Koozali.org formerly Contribs.org

Time for an election / The status of SME Server Inc.

Re: Time for an election / The status of SME Server Inc.
« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2008, 03:40:25 AM »
HF: I agree with every salient point you made apart from you must bare in mind we've actually crossed horns in the past when you two were being abrasive to people posting on the forums - maybe not with as much strong will as I used on my forums and irc server on my own then BABY GPL project (circa 100k users).

Ray: I'm not sure I understand your point - but please do add some detail as I'm sure that you either 1) misunderstand 2) seem to have an issue that I'd love to have detailed. Please don't accuse me of being non professional. Irony in a posting maybe doesn't come across so I'd like you to read this posting which I'm going to attempt to post in one go without pause and maybe then if you still feel the need to chastise me and put me in naughty corner (note irony) then you can do so with a little more balance.

I hold an unenvious record of having created a monster. SmoothWall was the child of two men - myself and Lawrence, the "community team" was actually a huge myth. Unfortunately the time and place in history was that GPL was a free for all and the outside illusion was we both accepted code contributions and assistance in activities other than testing. This was great free PR - we never actually used anything other than a few documented contributions and graphical activities from two known individuals and as per GPL we understood release packaging and quality control like no other firewall / Linux distro that had come from nowhere.

I don't question any of your points, I would however ask you to treat me with a little more respect as I've run a project with a footprint of users, financial needs and a much larger PR stance than contribs. It was a labour of love that occupied me 20 hrs a day for almost three and a half years.

As regards make a quick buck I would have thought that you of all people understand you don't do this for money. SmoothWall wasn't about money until it took over seven days a week prevented us from doing dayjobs and eventually became what it is now a $10m turnover OpenSource company with franchises in 35 countries protecting over 40m workstations in companies, schools and colleges. Now from that I have the credibility to stand in front of CEO's, CSO's, schools, colleges and campuses and show how OpenSource bridges a gap between proprietary and a better way of working and I've got the scars, medals and awards to prove it. I've won quite a few. The awards mean nothing compared to meeting someone in a crowded WalMart to be told how SmoothWall enabled a clinic with no money to extend access to other tertiary clinics over a secure SmoothWall VPN and that the savings enabled them to hire a clinician. When your work extends to touch the lives of others it pales financial rewards into comparison. The quick buck thing comment I am sure wasn't meant to offend but having worked at VA (NASDAQ's biggest ever one day gain IPO) and seen staff and friends walk away with tens of millions of dollars, Zimbra acquired for $350m in Sept 07 and seen stupid decisions made at Linuxcare etc I've got a clue as to the value of money allowing OpenSource to prosper or "get rich quick". It makes bad leaders - and bad projects.

If you look at my relationships with Samba (I've worked with Andrew Tridgell since Linuxcare in 1998/9 and was hired at VA by Jeremy Allison), the funding and stability I've brought to projects from my own funding and the fact I've also like hundreds of others donated to this project, the credibility I bring from being the only OpenSource developer to ever sue Microsoft and win (which was kinda nice) and also the fact that I know the hard way to do things (having made rods for my own back) but also gone on to show that actually 0.001% of the people whose Slashdot posts and archived IRC posts you read account for 0.000000000001% of a userbase who was actually just visiting and was 14 sitting in Boise Idaho with his pants on his head looking for the next flame. When you believe in something and you're a team of two with a silent copartner who is heels deep in ncurses code you'll understand that sometimes eggs needed to be broken and we made a pretty cool omelette one that is still going, still free in GPL format and has given careers and aspirations to network people who now can add both an understanding of Linux in a palatable format and security to potential employers.

Everywhere I travel in the world people know what I've done. HF one day wouldn't you love to say that.

It's not about money - money doesn't buy you friends or a sphere of influence. We do this for good code, we do this because it's what we're about and we do this because there is a direction ahead of us as a team that requires the almost marionette input control and string tugging of a group of people with a common passion. Contribs since 2003 has demonstrated at times it's own internal frictions and in January 2004 I spoke to some of the involved individuals personally by phone and it was messy. Revolution not evolution. As we get older we push direction and sanity checks into how we are perceived. I work with the decision makers of Fortune 21 companies and the CTO and CSO's of GM100/FTSE100 companies and I have a position of influence based on the fact I love what I do, I try to demonstrate why what we do matters and why we stood up to make a difference in the first place.

