Completely boring headline about OpenNTF

by Volker Weber

I was a little surprised today by this posting on Bruce Elgort's site: Elguji Software, LLC widthdraws from the OpenNTF Alliance. I thought everybody knew that. Then I read a comment thread on OpenNTF and found this;

But yet on the other hand, you, John and Ed demanded that I publish something on my blog. I didn't wan't too. There was no need too. So today I did so as I was again asked by one of you to do so. ...

The discussion revolves around the fact that OpenNTF tries to be as transparent as possible and therefore publishes recordings of the meetings. However, since there are confidential parts of those meetings they are not published entirely. In the past, part of the recordings had to be edited out because a member requested confidentiality. It is a delicate matter and I agree that you cannot publish everything.

The discussion dances around the fact that the ugly parts are not happening in meetings. They happen in background struggles and apparently Bruce is not happy about them:

I just sent another email off to the OpenNTF Steering Committee that really tells them how I REALLY FEEL. It is the actions of one single individual on the Steering Committee that pushed me to writing this email. I don't like being bullied.

While the meetings minutes suggest a professional attitude, the bullying is appalling. Example from a discussion I did not really want to have: (edited only by replacing names with A, B, C, X, Y, Z)

but you pushing this - it really is leading us to a direction where things will get nasty
and not with you
no threats here
but what else can Y and i do but post the IM chats we have that show the mistruths?

i never feel threatened. i know some people think i am evil. but i am not.

this is not about you volker
i dont want to come clean on this
it will hurt others
you know that
you know the truth about what A and B did with openntf
do you want that to come out?

i don't know what A and B did with openntf. but if the truth is hiding, it will come out.

thats fine
and will hurt someone big time
and i dont want to do that

the truth often hurts. i cannot change that. the truth is always better than a lie.

no - sometimes, letting the truth stay private is better

well, i know nothing about this truth.

fair enough

you are talking in riddles to me.

im saying that the private communication i have stored on my hard drive does not match the public version

ok, fair enough. you can deal with that.

do you want me to post the im logs?

that is entirely up to you.

i can put the entire truth online - three im logs

as i said, your call

and you really think its best to put the truth out there vs protecting someone having a rough time?

X, i am not coaching you. i say: do what you think is right. i want no part in this decision.

im not asking you to tell me what to do so i can fall back as an excuse volker

i did not say that. i only said, i am not telling you what to do.

Summary: "I am not threatening you, but if you don't do as I say, somebody might get hurt." That's a play from the Al Capone School of Business.

OpenNTF does not deserve this. The steering committee is making good progress undoing the damage that was done by designing 2.0 around the idea that there is good open source and bad open source.


“Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.”

As an esteemed colleague just said:

I don’t see the point of all this; it’s just somewhere to stuff a bit of code.

Ben Poole, 2009-07-21

I am an avid follower of the yellow bubble but this whole cryptic clique over openntf just turns me right off.

For goodness sake grow up the LOT of you. I have no idea what the issues are but I am sure it cannot be that complicated, there are many many more opensource projects out there to learn from

If its not about the complexities of opensource then its about individuals then "thas life" and you deal with it in a professional manner. Being cryptic in public is not the solution

If it really is that difficult go back to openntf as it was. Many of the proposed changes were good ideas but it isn't worth dragging the project through the mud over

Average Lotus Joe

Sean Cull, 2009-07-21

Volker - please excuse the language.

Sean, this has fuck all to do with openntf or anything else for that matter. This is to do with personalities and egos.

And I am growing very tired of it.

Paul Mooney, 2009-07-21

Volker am I misreading - I read the IM conversation as "i don't want to do X or someone will get hurt" ? not "if you don't do X I'll hurt someone" (the Al Capone version)? Without debating a conversation you would rather not have been part of I think a more generous interpretation would be that the person you are speaking to is actively trying to avoid causing hurt not threatening to cause it, however misguided their actions around that may be.

I do peak very poor IM


Gabriella Davis, 2009-07-21

Agreeing with Paul etc - can we separate OpenNTF from any other stuff? There are many people working very hard to make things "right".

I believe great progress has been made so it would be a shame to taint it.

Steve Castledine, 2009-07-21

If its not about openntf then someone(s) doing a huge dis-service to this community

Sean Cull, 2009-07-21

@ Sean - totally agree. Openntf is a symptom, not the disease.

Paul Mooney, 2009-07-21

wise man said once: it is not who is wrong but how we get along...

Patrick Kwinten, 2009-07-21

The over-drama here is pathetic. Even the IM chat sounds more like a bad soap opera than a normal business conversation.

