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Re: irc.debian.org

On Sat, Aug 17, 2002 at 10:41:54PM -0400, David B Harris wrote:
> On Sun, 18 Aug 2002 10:20:37 +1000
> Daniel Stone <dstone@kde.org> wrote:
> > Anyway. I was an OPN staff member for 3-4 months (I honestly can't
> > remember exactly how long), and left to join a disgruntled group of
> > ex-OPN staffers that would later make up OFTC.
> Well, let's start here. When you first showed up, we weren't ex-OPN
> staff. We were OPN staff. And "disgruntled" isn't the right word; we
> were brainstorming about what to do if Rob Levin cut the cords on the
> network. There weren't many options, as you'll recall.

Yourself, cdlu, luca, and dent resigned from OPN not altogether long
after I joined you guys. You were very disgruntled with Rob and his
brand of leadership. If you weren't, you probably wouldn't have formed
#iamacow and, later, OFTC. (Luckily, OFTC has so far mostly avoid
becoming another lilofree.net).

> > I was with OFTC for
> > about 8 months, before its core committee asked me to leave (but more
> > on that later). Indeed, I'm as much a "founding member" as David
> > "cdlu" Graham, and David "ElectricElf" Harris.
> In that you happened to be present, yes. Your opinions were listened to
> and responded to, but they didn't reflect the final decisions made. I'm
> not saying this to belittle you, but if you're going to claim the title
> of "founder", then you should at least understand that it was simply a
> result of your being there.

"Founder" != "Founding member". I can also rightfully claim that I ran
OFTC's first IRC server (a machine which is now sitting no further than
35cm away from me). :)

I was there before OFTC was founded, while OFTC was founded, and after
OFTC was founded. I never said I was "[the] founder". Just a "founding
member". The two are radically different; the latter only means that I
have a decent insight into OFTC.

> > I think that a move to OFTC would be somewhat counterproductive to
> > Debian. Many people go around screaming "OPN iz da k4b4l d00d!!". And
> > they're correct, it is. ElectricElf's assertions that lilo once
> > threatened to shut down the network are entirely correct; I've seen
> > the log (a tarball of a couple of damaging logs was distributed as a
> > "new members' pack", back in the day). As someone (whom I have
> > forgotten, apologies if it was you) said: "OPN: We redefine Open. Come
> > check us out!".
> Well, not "once threatened" .. several times :) The logs weren't
> specifically designed to be damaging; they were given to people whose
> opinions we respected at the time, so we didn't have to re-explain
> everything. If you'll recall, we asked the opinions from a wide variety
> of network people; mostly staff, ex-staff, and channel founders. We felt
> that their opinions should be heard, so that anything we approached Rob
> Levin with would truly be from the network's community.

Steady up; you're launching into cdlu-speak. If he threatened several
times, I was never told. *shrug*

> The logs were pretty complete. We really thought they would be better at
> bringing people up-to-speed than third- or fourth-hand accounts, or
> rhetoric.

Yes, but doesn't change the fact that those damaging logs were
distributed as a "new members' pack".

> > However, that doesn't mean OFTC is any better. If you read through
> > David G's email that reads more like a press release than anything,
> > and cut through all the layers of double-talk and manager-speak,
> > you'll see one alarming word: pseudo-democratic. He talks about the
> > staff choosing new people "among themselves".
> Yeah, we still haven't figured out how to allow every user on OFTC to
> vote. So, for the time being, it's restricted to those who are staff.
> Since your departure, there've already been many new staff additions.
> Many server sponsors, a few programmers, and a number of "network
> representatives"; people whose job it is to go out and get a feel for
> what our users want.

I've told you several times that you could require a user to have been
registered for a couple of months beforehand, or you could implement a
small "web of trust" or similar, but each time I was ignored.

> > So, basically, instead of having a cabal of 1, OFTC have gone the
> > obviously far superior route of having a cabal of 16.
> Right now there are more than 16 staff. So that's factually incorrect.
> But regardless.
> Now, just to quote from a dictionary here:


>        v : engage in plotting or enter into a conspiracy, swear
>            together; "They conspired to overthrow the government"
>            [syn: {conspire}, {complot}, {conjure}, {machinate}]
> We are, sort of, a clique. We actively recruit new staff, though, so I
> dunno if it's entirely accurate. Our acts are not meant to be harmful,
> and certainly not illegal :) There was little plotting or conspiracy. We
> discuss options, and we act on them.

Within a very small clique, yes. An exclusive clique.

Do you remember how I posted to oftc-staff long ago, proposing that
minutes of core meetings should get posted to oftc-staff, with
censorship of names if needed? Do you remember how you and David (the
other David, because if I don't clarify, I'm insulting you), agreed?

How many minutes were posted to oftc-staff between then and when I was
kicked out? One.

> But you seem to be forgetting why we first got together in the first
> place. It was because we felt that, ultimately, OPN was built on an
> unstable base. A single person could do whatever they pleased, up to and
> including shutting it down. We wanted to fix that ... but we couldn't.
> There's nothing we could do about OPN, we'd already tried for (in some
> cases) years, so we decided to start something which didn't have that
> problem.