I have used SME/Contribs since day one religiously. I am passionate about the way ahead, I share the same goals and the same passions you do but maybe with one difference - I am envious at not having had the courage to put my head above the parapets since maybe 2003/4 to get involved visibly. Instead I've sat behind the scenes (maybe with the exception of Zimbra and MailScanner) funding projects finding hosting and advising on direction.

There are very few battles left to fight - we fought them in the community years ago. What we have instead are hurdles, what we have are gaps in communication that Contribs traditionally has been pretty piss poor at handling - instead delivering a secure safe project that has instead left a smile on the faces of it's users. If you had posted this article/call to arms in 2002 the discussion would be 30 pages deep and it's not. Flame wars, I'm glad to say - seem to be a thing of the past, but where we are now is a hinterground where there is movement to create but not without a movement required to mobilise it. What that message needs to say can be delivered in one of two ways. It can be delivered like it is currently, quietly, released on a cycle that suits the needs of a small team that will move as it's own pressures dictate. Or alternatively it will grow to foster adoption and new team members who can deliver alongside established seasoned hallowed team members who maybe would like to be able to add features but have their own pressures of work / family etc.

Dungog and others make a good living from SME. I don't need to. I have a pretty good job thanks - but what I do bring to the table that nobody else does is the lessons I've learnt from running the most successful non funded, VC free and much copied OpenSource project of the last ten years in the European space. There is no more mature opensource brand without funding anywhere on the planet with the commercial and accepted positioning than SmoothWall. Thats not bluster - thats fact - and while I have no wish - at all - to take Contribs commercial, you can use the same rulesets and bend them to fit a model of growth. I've done it once - what I didn't want to do was do it again. Swore to Sarah I wouldn't and she'd probably freak if she knew but the truth is I want this badly and if you want to see where this could go from a platform and a PR/awareness rebirth as well as a growth in the userbase then I can tell you one story.

Six and a half years ago I spoke to two men on the telephone who wanted advice on where to take their projects to make some revenue. One was Peter of ClarkConnect who followed my advice and made a considerable wedge and a good living and who I have a lot of time for, the other was a Jo Cheek of then Linuxcare who was porting Caldera and that became Redmond Linux and the rest was history. I've personally made sure that several Open Source GPL and BSD licenced projects have made it to the startline with personal funding and guidance etc. I've not enjoyed giving salient advice to people about OpenSource projects because every single one is different.

You or I can certainly guide and say avoid this pitfall or avoid this line of departure, but what you do learn is the humility required to surround yourself with people who can do your job better than you or who can visualise in their head what you mean from two sentences of email from 8400 miles away across an ocean and act on it. Without those relationships with people who share your vision you don't have a future. It's not just about electing an individual it's about capturing a mindset and if you look back at the archives of postings after Mitel released SME into the wild the passion was there the mindset was there but what was lacking was a focus and a direction. It's still lacking and that is not a criticism.

I know where I'd like Contribs to go look/feel wise. I can visualise it now and if you look at how simple reskins of SmoothWall added 20/30/40/50% more users and more PR in the CD cover media on magazines and how smoke and mirrors works wonders when attracting users from the non Linux space you'll understand why if you're going to do this you do it in a manner that does nothing to detract from the stability and the legacy of where we are. However what it needs to do is add the ability for a more modular, easy to swallow easy to own SME moving forward or you're going to have very little traction to get the headway competing with poorer product such as ClarkConnect etc.

Look at how other projects have used Perl, Ajax etc to make things look nice but really not deliver at the baseline. They have an amazing skin but the engine of a suburban. We have a stock v8 thats powered by industry standard libraries and accepted code and we need a new coat of paint and we need new thought and input that will lead to a 8.x tree and even a rebrand. Treat this as a commercial entity from day one from a project perspective (regardless of the fact that it isnt).

