OpenNTF, I Tried, You Failed.

Back when I wrote Is openNTF
In Danger Of Jumping The Shark
on MAY 12th it sparked a lot
of comments and other blog entries around the same topic. I was told, both
online and offline, that the changes were a good thing but the details
needed to be worked out and that my concerns and the concerns of others
would be evaluated and where possible would be addressed. In the past two
months I have put up with the technical difficulties of the forums on OpenNTF
and I have been asking questions, making suggestions and even researching
the Apache foundation for answers.

Some may argue that two months is not
a lot of time to give the OpenNTF steering committee to fix all the problems
but as an outsider to the process all I can see is more and more red tape
being introduced, take for example the latest Steering Committee minutes
which were submitted by somebody who was not even on the call ( as were
the minutes from their previous meeting ). There are NON-Steering Committee
people on the call, the technical committee should be having their own
discussions and one member of the steering committee who is on the technical
committee should be passing back the info to the steering committee, by
having them all on the call it means that can interact and influence topics
of the steering committee’s meeting that they are not a part of. The latest
minutes also sees the introduction of yet another IBM staff member. Instead
of just the one IBM person on the steering committee it is now possible
that there would be five IBMers on the call. Need I point out the entire
section in the meeting minutes called ‘IBM Agenda Items’.

If the Steering Committee really want
full transparency of the process they would publish their meeting minutes
as unedited MP3’s. It was ‘permitted’ in the meeting minutes of the May
28th meeting. IBM had to specifically allow it for some reason, It’s like
they had a veto over the steering committee or something…

Like Bruce Elgort earlier this week
I have been left disillusioned by the direction that OpenNTF is heading.
Nobody can say that I didn’t try, just look at the working group forums
and you’ll see that I was among the very very few non-steering committee
people who was actively participating and so, till OpenNTF get their act
together and realize the damage that they have done to this once excellent
community resource I am pulling ALL my projects from OpenNTF.

If you are also an OpenNTF Project
Owner that I urge you to do the exact same. We only get one vote on how
OpenNTF is run and that is by voting with our feet and walking away from
the disaster it has become.

Removing your projects is very easy.
Just log into OpenNTF and click on the projects section. You’ll see a list
of your projects on the right side of the screen

A picture named M2

Selecting each project in turn make
sure you have a download of the projects latest release and then in the
release document just click on the ‘Delete Document’ button.

A picture named M3

This will remove the download files
for the project. Next go to the ‘About’ tab for your project and click
the ‘Delete Document’ button there also.

A picture named M4

Do this for all your projects, don’t
worry about all the orphaned bug reports and other project documents, at
this stage it’s no longer your problem, I’m sure the ‘Technical Committee’
can clean them up.

When your finished your  profile
over on the right will look like this

A picture named M5

OpenNTF, I tried, You failed.

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10 comments on “OpenNTF, I Tried, You Failed.
  1. Sorry to hear that, Declan. What would work better for you?


  2. Also need clarification about something, if you could. Does your withdrawing of other projects mean that we’re also not free to implement xTalk on the various working forums on the site? The Technical Committee was planning to work on that migration over the weekend, but we obviously shouldn’t do so without your permission.Thanks.


  3. A few things:

    1) Things have been slow as every single concern has been listened to and it takes time to react to them – and every single one is being acted on. You should note not one single IBM contribution etc has been made since your complaint.

    2) As employees of a large company we do have to check some things out like recordings of our discussions being made public – best to be safe than sorry (with regards to our terms of employment – nothing more).

    3) Because we do record meetings it is easy to write down minutes of those meetings when the official minute taker is on vacation. I think this has only happened once and I really do not see what your beef is about this.

    4)Do you really feel that strong about IBM’s input? How else do you think we can get so much resource? Suggestions? The project management help was to speed up the process you complain is taking too long – can we win here? Obviously my own personal thought only.

    5)You seem to be putting words into Bruce’s mouth – he just did not have the time right now to spend on openntf – nothing more sinister than that and I have no resaon to disbelieve that – you could ask him yourself.

    So what are the issues here? What more do you want to happen? I can see from your post:

    1) Forums do not work very well. No they do not and they have had constant updates to try and improve and as you know we discussed trying to use xtalk to improve this further

    2)Too much red tape – well I’m not legal so its hard for me to discuss. I hate red tape too but if they have to work some things out to make a smooth journey in the future – sometimes you have to be patient.

