Disappointed commercial user

Reaction to the statement posted on www.opensourcematters.org
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Disappointed commercial user

Post by morpheus » Thu Aug 18, 2005 7:17 pm

I must say I am disappointed and bemused at this turn of events.

As a commercial user of a large Mambo site, and someone who has personally paid both Emir and Johan to work on our site, I was glad to see Mambo making leaps and bounds. The formal structure of a foundation seemed like a good step forward, just like Linux, Apache and others OSS projects.

It seems clear that Miro didn't do a great job of communicating their intentions behind the foundation. I don't understand why that happened. But a lot of the accusations about Miro trying to profit from Mambo appear to be pure conjecture. I am willing to give Peter Lamont the benefit of the doubt until shown otherwise.

Conversely, the reaction from the core development team seemed premature. I'm not privy to what went on behind the scenes but I have to ask if anyone attempted to communicate with Miro beyond the thread on the forum. I read about Absalom's meeting with Miro but it didn't make any sense to me - it seemed to be more about his/her personal feelings than anything substantive.

To go from the foundation announcement to the core dev team falling apart in less than two weeks seems to show a breakdown in communications on both sides. Users piling on with random unproven allegations about Miro has just soured the situation further. My fear is with Miro being alienated, nobody else will step up to be a corporate sponsor of Mambo.

As a commercial user who has helped fund Mambo developers, my main priority is that users like myself get good quality OSS that is produced and managed in a professional, reliable manner with a reasonable product roadmap moving forward. I hope this can continue under either the Mambo Foundation or the new CMS.

My unfortunate experience with several open source projects is that many people have excellent intentions but little experience in running a global software operation.

A good example of this is the thread on new names. People are just throwing out names for a new CMS. I have not seen one person suggest checking trademark status to see if a name is available. Nearly all of the names I've seen suggested are already heavily trademarked in the US, so people are really just wasting electrons in posting them.

Given the foundation is no more and Miro is no longer motivated to help, who is going to fund a global trademark search and registration for a new CMS name? And who is going to defend it against legal challenges? Mambo has already seen one legal challenge and I'm sure there will be more. Who is going to pay for the hosting which I understand Miro has underwritten to date. These things involve many thousands of dollars of real expenses every month. I hope this decision is being made for the right reasons and these items have been taken into account, because they can quickly sink a project.

As OSS projects get bigger they often spiral out of control unless they are closely managed. Linus and Alan Cox are rare examples of developer with this management ability willing to work for free.  There is a lot of other work and resources that go into running a large software project. I hope Mambo can attract people
and resources of this caliber and continue to move forward, foundation or no foundation.

Morpheus
Last edited by morpheus on Thu Aug 18, 2005 7:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Disappointed commercial user

Post by joomlasolutions_JB » Thu Aug 18, 2005 7:27 pm

morpheus wrote:

A good example of this is the thread on new names. People are just throwing out names for a new CMS. I have not seen one person suggest checking trademark status to see if a name is available. I can tell you now that most of the names I've seen suggested are already heavily trademarked in the US.


actually there is a post about checking copyrights on names

http://forum.opensourcematters.org/inde ... 160.0.html


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Re: Disappointed commercial user

Post by iris7 » Thu Aug 18, 2005 7:28 pm

These are valid concerns and I hope that as a community and under devoted and responsive leadership we can manage the hurdles.
I also share some of the same concerns.

But I have confidence in the core teams decision and their ability to pull this together into a tightly ran ship.
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Re: Disappointed commercial user

Post by stingrey » Thu Aug 18, 2005 7:33 pm

I understand your concerns and it may appear on the surface like a mere breakdown in communication that has happened in a few days, but I can assure it is far far more than just that. 
We would like to post more information but have been advised not to say anything by legal advice.


to address some of your concerns:
Given the foundation is no more and Miro is no longer motivated to help, who is going to fund a global trademark search and registration for a new CMS name? And who is going to defend it against legal challenges? Mambo has already seen one legal challenge and I'm sure there will be more.
http://softwarefreedom.org/

Who is going to pay for the hosting which I understand Miro has underwritten to date. These things involve many thousands of dollars of real expenses every month.
We have already been inundated with offers of support, and even when Miro was paying for infrastructure, we were being offered technical support from many large organizations, you would be surprised at who used mambo.

