Thoughts from a long walk home

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Carsten Wolff-2 Carsten Wolff-2
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Thoughts from a long walk home

Hi,

what I get from the postings here is, that people are angry with Lars, because
he effectively stopped working on eGW 1.x, after being one of the big forces
behind the eGW development, which leaves some important code unmaintained.
Most of the other criticisms seem to be rooted somewhere near that fact.

I can understand those feelings from an emotional point of view, but not
really from the concepts of the GPL.

The agreement between the members of a FOSS project is basicly supplied by the
license of the code. The widely used license that eGW uses only guarantees,
that the receiver of a changed eGW has the right to receive the sourcecode as
well. This does not bind developers in any way as far as the nature of the
changes is concerned.

I see this in other projects every day. Developers sometimes vanish for a
thousand different reasons, or they shift their focus because of another
thousand reasons. This is normal. Basically a user or co-developer has no
right to demand anything else from any developer of GPL software than the
sourcecode of changed versions of the program. And not having the right to
demand something also means, you don't have the right to be angry at someone
who does not meet your demands. Of course it might create a problem for you
that you're stuck with unmaintained code, but that's just it. This can happen
and that's clear from the start.

This leads me to the conclusion, the only question regarding the current
situation in eGW is this: Will benefits come for both sides from developing
Tine within egroupware.org, or not?

[My personal answer: Absolutely. Compatibility between the two is an important
advantage for both and will not happen, if the devs don't use the same tools
and communication channels. Also, nobody who ever debugged eGW can deny that
it's suffering from its' legacy. So in the best case, if Tine really manages
to be a completely compatible rewrite of eGW written with clean coding
concepts, it would be like a lottery win. And in the worst case, if Tine will
be a failure, eGW lost manpower for half a year or so.]

Basically my advice is to find back to cooperation to the extend, which is
technically possible. For the supporters of eGW 1.x, this means to accept the
fact, that maybe there will come a time when much of their code will be
replaced. For the Tine people this means to accept working on the same
platform as a person, they don't like personally (but this really should be
possible, that's the case in any environment with many people in it).

Carsten
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Oscar van Eijk-3 Oscar van Eijk-3
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Re: Thoughts from a long walk home

Longs walks are great :)

I agree with everything you say, except the first alinea; it's not that
Lars and Conny don't work on the 1.x codeline at all. They didn't stop
providing support, but their innovative focus shifted a bit.

As I see it, the main reason people have been reacting angry (including
Lutz, who is definitely trying to use a different tone, so I didn't
agree with you flaming earlier today), is pure frustration, for
different reasons, and that's what makes the situation complex.

It's okay to get frustrated every once in while, we all do this for fun,
and as long as everybody is able to say 'sorry' now and then (not for an
opinion, but for an impulsive reply), it all would be a lot easier.

Sorry to bother you with my thoughts ;)
Oscar

On Mon, 2008-02-11 at 20:50 +0100, Carsten Wolff wrote:

> Hi,
>
> what I get from the postings here is, that people are angry with Lars, because
> he effectively stopped working on eGW 1.x, after being one of the big forces
> behind the eGW development, which leaves some important code unmaintained.
> Most of the other criticisms seem to be rooted somewhere near that fact.
>
> I can understand those feelings from an emotional point of view, but not
> really from the concepts of the GPL.
>
> The agreement between the members of a FOSS project is basicly supplied by the
> license of the code. The widely used license that eGW uses only guarantees,
> that the receiver of a changed eGW has the right to receive the sourcecode as
> well. This does not bind developers in any way as far as the nature of the
> changes is concerned.
>
> I see this in other projects every day. Developers sometimes vanish for a
> thousand different reasons, or they shift their focus because of another
> thousand reasons. This is normal. Basically a user or co-developer has no
> right to demand anything else from any developer of GPL software than the
> sourcecode of changed versions of the program. And not having the right to
> demand something also means, you don't have the right to be angry at someone
> who does not meet your demands. Of course it might create a problem for you
> that you're stuck with unmaintained code, but that's just it. This can happen
> and that's clear from the start.
>
> This leads me to the conclusion, the only question regarding the current
> situation in eGW is this: Will benefits come for both sides from developing
> Tine within egroupware.org, or not?
>
> [My personal answer: Absolutely. Compatibility between the two is an important
> advantage for both and will not happen, if the devs don't use the same tools
> and communication channels. Also, nobody who ever debugged eGW can deny that
> it's suffering from its' legacy. So in the best case, if Tine really manages
> to be a completely compatible rewrite of eGW written with clean coding
> concepts, it would be like a lottery win. And in the worst case, if Tine will
> be a failure, eGW lost manpower for half a year or so.]
>
> Basically my advice is to find back to cooperation to the extend, which is
> technically possible. For the supporters of eGW 1.x, this means to accept the
> fact, that maybe there will come a time when much of their code will be
> replaced. For the Tine people this means to accept working on the same
> platform as a person, they don't like personally (but this really should be
> possible, that's the case in any environment with many people in it).
>
> Carsten


