Author Topic: [Fork you, SMF!] The birth of Wedge.  (Read 296179 times)

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Offline Arantor

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Until there is a total and complete rewrite from scratch, it's considered a derivative work, and until such time as it is sufficiently different that it isn't a derivative work, we have to play by their rules. It sucks, but there you go.

I should point out that we spent some time discussing this with the team, and we cannot make it publicly accessible, except as a mod package, prior to the licence change otherwise we can be hit with a cease and desist. Whether a US C&D letter would be valid for one developer in the UK and one in France is debatable, though I'd rather not take the chance.

We originally set out to be a friendly fork, which is where my account being on sm.org again came from, and why I've contributed some things to them, though not nearly all the things I could.

But ultimately, yes, we're not prepared to make it more public until such times as the licence situation is resolved.
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Offline t34

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It's amazing when you Google SMF Fork that you receive results about all the discontent at SMF.  Since they are so unhappy and can't get along, they should just transfer the license to you two.  You guys are doing something worthwhile that those of who use SMF appreciate.  When lawyers get involved, it becomes a total nightmare. 

Offline tfs

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Yeah... It was born in January, 'democracy' was brought in around early February, and by late February the project was dead.
Programming by committee always results in disaster.   :gnehe:

Offline Nao/Gilles

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It has to be a determinate, half-crazy programmer (or maybe two :P) doing wonders, and a fan-club to cheer him up when he's lost. :D
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Offline Arantor

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From what I hear even now it's not all that great, even with all the restructuring and changes.

And yes, programming by committee is like anything by committee: you just go round and round and round.
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Offline tfs

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And yes, programming by committee is like anything by committee: you just go round and round and round.
It ends up like the PFJ:gnehe:

Offline Arantor

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No, the Judean Peoples' Front! :P

Also reminds me of my friend's latest FB status:
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There's nothing grammatically incorrect about the sentence 'The committee sprang into action.'  It's just not plausible. ;)
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Offline Trevor Hale

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 :ouhla:  Pete,

I am shocked.  In my limited time with SMF, (September 2009) I have followed your support and activities.  Not so much recently cause I have been travelling for work, but whenever I had issues of any kind it was simple searches of your posts that often lead to the solutions.  Sorry Gilles, not really heard much about you.  But thats cause I am a sleep half of the time. 

regardless, Pete, to me (who is Still a Noob user, not permitted to the BIG forum) you were the face of SMF..  I honestly figured without reasearch you were the Lead on the project, and if nothing else thought you were SMF.  Bet you someone is kicking their but now that you two are gone. 

anyway..  I just want to wish you guys the best of luck with all of this, and let you know that I too have been in this kind of situation before.  Working tirelessly to help build something big and because of some narrow minded thinkers, you get pushed out because they know it all.

Trust me, Your better off now!!!  After reading all of this thread, I too like many here, cant wait to "Convert" It will be worth it.

Best regards,

Trev

Offline Garou

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Yep it was a damn shame what happened with SMF, the things that led to Arantor and several others leaving the project.

Seems to me the only person that might be more knowledgeable about SMF is Mr Brackets. He kinda floats in and out of SMF or rather did before the mess. I'm not sure how close he is to the current code. None the less and with good reason Arantor is often compared to the father of SMF.

I like to think of it this way. Zef Hemel is the Grand daddy, [Unknown] would be the father, and Arantor is the prodigal son.  :D

Offline Arantor

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Thanks for the kind words :) I guess for a while I sort of was the face of SMF, but it became increasingly clear that all is not well. Despite protestations from the team to the contrary it is my belief that all is still not well, and that the increase of 'democracy' hasn't helped one bit.

I'm not going to comment any further on them; they will be known for what they do and don't do going forward. I do know, however, that everything that's going on now is descended from pretty much everything that happened in 2010. It could all have been so different, but I think in the end, we would have gone our own way anyway; as has been said elsewhere, all the time we shared their vision, they were content to have us be their whipping boy, the moment we started to eschew that and have our OWN vision (bearing in mind we have the skills to fully realise any vision we have), that's the point we would have gone our own way. All that transpired just made it easier.