As OSS projects get bigger they often spiral out of control unless they are closely managed. Linus and Alan Cox are rare examples of developer with this management ability willing to work for free.  There is a lot of other work and resources that go into running a large software project. I hope Mambo can attract people
and resources of this caliber and continue to move forward, foundation or no foundation.
Unlike most OS projects, most of our members (apart from 1 or 2 of us like myself) are over 30 and the maturity in management decisions is reflected by the maturity of its members.
The wealth of experience in the core team is far more than their 'about us' descriptions would allude to and most are in senior management positions in their day jobs as well as having a wealth of experience under their belt.



We would never take such a serious decision lightly and much soul searching and sleepless nights have occured before we came to this decision.
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Re: Disappointed commercial user

Post by broeker » Thu Aug 18, 2005 7:36 pm

In regards to your concerns about structure and support, one of the few things we can say right now is that we have retained the Software Freedom Law Center to help us work through these issues. (http://www.softwarefreedom.org/). Rest assured that everybody's goal right now is to put a well-managed structure in place to ensure this project's future well-being. I would strongly encourage everybody to visit the SFLC website to learn more about their mission.
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Re: Disappointed commercial user

Post by joomlasolutions_JB » Thu Aug 18, 2005 7:37 pm

I absolutley agree that some of these are valid concerns. i think I share the hope of others here that this will turn out positive. I personally am not that worried, have confidence, there are many a good folk pushing behind this thing

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Re: Disappointed commercial user

Post by Tony Czeh » Thu Aug 18, 2005 7:58 pm

morpheus wrote: I must say I am disappointed and bemused at this turn of events.
I'm sure the majority of us here are disappointed.  Nobody likes to stage a revolution for fun.  I'm sure you read the open letter from ALL of the developers and how disappointed they were that Miro decided to build a foundation to drive Mambo without any input from the people who actually wrote Mambo to begin with.
morpheus wrote: As a commercial user of a large Mambo site, and someone who has personally paid both Emir and Johan to work on our site, I was glad to see Mambo making leaps and bounds. The formal structure of a foundation seemed like a good step forward, just like Linux, Apache and others OSS projects.
No one has once said that you can't pay them again to continue work on your site.  This is because you have the source code for the CMS you paid for because it is protected by the GPL and specifically allows for things like this to happen and not have 'paying customers' screwed completely.
morpheus wrote: It seems clear that Miro didn't do a great job of communicating their intentions behind the foundation. I don't understand why that happened. But a lot of the accusations about Miro trying to profit from Mambo appear to be pure conjecture. I am willing to give Peter Lamont the benefit of the doubt until shown otherwise.
I strongly encourage you to keep an open mind as well until all the pieces fall into place.  However, something had to be horribly wrong when every dev decided unanimously to sever their ties with Miro and I for one trust their ability to make a good decision regarding the future of their product.
morpheus wrote: Conversely, the reaction from the core development team seemed premature. I'm not privy to what went on behind the scenes but I have to ask if anyone attempted to communicate with Miro beyond the thread on the forum. I read about Absalom's meeting with Miro but it didn't make any sense to me - it seemed to be more about his/her personal feelings than anything substantive.
You said it yourself, you're not privy to what went on behind the scenes.  With that in mind, calling a decision premature is nothing more than a knee-jerk reaction to the stress you must be feeling regarding future support of your paid product.  This is not just a work-a-day job for our devs.  To many of them, this is a work of art, their opus, given to us and to call their reaction to a company whos obvious intention was to shut them out from decided the fate of their art is to belittle everything they've tried to accomplish.  The end goal of each of our developers is to see Mambo (or whatever it gets renamed to) become the best CMS out there bar none.  Their decision to cut ties with Miro stems from that goal, and you should be appreciative of that.
morpheus wrote: To go from the foundation announcement to the core dev team falling apart in less than two weeks seems to show a breakdown in communications on both sides. Users piling on with random unproven allegations about Miro has just soured the situation further. My fear is with Miro being alienated, nobody else will step up to be a corporate sponsor of Mambo.