SmoothWall succeeded because we cheated. We ignored the community/Slashdot/the people you refer to. We read avidly, books on Apple, books on branding, we copied the SAGE accountancy company model of selling, we talked to proprietary companies (Checkpoint/Sonicwall etc). We talked to administrators. I even got thrown out of Europes biggest security show by security guys for giving away hundreds of business card sized smoothies to people leaving the Checkpoint stand with the "you don't need to spend money - this is better tag". It's not about money - its about ethics and love and enjoying what we do. I know for a fact from your postings sometimes almost as Charlies wingman that you've railed others. I've seen you do it. Not sure you'd do it again because you know that 1) later you re-read what you'd posted and looked a horses ass (I look back and cringe at the stuff I came out with ten years ago) 2) that it didn't feel that great.

If we don't enjoy what we do we aren't productive. If we aren't productive we don't move forward. I can't bring Contribs together as a team in a fortnight but what I can do is give you a foothold where I think you'd like to be far quicker, more permanently and with vision that I'm not sure anyone else can bring to the table. Who would be stupid enough (knowing how much was involved from experience to do this properly) to do this twice. If that doesn't make you think about the passion I bring then shut your browser and go do something in the kitchen.

Leave you with one note as you're all in a coma anyway by now: Last year I was doing work for the US Defense Dept/UK MoD. It involved visiting a University centre of excellence in military computing / intelligence / security where they teach the brighest and the best. After sitting with a group of coders and team leaders talking shop / classified project stuff I was taken to an auditorium where I was presented to a group of about 50+ post grads who were learning the in's and out's of ... SmoothWall as part of their Masters in Information Security. Someone had decided - nationally - to use our work to educate the future leaders of tomorrow. After an impromptu Q&A I drove home. Now... something created in a back bedroom with smoke and mirrors marketing from day one, with love, attention, sensible release schedules and a community that pushed it to every corner of the world led to that chance Q&A. Open Source that rainy afternoon gave me a reason to smile like a cheshire cat. Money or commercial stuff doesn't come close.

I'd love to see Contribs/SME in that same passionate light - not as an also ran or lumbered into the "is that project still going ?" camp. It's already 90% of the way there it's just the servicing, bodywork and the marketing that needs attention.
Richard
« Last Edit: January 22, 2008, 03:59:03 AM by dickmorrell »
...

Re: Time for an election / The status of SME Server Inc.
« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2008, 04:41:42 AM »
I am afraid... :!:

Why you and not other?
If you can, other can too.

God save SME
« Last Edit: January 22, 2008, 05:03:49 AM by Normando »

Re: Time for an election / The status of SME Server Inc.
« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2008, 05:33:54 AM »
Dick,

While you do have an impressive resume, I'm not sure it's a fit for this community.

Also, I will need to retract my offer of assistance. I think it's time that I and Ruffdogs be moving on also. Thanks.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2008, 04:15:36 PM by garret »

Offline raem

  • *
  • 3,972
Re: Time for an election / The status of SME Server Inc.
« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2008, 06:45:17 AM »
dick

You appear to be bringing personal issues into the job, and it was the attitude towards Charlie which exhibited an unprofessional approach.

No matter how extensive your experience is, someone who wants to be a business administrator of a large group of diverse people, needs to have more "people tact" than that.
...

Offline Stefano

  • *
  • 10,779
  • Skype account: maghissimo
    • Smeserver italian community
Re: Time for an election / The status of SME Server Inc.
« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2008, 11:20:08 AM »
My 2c to mr Morrell

<off topic mode on>
I WAS a smoothwall user since the earlier releases.. And I installed SW from 0.8 to 2.0 because I thought it was a good product..

but the real problem with SW was with Dick's attitude: he WAS the project, he was THE leader..

SW support forums were full of rants of/on mr Morrell bat attitude towards the community: often rude and offensive in his public and private answers.. too bad.

I moved to IpCop and m0n0..
<off topic mode off>

SME is a great product, has a big community and, yes, it must have also a commercial branch, but IMVHO Dick is not the rigth person.

Ciao

Stefano
Consulente di Smeserver.it -  Soluzioni e supporto su Sme server in Italia

Re: Time for an election / The status of SME Server Inc.
« Reply #20 on: January 24, 2008, 12:52:40 AM »
Ok well there was never a 0.8 release of SmoothWall so you were a less than attentive user my friend.