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Sebastian Ebling-2 Sebastian Ebling-2
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Re: Thoughts from a long walk home

In reply to this post by Carsten Wolff-2
Hi all,

I don't know what my current state at the project is, but if you want to
call me a developer, you should better call me an inactive developer.

I'm following the discussion since december without writing something,
because I mislike the style it has been done.

Back to the topic:

Am Montag, den 11.02.2008, 20:50 +0100 schrieb Carsten Wolff:

> This leads me to the conclusion, the only question regarding the current
> situation in eGW is this: Will benefits come for both sides from developing
> Tine within egroupware.org, or not?
>
> [My personal answer: Absolutely.

+1

> Compatibility between the two is an important
> advantage for both and will not happen, if the devs don't use the same tools
> and communication channels. Also, nobody who ever debugged eGW can deny that
> it's suffering from its' legacy. So in the best case, if Tine really manages
> to be a completely compatible rewrite of eGW written with clean coding
> concepts, it would be like a lottery win.

+1

> And in the worst case, if Tine will
> be a failure, eGW lost manpower for half a year or so.]

Nothing will be lost. Even if Tine will fail it's a win of knowledge,
that their approach wasn't the right one. The only loss of manpower
would be to drop Lars, Conny and others that may follow from eGroupWare.

Possibility a)
Drop Lars and Conny an they will work on their own project Tine. There
will be no profit for eGroupWare. No feedback to the project and if they
fail, they even won't come back.

Possibility b)
Let them work on Tine as branch of eGroupware. There will be feedback on
how things can made better. Some improvements may even ported back to
the current codebase (have a look at Lars current LDAP improvments). If
they fail, they may be motivated to start over with current codebase.

If they don't fail, users will decide if they like to use Tine. They
will do so, no matter if it is named Tine or eGroupWare 2.0.
Same for developers. If they prefer to work on the new code, it doesn't
matter if it is named Tine or eGroupWare 2.0.

I even see no problem in having two stable releases of eGroupWare. One
named eGroupWare 2.0 and one may be eGroupWare 1.10. Both can be
maintained (there is no difference to maintain eGroupWare 2.0 or Tine
1.0). There may also come a solution for a long term upgrade path. No
need for customers to switch from one to another release within one
year.


I suggest to agree on Connys proposal.

To repeat it in total:
> In our view the current state is the following:
> - The majority of egw devs and users don't want to continue this ugly  
> flame war.

I'm sure this is true.

> - On the other hand, also nobody wants to have the votes conny proposed.

For my point of view, there is no need to vote at the moment.

> - No one wants to drop (not even lars or conny) egw 1.x

For me, this is absolutely true!

> - Also a big majority don't want to drop Tine 2.0 out of the  
> egroupware.org project.

+1
Even if Lutz feels different, I also see this majority.

> So here is, what we  propose:
> - Lets have two emancipated codelines within the framework of the  
> egroupware.org project.

+1
As it is allready.

> - Both activities share the same goal, to provide great collaboration  
> software based on free and open sources.

+1
Also no need to discuss that in my point of view.

> - If possible, both activities agree on common technical standards and  
> implement them in a compatible way

What are "common technical standards" here?
Do you mean things like design patterns, integration of same frameworks,
etc.?

> - Tine cares for smooth migration paths from egw to tine

+1
Let the users decide what they want to use.