As a commercial user who has helped fund Mambo developers, my main priority is that users like myself get good quality OSS that is produced and managed in a professional, reliable manner with a reasonable product roadmap moving forward. I hope this can continue under either the Mambo Foundation or the new CMS.
I agree there was a lack of communication, but I doubt it was on the part of our developers.  After all, they all decided to leave at the same time didn't they?  Wouldn't that lead you to believe they were talking amongst themselves and all involved were getting quite fed up at being ignored by Miro?  You say you're worried about Miro not getting another corp sponsor, then you go on about how you paid to fund Mambo developers - well, THEY'RE RIGHT HERE!  Continue to fund them so you can continue to have a quality piece of software to use.  After all, the devs here are the ones who wrote your "quality OSS that is produced and managed in a professional, reliable manner with a reasonable product roadmap moving forward."
morpheus wrote: My unfortunate experience with several open source projects is that many people have excellent intentions but little experience in running a global software operation.
This is true and I've been subject to the same thing.  The only thing I can say is to get involved.  OSS is not the commercial world you are coming from.  You can't say, "I've thrown money at it so the problem should go away now, right?"  When I found Mambo I knew it was amazing.  It was lacking in a couple of areas so I got involved.  Now instead of the stock Mambo server I'm running a mysqli backed install that authenticates against a Windows 2003 Active Directory structure with about 2 dozen custom components that I've written or paid someone to write for me.
morpheus wrote: A good example of this is the thread on new names. People are just throwing out names for a new CMS. I have not seen one person suggest checking trademark status to see if a name is available. Nearly all of the names I've seen suggested are already heavily trademarked in the US, so people are really just wasting electrons in posting them.
It's obvious from this that you've never taken part in a brainstorming session to name a product.  I've taken part in several and this is the first thing that happens.  You can't search for trademark or copyright issues if you don't have a potential product name to search on.
morpheus wrote: Given the foundation is no more and Miro is no longer motivated to help, who is going to fund a global trademark search and registration for a new CMS name? And who is going to defend it against legal challenges? Mambo has already seen one legal challenge and I'm sure there will be more. Who is going to pay for the hosting which I understand Miro has underwritten to date. These things involve many thousands of dollars of real expenses every month. I hope this decision is being made for the right reasons and these items have been taken into account, because they can quickly sink a project.
There are many companies and individuals out there who do this kind of stuff.  One is the Electronic Frontier Foundation.  Also, since you read the open letter from the devs, you know that they are already under legal advice from the Software Freedom Law Center.  Believe it or not there are even lawyers who will work for a good cause rather than just the Benjamins.
morpheus wrote: As OSS projects get bigger they often spiral out of control unless they are closely managed. Linus and Alan Cox are rare examples of developer with this management ability willing to work for free.  There is a lot of other work and resources that go into running a large software project. I hope Mambo can attract people
and resources of this caliber and continue to move forward, foundation or no foundation.

Morpheus
Well, it's obvious you haven't contributed to Linux either.  If you asked Linus or Alan about how well Linux was managed you definitely wouldn't get "closely" as a response.


Seriously guy, I'm not trying to flame here but it seems to me like you are coming at this with the totally wrong attitude.  It seems that you are implying that all of the devs should've just sucked it up just so you wouldn't have to worry about your large commercial website.  These people were getting shut out of the CMS they created and worked on for years now so they left.  Sure, some things are bound to change as a result, but, for better or worse, we should stick with the people who gave us this awesome CMS in the first place.

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Re: Disappointed commercial user

Post by absalom » Thu Aug 18, 2005 10:42 pm

Miro have done what any firm in damage control does.

It was entirely understandable that Justina was there to take notes on my actions, and quite frankly, I wanted Miro to show me the benefits of joining the Foundation (if they could). That is probably why my thoughts don't seem substantiative, yet there is a simple point to all this.

Approaching them in an impartial, professional manner to hear their side of the saga almost guarantees that my voice will be heard by all involved now that I've reached my conclusions about all this. Going in guns blazing would have simply got both Peter and Justina on the defensive, and I didn't want that. I wanted them to explain themselves as they saw it, and they did just that. I wanted them to believe they had a willing ally, able to listen to them and understand where they were coming from. I think I did this quite well.