I've learnt over the years not to feed the troll element of the Open Source community because they're a necessary part of the food chain in the "environment" and life would be less colourful without them. I owned the forums - there were no rants on there - there was an irc server (which I also owned) where people would login with nothing to add and aged 15 / 16 want to have some fun and it was fun to have some fun with them and it became a point of amusement. Remember when SmoothWall started out I put the equivalent of three or four years mortgage payments to keep it alive for the first year and to cover all costs. When people then download and detract and you're up to say 40,000 users then realistically each one of those has cost me $2.30 to service. Please don't expect everyone to play nicely.

Luckily I've worked extremely hard at Linuxcare, VA Linux (on projects such as Sourceforge, some of the major High Availability projects on the globe etc) and since then on deploying some of the biggest Linux networks anywhere on the globe. It's earnt me a very good standard of living and a nice retirement but I still keep going and I still have a lot to give which is why I still fund projects.

A few weeks ago before Christmas I collapsed and was seriously ill in hospital with major renal issues with pipes coming out of who knows where and it made me think a lot about direction. I have a lot to give, experience, direction, personal funding and relationships and knowledge that could actually take this project somewhere rather than where it is now.

Reading between the lines there seems to be as much lack of objectivity and lack of common decency as there was when this project almost ate itself in late 2003 early 2004. If thats the case then Ray, HF etc I wish you luck as you'll need it.
...

Re: Time for an election / The status of SME Server Inc.
« Reply #21 on: January 24, 2008, 01:34:34 AM »
Quote
Reading between the lines there seems to be as much lack of objectivity and lack of common decency as there was when this project almost ate itself in late 2003 early 2004. If thats the case then Ray, HF etc I wish you luck as you'll need it.

And why was it that the project did not eat itself?

Re: Time for an election / The status of SME Server Inc.
« Reply #22 on: January 24, 2008, 02:08:53 AM »
A few weeks ago before Christmas I collapsed and was seriously ill in hospital with major renal issues with pipes coming out of who knows where and it made me think a lot about direction. I have a lot to give, experience, direction, personal funding and relationships and knowledge that could actually take this project somewhere rather than where it is now.

Glad you're ok. 

I don't know you at all Dick, your history with Charlie and RequestedDeletion predates my involvement.  I would just like to encourage everyone here to be civil and open minded.  It's easy to have what you write in an email or a forum post taken the wrong way, so lets all try to be nice, and maybe give people another chance :-)  I am glad to be hearing from you and anyone else that might like to participate in the leadership of SME Server Inc. 

Offline raem

  • *
  • 3,972
Re: Time for an election / The status of SME Server Inc.
« Reply #23 on: January 24, 2008, 02:14:04 PM »
dick

Quote
...there seems to be as much ... lack of common decency .....

You have avoided identifying and answering what I have asked of you, but instead criticise.
I have made no derogatory remarks to you or critiscised your past professional career and as far as I can remember have never said anything bad to you in these forums or elsewhere, I don't even know you.

I simply asked that you drop any personal attitudes you have to people involved with this project (which you openly stated), as I felt quoting those as a reason for wanting the job was not a virtue a leader should have and therefore not in the best interest of this project.

Is that such a hard thing to understand and take on board ?

Off topic
Quote
...seriously ill in hospital with major renal issues ... it made me think a lot about direction. I have a lot to give, experience, direction, personal funding and relationships and knowledge that could actually take this project somewhere rather than where it is now.

From what I understand of alternative approaches to health and what I have read about you (which I must assume has some merit as it couldn't all be blatant lies), it doesn't surprise me to hear that you experienced renal issues, your critical nature matches the disease condition. Read any good book about metaphysical causations of illness.
If you are truly looking to come to terms with your life and where your values should lie etc, then examine very carefully your attitudes as they are the source of your disease. Change these attitudes to more positive ones to improve your life and your health. I wish you well on your journey.
...