Yes, I remember that well.

> So, we started OFTC; staff put each other in varying positions of
> responsibility primarily based on trust - but no one person is given the
> ability to undo OFTC! Hence SPI holding the domain, for instance.

Indeed, which puts it on a more stable *base*. Doesn't mean the top is
stable, tho. :)

> > (Interesting aside: I was banned from #moocows, OFTC's "official
> > social
> >  channel" for a while, because I kept pointing out this very point
> >  whenever an OFTC staffer rambled about OFTC being open and
> >  democratic. They claimed it was going to be changed ASAP, but that
> >  was some months ago, and cdlu's email doesn't show any sign of
> >  wanting to change. Once people get power, sometimes they just don't
> >  want to let go).
> Actually, you were banned for many other reasons as well. Primarily
> lying.

A point which you made up on the fly. None of that was ever proved; it
was entirely incidental, and resulted only from omitting three words of
clarification. Why you seem to hell-bent on tarnishing my character
because of some strange vendetta is beyond me.

> Nobody ever said it would be "changed ASAP" ... and even if it
> had, "as soon as possible" doesn't mean "now". We've got a lot of stuff
> going right now, and elections aren't for another few months anyways.
> We're talking long-term, here, Daniel. We need to find a voting system
> that works. One where if you aren't informed, you don't vote. Where if
> you vote, you're voting for the person - not for a campaign speech.

Every April and October? You've only got two months at best. I'll
believe your democracy when I see it, because so far I haven't seen two
shits of democracy.

> This isn't Debian, which is one huge community. This is closer to the
> United States; many smaller communities within a whole. Most folk from
> the United States are disenchanted with their voting system, and I
> personally think for good reasons.

Yes, that reason being that they won't necessarily get who they want.

> Have you ever tried to come up with something like that? I'd guess not,
> otherwise you'd be rather more patient. Or, you'd have told us how to do
> it :)

I *have* told you how to do it, David. But, as always, I wasn't on core,
so everything I said was routinely ignored.

> > OFTC is also technically immature. I was involved with setting up
> > various scripts et al for the servers at some point, and it's a rather
> > hairy, ad-hoc setup. At the time, basically no-one knew what was going
> > on with any of the servers. Recently, all of OFTC's DNS disappeared,
> > because its major sponsor (terrabox.com) had severe difficulties, and
> > OFTC didn't have an adequate backup DNS system.
> About two or three months ago I replaced all your scripts. Long before
> that, Matt London and a few others had worked on them extensively. With
> the full replacement, they're in much better shape now; all the
> configuration files are generated from a single .conf file (one line per
> server), all pushed and reloaded automatically.

Yes, that wonderful "tech team" of yours that wasn't a cabal in any way,
shape, or form. I somewhat dislike being led on.

> In addition, new servers are brought fully on-line within about three
> minutes (depeding on compile speed) by a single command,
> './install-server <servername>'. This also work for uprading.
> The DNS difficulties were primarily due to our change to having SPI hold
> the domain; we were unable to access our glue records, and after about
> two days we were dead in the water.

That's what I said.

> These things happen. But, as you can no doubt see, things have improved
> rather dramatically since you left.
> We also have an extraordinarily active coding staff, and extremely good
> relationships with our upstream providers; in fact, one of our coders
> was just invited to be part of the hybrid-7 ircd coding team (which is
> what we'll be switching to within a week or two).

Phil, or jabea? Congratulations to whoever it was; they seem to be doing
a good job.

> These are just the IRC parts of OFTC. The rest of it as of yet
> nonexistent - there's been some delay in getting dedicated hardware to
> run the other services on; the code will be in place shortly thereafter,
> though, for project registration and mailing lists. Following that will
> be web space.
> Yes, we are technically immature then, in everything but the IRC parts
> :)

No, I'll still argue that the IRC part is immature.

> > I won't run away from my point about OFTC being a "cabal", either. One
> > day, as I was lazily poking about on IRC, cdlu /msg'ed me. I knew from
> > the fact that he was even talking to me, instead of talking about me
> > behind my back, that I was sacked, so effective is the communication
> > between cdlu and staff.
> Enlighten me ... the Chair of our board contacts you personally to tell
> you that you were sacked ... and that's bad communication? Seems pretty
> good to me.

I knew why he was talking to me as soon as he did. You know why? Because
he never did bother to talk to anyone outside of core. It's shithouse
communication, when you know why he's talking to you before he says
anything past "you around?".

> > Core committee/NOC/whatever they're called
> > this week, decided to sack me from my position as a network
> > representative for "misrepresenting the network". How I did this, I'll
> > never know; the only people I told about OFTC were staff/server
> > sponsors I recruited early on.
> That's patently untrue, we explained to you at least half a dozen times.
> You never accepted the reasoning. If you still don't understand, then
> nobody is going to waste their time explaining ... _again_.

