Oh, my. When I misread a situation, I do a bang up job of it, don't I? It
was never my intent to throw the community into such an uproar. I still
intend to quit being the list host and moderator. But it appears that not
only is U2UG not sure how/if/when they could take on the load, but I
didn't know there would be such resistance.

I will keep the lists running as they are through the end of the month of
April. I want to give U2UG and any other parties interesting in continuing
this more time to figure out if/how/when. That should take some of the
pressure off. *HOWEVER*, I am going to stick to the time commitments I
have made to myself and my other projects, so I will not be actively
moderating the list posts. It is up to all of you to try to regain your

Dana did a great job in this post (what a job as my ghostwriter? :-). So I
will embed commentary below.

> 1. The U2 lists have been run by Clif Oliver for a very long time. Clif
> has
> no direct ties to IBM or any of the companies who owned the U2 products
> before hand.

That is correct. IBM is one of my clients. So was
Vmark/Ascential/Informix, Prime Computer, ADDS, and other manufacturers.
But I am not an employee, receive no funding from IBM for this list, no
official sponsorship, etc. Heck, last time I asked, I couldn't even get
them to give me an IBM shirt for my collection. Something about
consultants and the Legal Department <grin>.

> 3. Clif's decision to stop running the lists is his own. It was not a
> decision of U2UG or IBM - it was Clif's decision; a decision that is well
> within his rights (see #2 above).

Also correct. I'll share some of those reasons later. But U2UG had no part
in this decision. I didn't consult them, and I certainly did not ask for
their approval. This is my own choice.

> 4. One reason Clif decided to stop running the lists is that U2UG is
> moving
> toward filling the same need. Clif was looking at duplicate work coming
> along and decided that this was a good time to get out (if I read Clif's
> intentions correctly).

You read my intentions exactly correct. For a variety of reasons, I have
been contemplating shutting down for a couple of years. It was just that
U2UG was formed, they had official IBM recognition (NOT ownership or
control), and when the site went live, there were parallel forums that
duplicated everything the list tried to provide. So I thought the time was
here that I could bow out of this particular role without feeling like I
was abandoning the U2 Community. Just make an announcement and let
everyone shift over to a group and method already setting there, idling,
waiting for users.

I don't need to recap what has happened since I hit the [Send] button on
that message.

> 7. As Clif is pulling out of running the lists, the fora  become the only
> game in town. But this is not the end of the world. There exists the
> possibility that mail lists can continue with someone else running them.

Hopefully by providing the lists through April, I've relieved the pressure
on this situation.

> 8. The MAJOR topic of discussion at tomorrow's U2UG board meeting will be
> the future of U2 communication technology. Clif is expected to be present
> at
> the meeting and will probably be willing to share his accumulated wisdom
> in
> this area, provided we don't provoke him too much in our ongoing
> discussions
> of the past, present and future of communication in the U2 community.

I'll be there. Now let me add some additional points.

There has been some misunderstanding about U2UG's role in this, even with
the Board. U2UG is not the "rightful heir" to the lists. *IF* they, or
another party, want to take up the hosting of the list it will be with a
clear statement and ongoing commitment that the contents of the list are
free of any intellectual property restrictions. What gets posted to the
list is free (as in freedom) for anyone to use as they see fit. They must
also commit to providing this list, or alternative to it, for free (as in
beer), that is, no charge. (Yes, I favor the BSD license over the GPL--how
did you guess?) In addition, I will give a two week notice on the list if
a new "someone" is going to host it. That will give everyone who does not
want to participate a chance to unsubscribe. That way their address will
not be in the transfered database.

I hope that clears up that discussion, as far as privacy and ip issues are

Some of the reasons I am bowing out of this role:

1. I've been doing it for what 8, 10 years? It has been so long, I forget.
I  simply want to spend the time working on some other things. I don't
have enough time to do both. And I strongly feel that if you are going to
host and moderate a list, you must take it seriously, and put your very
best work into it. I'd like to spend that time pusuing other interests.

2. E-mail has gotten onerous. Behind the scenes, I spend from 1/2 an hour
to a couple of hours per day dealing with bounce messages, misdirected
messages, virus issues, etc. Over the last two years the virus problems
have, well, I don't have to tell you folks. List servers, if done
properly, require *constant* monitoring, care, and feeding. And you have
to monitor the content.

3. Content. Ah, yes. I really do appreciate all the nice comments you
folks have made, both on list and in private. I makes me feel very good to
know most of you think I've been able to guide the content appropriately.
Still, I've been nagging for so long, I'm just tired of doing it. I don't
enjoy calling people down (cyberspankings) for name calling, off topics
posts, overquoting, and the like. When I ease up, things degrade again.
I'll pitch a fit on-line (a cybertizzy) and things will be fine for a
while. But it always reverts. It is time for someone else to take over
and, to use the Open Source phrase, "herd the cats."

4. Thanks for the private messages expressing concern. a) This is not a
financial issue. Thanks for the offers of contributions. But it isn't
necessary, or even a factor. b) Nope. No one finally "got to me." There
was no final straw. I've been contemplating this for a while.

5. No. I'm not going away. In anti-Nixon fashion, yes, you will have Clif
Oliver to kick around some more. (That's a *joke* for those of you lucky
devils young enough to not get the reference.) I intend to shift my focus
to the role of content contributor. I am also planning on reviving my
column (Infocus Magazine's "Clif Notes"), probably under a different
title, as part of a regular newsletter. And there are a couple of other
writing projects in the works. (But you didn't hear that from me ;-)

I hope that clarifies the situation.

We will get this worked out.




W. Clifton Oliver, CCP
Tel: +1 619 460 5678    Web: www.oliver.com

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