People need to shut up and grow up.

Andrew Pollack, 2009-07-21

Great, sounds like a Linux distro fight.

Time for somebody to get pissed and go splinter off to ""

Erik Brooks, 2009-07-21

Zactly. That would be which is already registered. ;-)

Volker Weber, 2009-07-21

Andrew, when you are being Andrew, we don't always call on you to grow up. :-)

Let's all remember what Scott Adams wrote in the Dilbert Prinicple: "we are all idiots". Just not all the time.

Volker Weber, 2009-07-21

@vowe -- of course you do.

Andrew Pollack, 2009-07-21

I've never seen Andrew behave like this. It's beyond childish, it's infantile, obnoxious and narcissistic.

"Mr. X" needs to grow a pair. If you've got something to say put your name on it and own it. Stop hiding behind Mother Vowe's apron. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out so you might as well drop the pretense.

Charles Robinson, 2009-07-21

Gotta say, I love all of the palace intrigue.

I suspect that all of this infighting won't do much to help OpenNTF or Lotus Notes, though. Wouldn't Microsoft just love it if we were to rip each other to shreds? Talk about giving them ammo...

Michael Sobczak, 2009-07-21

It is VERY RARE that I comment on these types of matters, but I felt that this particular subject was worth a few words. I'm not commenting because Bruce is my husband or that I am part of Elguji Software. I'm commenting because I feel that its time to state what I feel is important and worth listening to.

First and foremost, it is IMPERATIVEthat the members of the Alliance get back on track and not lose focus of their COMMON goals and mission. This Alliance was brought together to carry out a common goal for OpenNTF. This MUST BE and should ALWAYS be their main focus regardless of personalities or any differences that may exist.

As for Mr. X, I feel it is high time that you (and any other member of the Alliance) to move forward. Bruce has published his reasons (on behalf of Elguji) publicly as requested. Regardless of whether you agree with it or not, it is time to let it go, accept it and move forward. In reference to the Serenity Prayer - "Lord grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

Last, but not least, I suggest that you (and any one else) read my blog entitled "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff...and its all small stuff".

Life is WAY to short to argue about petty differences. There is so much more important things to worry about.

Its time to bring OpenNTF closer to its mission. So people, lets please move forward, whats done is done, its now time to make progress and succeed!

Gayle Elgort, 2009-07-21

Thank you, Gayle. For the Internet in particular, there is description of the issue.

Volker Weber, 2009-07-21

Al Capone School of Business
Made my evening - you should make a series with lessons from the ACSB.

Martin Hiegl, 2009-07-21

So who is selling the movie rights? I am a sideliner, but this is approaching epic comedy and tragedy all at once.

Nelson Morris, 2009-07-22

"Truth will come to light; murder cannot be hid long; a man's son may, but at the length truth will out."

The single most infuriating thing about this whole affair is the backroom dealings in what is supposed to be an "Open" project. Say what you want to say. Say it clearly and say it publicly. In the end we will all find out. And at that point, regardless of your position, those that have squandered their integrity and trust will be the losers.

Kerr Rainey, 2009-07-22

Kerr, I said it before. Process and structure are illusions. It's the people that count.

Volker Weber, 2009-07-22

Do we not know the people by their actions?

Kerr Rainey, 2009-07-22

No, it's not that easy. Especially not with split personalities (private/professional).

Volker Weber, 2009-07-22

OK, I think I figured it out:

Is that right?

BTW, happy to donate to whoever wants to start a new site - I thought that was a pretty good idea, meets all needs, and was ridiculously easy to set up, but I can see now that it wasn't in the script.....

Brian Benz, 2009-07-22

A cubic function, not really. And if all goes well, and I am somewhat confident, it won't be necessary to fork OpenNTF. They are just burning time like there is no tomorrow. Lotusphere 2010 is closer than 2009. How much is that in dog years?

Volker Weber, 2009-07-22

Ha, yeah, wasn't really factoring for multiple personality disorder. ;)

Kerr Rainey, 2009-07-22

Ah, yes. Cubic is not right. Something involving tangents is probably more appropriate :).

As for OtherNTF, it's not, IMHO, a fork. The concept is that it's a directory, not a repository. The way I see it, developers need a centralized (and working) way of finding code, but with all the free storage options on today's Web, the code itself does not need to be in a central location. The idea is to post code attachments for download on OpenNTF, SourceForge, blogs, Google Sites, or all of the above, wherever, and link from OtherNTF (or equivalent). That way OpenNTF can take as long as it wants to be whatever it wants to be.

Brian Benz, 2009-07-22

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