Offline Stefano

  • *
  • 10,779
  • Skype account: maghissimo
    • Smeserver italian community
Re: Time for an election / The status of SME Server Inc.
« Reply #24 on: January 24, 2008, 04:06:09 PM »

Hi
Ok well there was never a 0.8 release of SmoothWall so you were a less than attentive user my friend.

oh, yes.. you are right ant it was a typo.. I meant 0.9..

Quote
I've learnt over the years not to feed the troll element

TROLL? me? are you joking? :-)

do you remember SW 1.0-p4?

Quote
From: Stefano Zamboni <zamboni@...>
Subject: Patch 4, snort errors & problems.. solution..
Newsgroups: gmane.comp.security.firewalls.smoothwall.general
Date: 2003-04-20 00:07:06 GMT (4 years, 39 weeks, 6 days, 14 hours and 46 minutes ago)

Hi all..

as many of us have experienced problems with snort after patch 4
application, I search trought Snort ML, SW log and finally find the
solutions to all problems..

with patch 4 snort is upgraded to the last stable versione, 2.0.. and
snort.conf id upgraded too, but it's incorrect (so the problem with scan
from own ip in log) and incomplete (and that's why snort dies in pc with 32
or less mb ram..)

ok, let's start..

in /etc/snort.conf comment out with a # line var HOME_NET any
this stop snort from log scans from our own ip..

then, before line

preprocessor frag2

write:

config detection: search-method lowmem

this says snort to work in environment poor of ram..
according to Snort ML, the minimum amount of ram to work without anything
else running is 64 mb.. :-|

save snort.conf and, from the web interface, restart ids..

That's all..

HTH

Regards
 

well.. that Stefano it's me.. patch 5 was released after this mail..

so, now, am I a troll?

please.. read my posts: they are over 600 on these forums and 4 or maybe 5 of them are questions.. the others are answers..

yours? 22.. mmmhh.. you are very involved in this project, no doubt about it..

and finally, please: stop saying who you are, who you know EVERY time you write here.. it's simply... boring and irritating..
do a search on google with "dick morrell rude smoothwall" (for example) and you'll get what people really think of you..


Ciao

Stefano
Consulente di Smeserver.it -  Soluzioni e supporto su Sme server in Italia

guest22

Re: Time for an election / The status of SME Server Inc.
« Reply #25 on: January 24, 2008, 11:07:09 PM »
Well, I guess it's time to drop the personal issues and focus on what really needs our attention and energy.

@Dick, points taken, no reason to repeat them again.
@All, lets continue identifying possible candidates

NEXT please...

guest

Re: Time for an election / The status of SME Server Inc.
« Reply #26 on: January 24, 2008, 11:47:00 PM »
Also, remember, there are a number of spots to fill.

Garret

Re: Time for an election / The status of SME Server Inc.
« Reply #27 on: January 25, 2008, 01:45:47 AM »
only to remember ...

i want collaborate .....

if i can contribute with  Hosting , mailservers, CVS Servers and/or infrastructure ...

think in me

Douglas

Quote ... i'm entusiastic of SME and worked in other projects like plone, pfsense.. but now i'm working on my own office (fresh and alone today), and looking to new ways.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2008, 01:49:22 AM by dhipo »

Re: Time for an election / The status of SME Server Inc.
« Reply #28 on: January 25, 2008, 11:37:42 PM »
Also, remember, there are a number of spots to fill.

Garret

Good Point!  For those of us who are ignorant... What are the posts to fill?  What are the responsibilities?  What are the qualifications? What are the time commitments?  Where is the process of election described?  Where can we read the bylaws? What are the deadlines? etc...etc.

I posted to the next thread on this forum about some of these issues, but never heard a response. Isn't that the thread we are to use to discuss/suggest offices and candidates?  Some of us would sincerely like to help without getting into personal issues but we need to be shown how.

If it is an election, lets get the candidates going, they can campaign and the rest of us can vote.  If people don't want someone, that person won't be elected.  :smile:  That's the Democratic way!

Waiting to hear. Uniqsys
...

Offline wellsi

  • *
  • 475
    • http://www.wellsi.com
Re: Time for an election / The status of SME Server Inc.
« Reply #29 on: January 25, 2008, 11:59:18 PM »
It would be good to have a link to the constitution, all my previous links to where it was are broken. It will explain what the open positions are.
............