    3) You want input into how the steering committee has its meetings. This one I would have to leave to the steering committee but its a case of you cannot hold them how everyone likes – making things happen and in a transparent way (hence the minutes every time) is surely more important than say giving a quota on who can attend?

    Obviously all my personal opinion


  4. Ed Brill says:

    I am also surprised to see Bruce’s perspective represented by yet again someone else. Bruce really needs to speak for himself.As for Dec’s overall theme, I wouldn’t be so irritated if it weren’t for others trying to manipulate public opinion based on two process Palins. I understand that this bureaucracy stuff sucks. I don’t see any other way to do it if we want OpenNTF to be on par with Eclipse, Linux, and other similar open source communities. As Nate said @1 (and no I haven’t talked to Nate), what would be a better approach that makes corporates comfortable, increases IBM participation, and establishes a long-term operation that ensures that OpenNTF stays relevant and grows prominence? I would volunteer to help but I can see that another IBMer is not wanted.


  5. Jeremy Hodge says:

    @4 – I think you have actually hit the nail on the head – the problem is the process it takes to get OpenNTF on par with the other open source communities is at odds with the historical “open” nature the notes community has lived in for so long.It comes from the Notes Development environment itself really, where little code is protected and hidden. Where any designer can open almost any database and copy code out to use as their own. Where the idea of a license for usage of a database is hardly ever encountered (or at least in a way that makes you think about it.)Its not as easy to get to the code in a compiled application to see “hey, how’d he do that” … or worse yet … “Hey, that’s cool, ill copy that and put that into my application.” But in notes, I’ve known “developers” that are what I call “copy paste” developers … they can “program” an application by opening 5 other applications and copying and pasting the code into their apps, change a few field names (as long as it doesn’t break it), and viola. I gotta think just about every notes developer has inherited one of these databases.Now, we’re taking OpenNTF, and we’re talking about licenses, and how to add structure, and its moving slowly, because people are doing this on their own, in their spare time … and heaven forbid, they are seeking legal advice, and they are putting together legal language … its change, and its scary.People need to step back and realize Rome wasn’t built in a day (although it did burn in one) and in the end we’ll all be better off for it … even the copy paste developers, because even they are protected by a license.So give OpenNTF a chance to work.I respect Declan a lot, and he has the right to his opinions, and the right to express them in a way that he feels will get his message across. I do believe that this type of move hurts notes community at large more than it may help get OpenNTF working correctly, but I respect his decision, and I can see his frustrations.I would just rather see us building rome instead of burning it.


  6. Bruce Elgort says:

    @Ed,”Elguji Software, LLC” will speak when it is ready using our words and on our terms. Not what others want us to say.In the meantime I ask the Community to support OpenNTF and the mission of OpenNTF more specifically.May I suggest that each and every one of you go now and read the mission statement.@5,Well said Mr. Hodge.


  7. Bruce Elgort says:

    Link to mission statement – { Link }


  8. Brian Benz says:

    Sorry to hear that Dec. BTW, you may want to have a look at what I created after after reading and agreeing with your post in May:{ Link }It was built on a whim to help me work through what I thought the next iteration of OpenNTF could be – a directory, not a repository. Then it sat until July when all the controversy kicked up, and I decided to post links to it. The idea is that you can post your code wherever you want, with whatever restrictions you want, then post links and searchable descriptions for developers to find in the directory.It’s not just a prototype – everything works, it’s fully functional, and it was extremely easy to set up. If someone has the time, I’m sure it wouldn’t be that hard to re-create a similar model in a Web-enabled Notes DB and post somewhere.


  9. may i just make an annoying remark (I know my remarks cause annoyance sometimes hehe) but why is the Working Groups box placed most high in the right navigation on OpenNTF?Can’t we just have the Search box highest or is the Working Group more important that the submitted projects?Anyway, I good way of checking ‘confidence’ about the re-organisation of OpenNTF would be the number of new projects submitted, compared with a similar period before the re-organisation…Good luck with the re-organisation anyway


  10. Declan, Sorry this is off topic, but related. The links to your xPhoneBook app are no longer working as per your action taken above. Do you have an alernate location where you are storing the resources for your helpful xpages series?


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