he has been uncovered as a person who takes delight in twisting facts and using the media to attack anyone or anything he take a disliking to."
Well gee willickers, that sure does sound like some threat! Lucky they did save us all from his wrath.

Anyways, back to it:

"Finally, on fearing change. It is natural. We expect it. We also expect that we need to earn your trust, and we are prepared to do that. Like any relationship, it will take a little time to earn it. In the meantime, keep asking questions. We will keep on sharing as well. We have a FAQ that will be posted shortly that will be a big help, and it will be updated as we hear questions we have not thought of."
Mr Begley again, this time telling us that the Foundation expect us to be afraid. How thoughtful! This was on the 12th of August, a day after the announcement. Mind, the most pertinent questions haven't been answered even now, and the Foundation board members stopped sharing entirely yesterday. But we'll get to that...

Robert Castley steps in with a big nugget of wisdom:

"If Dr. Evil (Miro) had their Mojo stolen then as it stands today there would be no MamboForge, mamboserver.com, news.mamboserver.com, help.mamboserver.com, no flights to Expos etc. Why? Because they currently fund and financially manage (with the aid of donation, sponsership and advertising) the lot (incl. legal expenses in setting up the Foundation). Yes, that's right the lot. The community at large would be at a huge loss. Resources that are invaluable today to everyone would be gone. None of us surely want that to happen? Every ship needs a captain, every army needs a general. Too many chiefs and not enough indians would be the downfall of Mambo."
Miro fund everything, and we can't possibly get along without them. Oh, except of course for all those donations, sponsorship and advertising that the project brings in by itself. And Miro are paying the legal expenses for setting up the Foundation? Now that's right kindly of them now aint it.

Too many chiefs and not enough indians? Why, Mr Castley must be from out here in the old west as well! Go figure. I think he's a bit mixed up however, too many chefs may spoil the broth, but you can never have too many chiefs. I mean, the more chiefs, the more tribes.

Then again, I guess if they create a nice Foundation to take care of all us injuns, they could even find a place out of their way for us to go about our daily lives...

The Mambo Reservation! Yee-haw!

"The Foundation allows for everything to be placed outside of Miro incl. Domain Names, hosting etc. The Foundation will even allow (in the future) for example, the members to vote and select who actually provides hosting if the members at large feel the service currently provided is inadequate."
Ah Robert, it's nice to hear the Foundation allows everything to be placed outside Miro, right now tho it's pretty much all owned by those guys isn't it. Ya'll can look it up on a domain whois and such.
Smug is as smug does.

"If you have a point of view or concern I suggest you join as a member and lobby your chosen board representative directly. How do you join? You'll have to wait until the board has met to decide the process. How much willit be? You'll have to wait until the board votes. Where is the foundation website? You'll have to wait until the board has met and decides to launch it. What effect will it have on 3PD and releases? The board will have to consider any proper proposals (not demands in the forums) made by the community members and vote. You don't like the board members? Vote 'em off. Get the picture? You want answers, you want to have a say. Be patient and get involved when the time comes."
Now we're getting to the real core of the man. Rude, arrogant, and well my mah would say this is one spoilt cookie. But to be fair, we should all be patient, pay our Foundation membership fees, and vote his sorry ass off that board as soon as possible.

Maybe I have him all wrong, after all, the nice man invited someone over for a coffee a few posts later:

"There are lot's of places an interested person could get involved and either contribute directly or lobby representatives and influence the direction. Now you're located in Melbourne I see; you can always come over for a coffee and a chat."
Although, if the Melbourne cafe culture makes you as smug as this guy, I may just give up coffee. Tomorrow. Maybe.

"I can not answer why the 'board' was pre-chosen and not elected Peter would be better answering that as he asked me if I would like to be on the board and after careful thought and consideration I accepted. Maybe it was the case the thought of allowing the public to elect the board was not even thought about. I personally didn't even think about it."
Mr. Castley, by this point apparently bewildered as to what exactly is going on in this gang he's joined up with. We'd like to think you're completely innocent in this, the man that kicked off the open source project, maybe you are. Maybe you also got a boost to your bank account recently.

Who can say? Your bank manager would know, I suppose.

Ah, such a guessing game this whole endeavour. I can only say it how I see it and hope ya'll can find the humour in such a dire circumstance such as we have come to. It aint even possible to say anything more definite than these ramblings o'mine, for neither side of the debate has really let on to what is going down...

Well, one side has surely been shovelling a lot more of something for public consumption.

Time will tell.