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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

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Foundation member speaks out!

Well, likely I've stooped slightly addin' such a sensational headline to this report. Yeah, I've had a word with a Foundation member, but we're not talkin' a board member or nuthin'. Hell, I reckon the only words those board members would have for this ol' cowboys would be them four letter ones.

Never mind, what we do have right here is a member of the community who has been takin' some lengths lately to attempt to work out that wacky Foundation those Miro varmits has setup.

Absalom is the guy I mentioned was goin' to have a coffee and a chat with Mr. Lamont, and he enrolled as a payin' member of the foundation (the $10 kind, that is) to try and get some more info out of these squirmin' snakes. After tryin' and tryin' and bein' quite polite about it, he's been banned from the official forums, even though he's a payin' member of the Foundation.

I asked him to mosey on over to the fireside and give us the lowdown on what he's found out in his investigations...

What did ya do to deserve that kinda treatment, pardner?

"I was asking for the Board to be publically accountable for spreading false, misleading and factually incorrect information. The fact a relative newbie on the Mambo forums then publically and privately persisted in a call to get me hellbanned because I asked for this professional accountability in a business setting didn't help."
Why did ya'll become a Foundation member anyways?

"I became a member to get an inside look at how the Foundation was going to treat the membership, and then to spread whatever information I could find out to the wider community, helping keep my clients informed as to which path (OSM/Joomla! or the Foundation) was a better choice..

As the Foundation remains an incorporated association within Victoria, it should be able to supply the list of members to its membership as part of the legal obligations it has. This hasn't happened - 3 emails to the Mambo Foundation emails on the Foundations' own website, numerous PMs to the various Foundation members on the Mambo forums, have resulted in a sum total of nothing. The Foundation has been silent, and it's Secretary, Jim Begley, looks to not be keeping in step with the legal obligations for the Foundation by denying me this information.

I did this by using my idea as a test case. How the Board treat Foundation members reflects on the ideology and understanding of the Board - how it sees itself, how it sees others. Currently, as it stands, the Board is simply looking for itself, and remains unable to listen to any contrary or diverse opinion. This confirms that the Foundation is just a cash cow for Miro and Begley - they have no reason to censor dissent if that dissent aids the Foundation, as well as Mambo as a product, grow and mature. If they treat one Foundation member this way, that means they sure have the ethical obligation to treat all Foundation members this way.. which is a perfect public relations disaster for them.. both now and in the future."
I saw your post about havin' your signature removed, have those varmits deleted any of your posts as well?
"One of the moderators did remove one of the threads I created on licencing accidently, and one of the moderators has removed, thus far, 1 post in the Mambo 4.5.3 thread. Supposedly "Yeah, right.. We weren't born yesterday" is considered offensive behaviour towards the Board and a rules violation. The licencing thread is back now, so some moderators are open to change on the Mambo forums."
Seems like Miro have gone to some lengths to appear that everythin' in the Foundation is all tiptop and above-board, can ya'll see anythin' in their actions that says otherwise?
"There are numerous areas that demonstrate the Foundation isn't above board:

  • Censoring dissent within the membership - this means the Foundation isn't free. If they treat people this way now, imagine the amount of nasty tactics that will be in place during the AGM.
  • Multiple, conflicting and factually incorrect statements by Board members both privately to me and to the community in general
  • Numerous times Mambo Communities, under direction from the Board, hijacked and violated copyright attributions on users accounts.
  • Jim's spin on the Backenders template censorship
  • The fact the new Board members, all Miro employees, have been appointed without consulting the membership. Since I'm a paid member, it is within my rights to be informed of these potential appointments before they take up a Board position
  • Peter Lamont's double take on claiming it's okay for people to vote the Board out of office, yet when someone expresses dissent to the way the Foundation is being run, they get censored and banned
  • The fact Mambolove.com is using the images for the template it runs outside of the licencing agreement for those images
  • Non disclosure agreements for all moderators - what are they hiding that requires an NDA?

There are probably more areas, both legally and otherwise, that the Foundation need to get their act into gear to demonstrate they are a legitimate association, but the major factor in recommending people against them is that they actively punish dissent against the Board. Independence isn't recognised."
You went to have a cuppa joe with the guy, what were your impressions of them and their offices?
Firstly, lets deal with their offices. Since they don't have a receptionist, I was left waiting for about 5 minutes till one of the tech heads wandered passed where I was sitting in the atrium. Whilst I understand most coding shops want to hide away their tech staff, the fact Miro / Websend, doesn't seem to have an outward focus (apart from the tech support phone / email line) tells me that they need to work on their customer service skills better. In total, it's say I saw about 8 offices, with a total of around 10 to 15 staff in the entire organisation (best guess).

The impression Peter Lamont and Justina Phoon gave me when I met them was that they wanted to get me onside as best as possible. The fact the first words when we sat down to discuss matters regarding Miro, the Foundation, the Board, the forums and the community were "This is not an interview" told me that they seek to control the perspective on how others see them. This doesn't gel with my business background, because if people are honest, they don't need to hide anything..

Justina, by and large, remained silent throughout our discussion, only commenting here and there, whereas Peter Lamont made extensive pitches as to why the Foundation was good, why he just didn't like some people in the core / ex-core team, and why Miro was not at fault for the PR disaster they got themselves involved in. I've mentioned some of this previously, both on the Mamboserver and OSM forums, and towards my clientele.
After readin' thru some of your posts, and your comments here, I'd have to say you've at least given these varmits a chance to prove themselves. Do you reckon they've fallen beyond redemption at this point?
"I have given them ample opportunity to prove themselves, both in how they deal with diverse opinions of users who support their product, and in taking the time to listen to Peter Lamont and others on the Board (namely Jim Begley) and analysing the value and credibility of what they have to say.

The Mambo brand might be able to be salvaged at some point, but at the moment, the Board have indicted themselves as being untrustworthy, self-serving, and unable to deal with change at this point. The fact you can't even call for a Special General Meeting to vote them off now doesn't help the membership either."
You've been runnin' your own business devoted to Mambo stuff, for some time now, how has this experience of late affected your decisions about what your business will be supporting in future?
"My business will be recommending all clients to OSM and Joomla!. Furthermore, as Absalom Media is developing on other content management systems for other clients, the fact we can no longer publically support our users on the Mamboserver forums means that they are now coming directly to me for support, instead of relying on the knowledgebase I've built up through the Mamboserver forums.

It's still business as usual. Sure, the product name has changed, but the development and support arcs haven't.

I think my thoughts on what has happened here will provide enough information for people to make an informed choice about signing up to the Foundation.. If there's any more information people need to know, I'll get it out as soon as I can.."
Quite a bit to digest there, that pilgrim sure is in-depth with his observin' skills, I reckon that since he's livin' in the same part of the world as those Miro varmits and has garnered quite a handle on the way they're operatin', why he could surely stir up some right proper investigations by them governin' bodies and the like.

Seems to me that this is the tip of the iceberg pilgrims, and icebergs really don't last long round these parts...

Thankye kindly for moseyin' over,

The Lone Mamber