The problem was that the things they were offering and the things I actually needed remained opposite to each other. That's why whilst I still will support Mambo in a business sense, I can no longer recommend it.

The Foundation, as it stands, holds no benefit to me, the 3PD community at large, or Mambo end users.
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Re: Disappointed commercial user

Post by morpheus » Fri Aug 19, 2005 4:22 pm

Thanks for all the thoughtful responses to my post. Glad to see others share my concerns and that they are being addressed.

I am feeling more optimistic about the future of Mambo.

Morpheus

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Re: Disappointed commercial user

Post by MystaMax » Fri Aug 19, 2005 4:56 pm

Tony Czeh wrote: Seriously guy, I'm not trying to flame here but it seems to me like you are coming at this with the totally wrong attitude.
Thats the vibe I got

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Re: Disappointed commercial user

Post by toubkal » Fri Aug 19, 2005 5:27 pm

morpheus wrote: A good example of this is the thread on new names. People are just throwing out names for a new CMS. I have not seen one person suggest checking trademark status to see if a name is available. Nearly all of the names I've seen suggested are already heavily trademarked in the US, so people are really just wasting electrons in posting them.
Personally I dont like to see these forums bogged down with scores of similar threads BUT since when did BRAINSTROMING involve filing global searches for legality?

There are getting on for 1000 members many of whom feel a need to chat about this significant move. Everyone on this board is not in a position to get directly involved in the crucial tasks that will be taken over the next few weeks so they let off a little steam by bouncing a few ideas around for a name.

This kind of behaviour is totally understandable. Dont judge the professionalism of the team by the freedom to post a few name ideas around.
Do you want the answer to be as vague as your question?

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Re: Disappointed commercial user

Post by benwk » Mon Aug 22, 2005 2:01 pm

@ Morpheus

I agree with toublcal. The way you're trying to gauge the professionalism of the project's community with the threads on naming is off base. They're online brainstorming sessions and as such, show a tremendous amount of professionalism. People are building new ideas from other posts. Stopping to check the USPTO would seriously hinder the creative process. The trademark search is the next step.

As for your other concerns, I empathize with you. I urge your to have patience with the core team while they get everything set up. I'm confident that this shake up will help push the project to a new level.

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Re: Disappointed commercial user

Post by ganar » Mon Aug 22, 2005 11:04 pm

Hello,

I agree with Morpheus at least in most of the first half of his post. I hope that this post we´ll be read taking into account that I´m not trying to hurt anybody. We have a lot of respect for the development team and Miro

We´ve been using Mambo since 2003 for commercial work and have come to appreciate the community effort around it and the excellent CMS. I participate in the forums and go to mamboforge almost every day.

It is still very hard for us to understand what happened here and how the entire development team just left... When we read about the lawyers involved we could not believe it...

Is there a chance to somehow talk things over with Miro? We believe from the efforts done during last year that they indeed have supported the development effort with quite a bit of time, money and infrastructure. We still remember the stint behind the guy that said that he somehow owned part of Mambo and how appropiate was Miro´s response to the matter. We all (should) know that managing the servers, the redesign of the site and a long etc do takes time and money. In my particular case I found that being able to reference the awards won by Mambo –thanks to the Dev team, the community and Miro– and the work done in the documentation site –help.mamboserver.com– is an important selling point behind the name Mambo.

I think that Miro certainly made mistakes in aproaching the situation and I´m sure that the dev team feels somehow cheated. We felt cheated and worried too while reading this: http://mambo-foundation.org/content/view/11/27/  Even so  I do think that things are not written in stone and that after the whole event efforts must be done on both sides to solve the situation in a way that benefits the community and in the end Mambo ( I have no other way to call it).

I hope this post is taken as constructive criticism by a team who uses Mambo every day

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Re: Disappointed commercial user

Post by TomT » Wed Aug 24, 2005 6:12 am

ganar wrote: Is there a chance to somehow talk things over with Miro?
I think we are way past this.
I think the main advantage of this seperation ís the fact that we are no longer dependant on one company.
Is is true that we don't know what happened behind the screens and what lead to this brake. But we can read the forum threads after the break and we can read the texts provided bij de Mambo-Foundation.
And the picture I get after all this reading is: a core team that behaves in a friendly and polite manner and Miro that has taken controll over Mambo and is throwing mud.