I never accept the reasoning because it was BS. How can I misrepresent
something that's private? Or was it for the heinous crime of telling
oftc-staff that OFTC wasn't lilofree.net, because there was a joke about
lilo being a dictator in the #oftc-staff topic? You choose.

> > Apparently, I misrepresented it to its
> > staff (!), but I couldn't cut through cdlu's "suit speak" well enough
> > to tell. Interestingly, no-one bothered to even tell me core were
> > considering sacking me, despite everyone having the agenda a couple of
> > days before the meeting, which was about a week before I was told>
> I warned you myself several times. I even did my best to explain why.
> *shrug*, again. Things just didn't work out, okay? If you still don't
> understand why you were sacked, then it's not through our lack of
> effort.

Most of the time I tried to talk to you, I'd be talking at you, and you
would answer back with abuse, every single line. I don't call that much
of an explanation, David.

> > (Aside 2: I was elected to the position of Network Operator, narrowly
> >  missing out on Core Committee/whatever. I later resigned from OFTC
> >  during a very difficult period in my life involving three consecutive
> >  145-hour weeks, being dumped by my girlfriend, and other various
> >  things. I later came back, and was grudgingly put into the position
> >  of Network Representative [i.e. #oftc monkey, and the grudging was on
> >  their side, not mine]).
> Well, it was grudging yes. In fact, I had to fight to get you
> re-instated.

Yes, and I thanked you for that.

> > Secondly, not everyone in #debian* IRCs on "irc.debian.org", whatever
> > that may point to. A lot of people explicitly connect to an OPN
> > server, because they have a closer server than rotation, they want to
> > use IPv6, or whatever. The conversion won't just be clean-cut (doubly
> > so if you consider DNS TTL issues), it'll be rather hairy.
> Yeah, correct. Actually, me and a few #debian ops discussed it, and
> nobody there plans on permanently leaving the channel. We'll continue to
> provide top-notch tech support to people on both networks (I haven't
> been doing so much of that as I'd like, lately, but hopefully I'll be
> able to pick it up again).

The issue at hand is, however, where irc.debian.org points to. I
couldn't give a shit which networks you IRC on. If you IRCed on
sadomasochismfetishists.org, I still wouldn't care.

> > Some people might think I'm bitter because of my bad experiences with
> > OFTC and its "leadership". I'm not really that bitter and hung up
> > about it, but I've seen it from day 1, right up until they launched
> > (it was still basically private when I was sacked, hence my being
> > mystified at the "reason" for my being sacked).
> I'll leave that alone.

Because it's pertinent, and contradicts your earlier points? How can one
misrepresent something that's private - there was no representation

> > OFTC have also painted themselves as being very kind and nice. This is
> > not, however, true. For a while, #iamacow (the disgruntled group of
> > OPN admins before we decided to form a new network) toyed seriously
> > with the idea of making a hostile takeover of OPN; ElectricElf and
> > cdlu also seriously floated the idea of putting pressure on lilo's
> > creditors to force him to repay his loans, hence sinking OPN.
> > Thankfully, neither of those strategies came to the fore.
> Those statements are blatantly false. Dave (other Dave :)

Glad you clarified that, else you'd be a liar! Damn people who don't
make every single thing explicit.

> made a joke
> once about what would happen if Rob Levin's creditors went after him.
> That was all for that. We did discuss what options would be available if
> Rob Levin cut the strings - one of those was getting ahold of all the
> server sponsors and rebuilding the network.

Not just if he cut the strings. We actively discussed the takeover
options available to us - I think it involved getting root on varley,
and then using SSH keys to convert everywhere else by stealth, or
something. Not quite as pleasant as the picture you paint.

> Yeah, that's a "takeover", I
> guess. But we ended up dismissing it, because a) it was pretty much
> impossible to find out who the current server sponsors were, and how to
> contact them, and b) we didn't think rebuilding it under a different
> domain name would really have been "rebuilding it" after it had been cut
> to the ground.

Yes, and OFTC was started after the takeover option was dismissed. I
think that's the point we moved from #iamacow to #moocows on piro, then
to friedman, and built OFTC up from there. (#moocows survives to this
day as OFTC's "official social channel").

> > I just think that moving to OFTC would be a bad and very
> > ill-considered move. I think Debian should stay on OPN because OFTC is
> > in so grave a situation.
> It's not in a grave situation. I wouldn't expect that to change your
> opinion, though.

I wouldn't expect facts to change your opinion of anything, when you're
hellbent on lying about both OFTC and myself.

> I think this thread is dead. We've all had our says, I think.

I think the part of it relevant to Debian is probably long gone, yes.

> David B. Harris
> OFTC, Ombudsman and handyman

[snip more copies]

Daniel Stone,
ex-OPN staffer, ex-OFTC Network Operator/Network Representative, etc

Daniel Stone	   <daniel@raging.dropbear.id.au>   http://raging.dropbear.id.au
KDE Developer	   <dstone@kde.org>	                      http://www.kde.org
Kopete: Multi-protocol IM client	    		   http://kopete.kde.org

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