Mr Brackets is quite a way away from the current code; he left around 2005 due to the politics, and came back for a brief spell to try and help at the end of 2009 when this started to hit the fan, but into 2010 it spiralled and while I know he's busy with real life, I get the impression that he accepted it wasn't ever going to change and put it behind him.

As it happens, I have never quite seen myself on Unknown's level, some of the technical discussions he's been part of sort of put me to shame at times, but then I remember that he's been doing the whole PHP thing on a professional level for longer than I have - he was working with PHP at a professional level when I was still learning the language for the first time.

What we do share, though - what I think people like Zef, like Unknown and like myself and Nao have in common - we share the ability to take inspiration and fully realise it without being afraid of its consequences; all too often I've seen comments from devs about how complex things are (and I've made them with respect to some things people want to do) and not wanting to get involved.

There was a discussion for example about changing the permissions in SMF for 2.1 to go back to how 1.1 does it. Never mind why the changes in 2.0 were done, they're not relevant, they're just 'broken'. They've actively discussed making 2.1's permissions the same as 1.1's, though I doubt that's the final course they'll take. They're not interested in sitting down and polishing every aspect of it till it shines, merely until it's good enough. (I find it hilarious that at least one of the devs refuses to use 2.0 on his own sites because of permissions)

They do an awful lot of talking and not a lot of actual *doing* from what I've seen, maybe because they're afraid of the consequences. Well, Nao and I are officially those consequences, and whatever happens this year, as 2.0 staggers to a final release and then we march on doing what we do, we can safely let you be the judge of whether we did right to go our own way, but it's safe to say, from where we stand, we think we did the right thing.
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Offline Garou

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Thats what I thought I had seen about [Unknown] on the friends site. Ill even admit he probably has more experience but looking at all the support you gave to the community on top of all the code you put into the project as well as all of your own mods...

I think it comes down to passion. In your hay day at SMF, which really wasn't all that long ago reminds me and many others of [Unknown] during the early days of SMF and even Yabb SE. Ive spent a lot of time reading the older boards trying to learn as much as I can to make myself a better programmer. Your commitment to the community and the project are pretty similar.

Not to slight Nao or many of the others that have worked on SMF and supported the community. I have a deep respect for most of those that have been part of the development team and some that have just been part of the community. Well, there have been a few that I cant believe have ever been allowed on the team.. Ok Ill hush  :niark:

None the less, you Arantor, for a long time, I swore you could not be human. Add to the fact that sometimes your brand of help can be overly direct and a bit abrasive (yes I now know that it was due to burn out)... You just had to be a machine!  :D

There was a time not so long ago my friends had me thinking I was some sort of genius if not a web god. Many people I knew at the time and some even now use those WYSIWYG php builders like Front Page. They were amazed that I actually was writing in HTML and I had enough perl knowledge at the time that I could easily bend Yabb to my will. Then I got involved with SMF and saw what many of the rest of you know and can do... Ever since I have been extremely humbled.

Not fishing for a complement there. If the only true knowledge is in knowing you know nothing, I'm at least smart enough to know I'm just a hair above moron. There are times that even that much is debatable too.  :-/