> - eGW 1.x (may) ports back new technologies from tine when they where  
> proven successfully there.

+1
There is no need to port back technologies brute force. But where it
makes sense, it would be stupid not to profit in 1.x from the modern
concepts that will be used with tine.

> - Both activities decide on their own about new members, coding-
> standards, and quality agreements.

+1
That's ok for me, as tine starts from scratch. Tine is the right place
to try absolutely new things.

> - On both web-sites, we'll link each other in a friendly way, e.g. by  
> aggregating the news feed of the other page.

+1
If you really need two websites, Tine website should show _really_
clear, that it is a proof of concept development branch of eGroupWare,
so that users will be directet to the eGroupWare site.

> We propose to freeze this state for about half a year, before we  
> continue to discuss about project politics. Hopefully then in a kind  
> and friendly manner.

+1
Please cool down and give it a try.

I would add another decision for about the same half year.
Add Nigel as a project member as suggested by Ralf. There is no impact
if Nigel will submit code to the current codebase while Lars is mainly
working on the Tine branch. They don't have to love each other to work
on the same goal mentioned by conny some lines above.
If you don't agree on submitted code, discuss the code (and only the
code) on dev-list.

regards

Sebastian


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Lars Kneschke-2 Lars Kneschke-2
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Re: Thoughts from a long walk home

In reply to this post by Carsten Wolff-2
"Carsten Wolff" <[hidden email]> schrieb:
> Basically my advice is to find back to cooperation to the extend, which is

> technically possible. For the supporters of eGW 1.x, this means to accept
the
> fact, that maybe there will come a time when much of their code will be
> replaced. For the Tine people this means to accept working on the same
> platform as a person, they don't like personally (but this really should
be
> possible, that's the case in any environment with many people in it).

Hello Carsten!

That's how I see it too, Thanks for your good summary.
--
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CTO OfficeSpot.Net
Metaways Infosystems GmbH
Pickhuben 2-4, D-20457 Hamburg

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Re: Thoughts from a long walk home

In reply to this post by Carsten Wolff-2
Hello Carsten,

full ACK. Thanx for sharing your thoughts.

Bye
Christian

Carsten Wolff-2 wrote
Hi,

what I get from the postings here is, that people are angry with Lars, because
he effectively stopped working on eGW 1.x, after being one of the big forces
behind the eGW development, which leaves some important code unmaintained.
Most of the other criticisms seem to be rooted somewhere near that fact.

I can understand those feelings from an emotional point of view, but not
really from the concepts of the GPL.

The agreement between the members of a FOSS project is basicly supplied by the
license of the code. The widely used license that eGW uses only guarantees,
that the receiver of a changed eGW has the right to receive the sourcecode as
well. This does not bind developers in any way as far as the nature of the
changes is concerned.

I see this in other projects every day. Developers sometimes vanish for a
thousand different reasons, or they shift their focus because of another
thousand reasons. This is normal. Basically a user or co-developer has no
right to demand anything else from any developer of GPL software than the
sourcecode of changed versions of the program. And not having the right to
demand something also means, you don't have the right to be angry at someone
who does not meet your demands. Of course it might create a problem for you
that you're stuck with unmaintained code, but that's just it. This can happen
and that's clear from the start.

This leads me to the conclusion, the only question regarding the current
situation in eGW is this: Will benefits come for both sides from developing
Tine within egroupware.org, or not?

[My personal answer: Absolutely. Compatibility between the two is an important
advantage for both and will not happen, if the devs don't use the same tools
and communication channels. Also, nobody who ever debugged eGW can deny that
it's suffering from its' legacy. So in the best case, if Tine really manages
to be a completely compatible rewrite of eGW written with clean coding
concepts, it would be like a lottery win. And in the worst case, if Tine will
be a failure, eGW lost manpower for half a year or so.]

Basically my advice is to find back to cooperation to the extend, which is
technically possible. For the supporters of eGW 1.x, this means to accept the
fact, that maybe there will come a time when much of their code will be
replaced. For the Tine people this means to accept working on the same
platform as a person, they don't like personally (but this really should be
possible, that's the case in any environment with many people in it).

Carsten
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