I make a living out of designing and creating websites based on Mambo too and i feel confident that the future of this awardwinning application is better guaranteed by the developers than by Miro.

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Re: Disappointed commercial user

Post by tonezone » Wed Aug 24, 2005 10:47 am

morpheus wrote: To go from the foundation announcement to the core dev team falling apart in less than two weeks seems to show a breakdown in communications on both sides.
I'm not sure what you mean by "the core dev team falling apart". From my angle it looks very much like they are the rock behind this move. There may have been 1 or 2 that have decided not to further their involvment in the core team but it is far from falling apart. In fact I have seen their decision making as being very concise and strong and with a firm direction.

morpheus wrote: .... People are just throwing out names for a new CMS. I have not seen one person suggest checking trademark status to see if a name is available. Nearly all of the names I've seen suggested are already heavily trademarked in the US, so people are really just wasting electrons in posting them.

Morpheus
I think that many ppl who have posted names on that thread have done so in a spirit of "healthy fun" and "community" and nothing more. If anything, it's simply given ppl a sense of belonging on this forum. I know that when the time comes the core dev team will take a more serious look at all the legalities of a program name and whatever they chose will suit me just fine.

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Re: Disappointed commercial user

Post by cmhwebster » Wed Aug 24, 2005 2:18 pm

I would like to echo the disappointment and bemusement expressed by this commercial user.  Although I am not a commercial user, I had been hoping to use Mambo to set up some sites on a non-commercial basis.  But in view of the open questions over the "ownership" of Mambo, future support/development etc, I think I'll probably look for another CMS for now.  There are plenty around, although I did like what I saw of Mambo before all this blew up.

On the general issue of ownership, I don't really care about all this infighting between Miro and the developers.  I've seen this kind of thing before (I'm an IT professional), and all too often it heralds the decline of a project that had great potential.  As for the "openness" of Miro "owning" Mambo, again, I don't really care, but Sun's ownership of Java technology has not stopped Java becoming a widespread and sophisticated platform with both open-source and commercial backing.

Finally, the tone of some responses to this post was frankly quite unpleasant.  If you are stupid enough to believe in alienating your user community at this critical stage in the project's life, then you don't really deserve to survive.

But I hope this was just a temporary lapse, and wish you luck for the future.  The sooner you guys stop fighting each other, the sooner the rest of us can get back to enjoying the use of what had been a pretty good product.

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Re: Disappointed commercial user

Post by Elpie » Wed Aug 24, 2005 2:41 pm

There is no need to look for another CMS.  The latest version of Mambo is available to download, the peer support is still all there, and nothing has really changed except that users are split between two forums and the core team have severed ties with their former sponsor.
None of this impacts on the usability of the CMS in any way.  3PD's are still developing. Life still goes on. The core devs have had their minds on other things for what? Less than a week? This hardly hinders the development of the CMS.
If you can find a better CMS, good luck to you.  However, a migration of the core team and community from one site to another is really not much of a reason to deprive yourself of the best CMS around.
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Re: Disappointed commercial user

Post by ssmayer » Thu Aug 25, 2005 2:37 am

Elpie, I couldn't have said it any better myself.

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Re: Disappointed commercial user

Post by damo » Thu Aug 25, 2005 9:51 am

all i know (ok, is not a lot about all this technical stuff) is that whenever I have needed help on fixing a problem within mambo i've got it. and the people that have given that help are all here now.

i'm not 100% on what exactly happened but you've got to go with your gut feeling sometimes.

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Re: Disappointed commercial user

Post by Troubadour » Thu Aug 25, 2005 11:55 am

I'd almost consider ignoring these kinds of comments soon. It's obvious we have a few Miro employees floating around the boards wanting to stir up trouble.

It still seems like a simple equation to me:

The people who have always developed Mambo since it went OS are still developing it.

The people who tried to wrest control over the software are not. At least not until they get some devs.

Simple.
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Re: Disappointed commercial user

Post by absalom » Fri Aug 26, 2005 12:50 am

Troubadour wrote: I'd almost consider ignoring these kinds of comments soon. It's obvious we have a few Miro employees floating around the boards wanting to stir up trouble.