Offline Arantor

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I think it comes down to passion. In your hay day at SMF, which really wasn't all that long ago reminds me and many others of [Unknown] during the early days of SMF and even Yabb SE.
Can't argue with that. It's amazing what happens when passion gets involved.
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I have a deep respect for most of those that have been part of the development team and some that have just been part of the community. Well, there have been a few that I cant believe have ever been allowed on the team..
There have been people that amazed me that were let in. And there have been people that amazed me were kept out. Nao is firmly in the latter category, apparently because of his attitude, except that his attitude is fine. You'll notice that Nao and I have something in common about that, really: Nao and I do disagree about things, but neither of us get angry about it... because we respect each other. Where it falls apart is where people stop respecting what goes in to working on such things.
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Add to the fact that sometimes your brand of help can be overly direct and a bit abrasive (yes I now know that it was due to burn out)... You just had to be a machine!
I don't see any point in wasting time pontificating and being flowery. And I find myself only being abrasive when I ask a straightforward enough question and people waste time answering something else, or going off in random directions "being helpful". Or, the worst, when people don't bother to read what's put right in front of them, that's easily the cause of most abrasion (from both me and Nao, as it happens)
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They were amazed that I actually was writing in HTML and I had enough perl knowledge at the time that I could easily bend Yabb to my will.
Perl was something I never got into, to be honest. Seen it, toyed with it, but generally avoid it, and I have respect for those that brave it.
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Ever since I have been extremely humbled.
A little humility is never a bad thing in my experience. I should note that recently I got told to pull my head out of my ass over something on sm.org, and to be fair they were right, I was a bit vicious :P
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Not fishing for a complement there. If the only true knowledge is in knowing you know nothing, I'm at least smart enough to know I'm just a hair above moron.
In all honesty, that's not entirely fair, IMHO. I'm only about a hair and a sliver about moron ;) It's all relative, really. For example, I don't even know how to drive a car :o

What I do know, though, is that knowing yourself, and more importantly understanding yourself is probably the greatest knowledge you can obtain for yourself.
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Offline CJ Jackson

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Is it possible to refactor the code so it looks nothing like SMF?

Offline Arantor

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It is possible, but distinctly non trivial to just upend it like that, and it still would have the legal status of being a derivative, until such times as everything as has been rewritten.

Chunks of it already have been rewritten and others refactored so it resembles its heritage less and less, but it's still overwhelmingly reminiscent right now.
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Offline Nao/Gilles

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Thanks Garou and Trevor for your posts.
Pete, I'm totally with it on this ;)
("We are the consequence", ahah. So true.)
CJ, are you working on a forum system yourself? (Saw that on your blog...)
Sorry Gilles, not really heard much about you.  But thats cause I am a sleep half of the time.
Nah, that's probably 'cause you didn't use Aeva Media... It was such a 'big' mod (sheer size of it, and the amount of community activity around it), that I ended up having to kill it several times -- each time coming back to it because it tickled me, and each time overwhelming me with the amount of work it represented. I had to choose between AeMe and our fork, so I chose the fork and never got to regret it. Will come back to AeMe later when I finish the port.
Anyway -- I never really got into the SM.org boards. I only posted in a few topics, always the same. No surprise some people never heard of me. Had no urge in posting everywhere. Unlike Pete who HAD to post under a new nickname after he'd left sm.org :niark:
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regardless, Pete, to me (who is Still a Noob user, not permitted to the BIG forum) you were the face of SMF..  I honestly figured without reasearch you were the Lead on the project, and if nothing else thought you were SMF.  Bet you someone is kicking their but now that you two are gone.
They're not kicking themselves, and that's the problem: they've never, ever done anything to hurt themselves -- and if you don't hurt, you don't move forward. Which is exactly what SMF needed... They're in their comfort zone, and they're not planning to move away from it. Seriously... They're so eager not to be involved in anything, that it sounds dumb. Just like this guy I heard on TV today: "Are you religious? - No no no... Neither a believer nor an atheist, all that shit." (News flash: if you're an atheist, you're religious. :mdr:)
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anyway..  I just want to wish you guys the best of luck with all of this, and let you know that I too have been in this kind of situation before.  Working tirelessly to help build something big and because of some narrow minded thinkers, you get pushed out because they know it all.
Well, good thing we had the opportunity to rebuild the thing ourselves then.
Only, it's way more work than I would have anticipated. I originally just wanted to rewrite a few features and include my mods in a default install, ah ah... Well, after 650 commits, we're not even there yet ;) (I mean, we've done tons of things, but I'm not done integrating my mods.)
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Trust me, Your better off now!!!  After reading all of this thread, I too like many here, cant wait to "Convert" It will be worth it.
I'm convinced of it, myself. :)
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