Archive for November, 2010

Jimmy Wales facts.

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010
  • Jimmy Wales does not sleep. He waits … for your money.
  • Jimmy Wales’ tears cure lack of funding. Too bad he only cries in November and December.
  • There is no chin behind Jimmy Wales’ beard. There is only another “donate” button.
  • Jimmy Wales doesn’t do pushups — he gets your donation.
  • When the Bogeyman goes to sleep every night, he clutches the printout of his Wikipedia donation receipt as he checks his closet for Jimmy Wales.
  • Jimmy Wales does not go hunting donations, because the word “hunting” implies the possibility of failure. Jimmy Wales goes collecting donations.
  • Jimmy Wales sold his soul to the devil for his rugged good looks and unparalleled fundraising ability. When the deal had been done, Jimmy looked the devil lovingly in the eye and got his soul donated back.
  • Jimmy Wales not only gave Objectivists a nice reputation, he got them to donate to his charity out of enlightened self-interest.
  • The Wikimedia Foundation can build a funding drive out of paper clips, rubber bands and soda cans. And does so, every year.
  • If you can see Jimmy Wales, he can see you. If you can’t see Jimmy Wales, you may be only seconds away from donating.

We’re going to need more sharks.

Saturday, November 20th, 2010

When an open source project regards talk of forking as ”treason”[img], rather than as the defining characteristic of freedom, that’s a sign that it’s a dead project walking.

The last big example I can think of was XFree86 versus Xorg. XFree86 was all but stalled, with Linux vendors having to maintain huge patches themselves because the main project was so slow to accept changes. When Keith Packard, who’s personally driven X for twenty years, finally said “enough” and started organising Xorg, they expelled him.

Compare with Wayland, the new display manager to replace X in Ubuntu and Fedora. (Not a code fork, but in practical terms a developer effort fork.) The three people pushing for Wayland to replace X in Fedora are all Xorg lead developers. “Traitors”? No, people who have the actual aim in mind: making good open source display software.

Xorg remains alive and well even as several lead devs work on its replacement. XFree86 appears to have been abandoned, with no release in two years and no commits since February 2009.

Wikipedia has had any number of forks. Fred Bauder has been with Wikimedia since it was wikipedia.com — his Wikinfo fork has not led to him being regarded as a “traitor” in any way, he’s as highly respected as ever. Wikipedians have always had great interest in its forks and wished them well, including Citizendium. The community regards the forks as family, not enemies. We’re all on the same side: free educational content.

And not to mention that the project crying “treason!” at the word “fork” … started as a fork.

You can’t keep your project together with paranoia. There is no Iron Curtain around an open source project.

(There’s much wackiness around Citizendium at present. I haven’t edited there in three years, but Matt Innis has taken care to block me anyway for writing about them on RationalWiki. Gosh, that’ll sure show me! The point being, of course, internal signalling rather than anything that would affect me at all. “I will not answer any more questions and will ask the Constabulary to delete all discussions that in my view require open debate which is being suppressed here.” You can get running updates and discussion at RationalWiki. Bring your own popcorn.)