Chris Pugh writes:

> If this statement is true then make impartiality the
> byword. Total admin control over the project should be
> given neither to Tom nor Ken, but to an independent
> indiviual, a moderator, not necessarily someone with a
> vested interest in the vpopmail project.

But somebody with no vested interest is also somebody who is unlikely
to put much effort into it or to understand enough about it to resolve
conflicts about what changes should or should not be made.  The right
person to head a project is one who either does most of the work or
directs most of the work.  That used to be Ken.  It is now Tom.  With
Tom there have been many improvements and bug fixes that would NOT have
happened without him.

> On the Inter7 base page vopomail along with other 
> items is listed under 'Free Software'
> 
> http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html
> 
> Who is going to draw what line and where?

According to that link, everyone has the right to improve and redistribute
their changed version, which is exactly what Tom has done.  Over on
http://www.opensource.org you will find links to Eric Raymond's thoughts
on code-forking.  It is his opinion that as long as a project is active
and well-run then code-forking is undesirable (although not forbidden
even then) but that when a project becomes inactive or badly-run then 
code-forking may be necessary.  As has been made clear by others, Ken
stopped doing anything with vpopmail for several months, did not apply
bug-fixes sent to him, etc.  When something like that happens then
code-forking is not just permissible, it's desirable.  In fact, when
a lapsed project is taken over it is not usually seen as code-forking but
merely a change of ownership and a name change is unnecessary.

Nor is there any guarantee that Ken would devote more effort to it in the 
future since Ms Cat told us all about the bigger and better things that
Ken is working on.  And while I understand Inter 7's desire to be
associated with vpopmail because of the kudos it gives them, that same
fact also worries me because they may be tempted to take full control
and kick Tom out so that once again vpopmail is perceived to be an
Inter 7 product.  If Ken had been as active as Tom has these past months
then that wouldn't be a problem, but he has not.  If Ms Cat hadn't stepped
in then the prospect of Ken being able to kick Tom out wouldn't be such
a concern, but after her mail it is - that was very much an "it was our
product originally and we demand full and exclusive control" mail.

Yes, it's sad that Ken no longer has control of a product he did so much
work on but that's what happens to people who let GPL projects lapse.  And
until and unless Ken decides to play a major active part in development 
once again he has no technical need of control (a commercial need,
perhaps, but that is insufficient justification).  If Ken wanted to keep 
control he should have kept working on it and been responsive to bug
reports and submitted patches.  It's as simple as that.

If Ken decides to code-fork away from Tom's work then it is Ken who should 
rename his product, not Tom, because ownership of vpopmail transferred when
Ken turned his back on it.  The fact that Ken is now showing an interest
again does NOT mean that control or the name reverts to him.  He had his
chance to keep working on it.  He had his chance to say he would be busy
for a few months and to delegate control temporarily to somebody else.
By not responding he blew it.

It is also worth noting that Tom is setting up CVS so that a TEAM of
people can continue to work on vpopmail even if Tom is temporarily unable
to do anything on it himself for some reason.  With Inter 7 revision
control was essentially if and when Ken decided to make changes.  This is
yet another reason why Tom is the better choice to control the project
because he is ensuring that it will continue to be developed even if
he cannot work on it; when Ken turned his back on vpopmail all work
stopped until Tom forked it.  Tom has done after a few months of control
what Ken did not after several years of control - he's put it on CVS.

I'm not criticising all the great work Ken did in the past.  But he
stopped doing it...

-- 
Paul Allen
Softflare Support


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