[opensource-dev] This is my goodbye

Aleric Inglewood aleric.inglewood at gmail.com
Wed Sep 8 15:22:23 PDT 2010


I've compared Linden Lab more often with an abusive husband.
You take the beating and then believe the stories and hope that
it all will become better. It's hard to leave such a husband usually,
because you invested in that life and one lose a lot when one
leaves.

Nevertheless, I have come to the conclusion that I've been a fool
in the past. I've been mad, over and over and over again. I've
told myself every time: this is unacceptable; but still I believed
things would change for the better and came back... not really
full force (in the end the number of patches that I actually
wrote are a fraction of what I'd have done when I hadn't been
beaten up on a regular basis).

Today, still with a black eye of my homestead being taken offline,
I have been kicked in the face by the hard cut off of snowglobe.
Yes, it was inevitable that in the end all viewers would be derived
from the official viewer (aka, 2.x), but NOT by force! It should have
been as a result of new features. Open source should be the
evolution of ideas (and code) and not being enforced and dictated.

Slowly I have began to realize that Linden Lab is a control freak.
They try to control EVERYTHING, from what you do in-world to the
what name your viewer can have, or what you run on your PC to
connect to their servers.

They have never listened to the users before making important
decisions (and seldom afterwards) and I have seen no recent change
in that. I do think that the snowstorm change was a good change, but
in the end it is just abuse of open source volunteers by giving them
the exact same treatment as paid Linden Lab employees: all
the hard work, *exactly* following the rules dictated by Linden
Lab but no room to do it your way. No voice in any decision
making, and certainly no room to experience, or freedom.

Open source, however, is about FREEDOM: The freedom to
CHANGE the code and to USE it as you see fit. The Best Ideas
then survive as a result of "evolution". Bad ideas aren't used,
popular ideas are copied by everyone. Linden Lab makes
this natural process impossible. The only thing that is left
is working for a company, without freedom, without a vote
and without being paid.

I'm sorry that this how they run their business. I'm a lot
more sorry that I saw too late that I really shouldn't volunteer
to work for them under those conditions.

THIIS NOT OPEN SOURCE

For now I have joined "imprudence" (http://imprudenceviewer.org/).
This is a true open source project. Surely Linden Lab can still
block it from their servers, and they WILL do so when they start
to disallow 1.23, but at least I won't be working anymore for them.
Patches contributed to Imprudence will be pure GPL and not fall
under the Contribution Agreement. Because this project is really,
purely GPL it will be possible to use OTHER GPL-ed code, from
other third party viewers for example, or anywhere else from
the net. THAT is what open source is about.

I'm pleased to have noticed that all the important open source
people that I have learned to appreciate and respect are
already there. If you are not, please join us! This doesn't have
to a goodbye: I hope to see you join us on the other side!

Thank you for your time,
Aleric Inglewood.

PS CC to imprudence mailinglist


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