It still seems like a simple equation to me:

The people who have always developed Mambo since it went OS are still developing it.

The people who tried to wrest control over the software are not. At least not until they get some devs.

Simple.
Miro's offices didn't look like they had code monkeys in pools ready and waiting when I visited 'em.. ::)

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Re: Disappointed commercial user

Post by Norgaard » Fri Aug 26, 2005 7:09 pm

toubkal wrote:
This kind of behaviour is totally understandable. Dont judge the professionalism of the team by the freedom to post a few name ideas around.
GOOD POINT!
Any good brainstorm moving forward and heading for better result contains no limitations before reaching conclusion level after research and aftermath.

Regards from
Norgaard :)

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Re: Disappointed commercial user

Post by ganar » Fri Aug 26, 2005 8:22 pm

ejem...

I think that the point about the brainstorming in the initial message  is moot  but the first part of the thread is important for a lot of people in the community.

I don´t feel bad about a company or the foundation getting something back from giving infraestructure, legal and marketing support, as long as it is a voluntary contribution. I feel that as long as the foundation does not try to wrestle control out of de core developers regarding the direction of the development everithing is ok.

I feel that  there should be a chance to talk things over, regardless of the mistakes done before. As someone said above this is a LOSE/LOSE situation


I can say that I´m not a Miro employee.  :P

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Re: Disappointed commercial user

Post by CE5_Agent » Tue Aug 30, 2005 4:03 pm

Morpheus are you sure you are not a Public Relations representive for Miro? I have never read such a carefully worded forum topic in my life. If not you should think about geting a job with Miro.

By the way Open Source is "Freedom to use" if you forgot, With over 3000 plus users I have never seen the topic of "I'm out of cash will you host my site?" Your post speaks from the mind, logical and sound, but misses the heart, the true reason why the community has thrived for five years without outside support, and a honor and respect to the principles of Open Source Software.

CE5_Agent

Re: Disappointed commercial user

Post by CE5_Agent » Tue Aug 30, 2005 4:32 pm

If you ever read the GPL in its entirity you "Disclaim Copyright", you can claim that you are the the origional developer but disclaiming a copyright means in plain english that the software is for public use under the GPL license, and you no longer hold any copyright to the origional or modified souce code. Miro has no copyright holdings on the Mambo Open Source project. End of Discussion.

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brian
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Re: Disappointed commercial user

Post by brian » Tue Aug 30, 2005 5:02 pm

sorry but i think you need to reread the GPL. The GPL does not mean NO copyright.
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Re: Disappointed commercial user

Post by CE5_Agent » Wed Aug 31, 2005 2:12 am

It means copyleft. :P If I copyrighted a work of art, a book, or piece of source code you could not legally reproduce it without my permission, that is what copyrights are for. If you read the bottom of the GPL it specifically states that you must disclaim copyright e.g. ownership. What I am getting at is no one indivual or corporation has ownership of the Mambo Open Source code

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Re: Disappointed commercial user

Post by CE5_Agent » Wed Aug 31, 2005 2:25 am

I personally took on an international Law Firm in represented seven countries and gave them one hell of a run for their money, they even droped the first attorney and had to bring in the president of the firm. In addition to starting and running my own Limited Liability Company without an attorney for three years. I will get the exact wording and at least five supporting statments from the Free Software Foundation if you want to discuss the legalities of ownership in regards to open source code. Maybe you were thinking of the LGPL.

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Re: Disappointed commercial user

Post by brian » Wed Aug 31, 2005 9:17 am

I suggest you read this
http://www.fsf.org/licensing/essays/copyleft.html

Specifically this paragraph
To copyleft a program, we first state that it is copyrighted; then we add distribution terms, which are a legal instrument that gives everyone the rights to use, modify, and redistribute the program's code or any program derived from it but only if the distribution terms are unchanged. Thus, the code and the freedoms become legally inseparable.
This was written by Eben Moglen who is the legal guru behind the GNU/GPL License. Oh and he also happens to legally represent OSM.

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Re: Disappointed commercial user

Post by keliix06 » Thu Sep 01, 2005 2:44 am

CE5_Agent wrote: In addition to starting and running my own Limited Liability Company without an attorney for three years.
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