Re: New Maintainer for MC Project


   Below is your note posted today.  Below that the full text of the letter, and response, to which you refer, with key sections highlighted and numbered. Programmers can read - I'll let them draw their own conclusions.....

  1. A conversation is proposed regarding "the project", the Midnight Commander project.  The project your quoted comment was discussing.
  2. I clearly state that the Krew does not agree with some of the remarks on the Lists and elswhere that Midnight Commander be scrapped, and an entirely new program be written.  The we feel Midnight Commander is just fine and can have a bright future with the right leadership.
  3. Again, the offer is reiterated, with the sole goal of "keeping the MC Project viable.  This is the only thing we ever proposed.

   My note of June 4, 2005, posted in full on this list, reiterated yet again this fact, and asked specifically if you understood that we were not interested in writing a new application, or a branch of the existing MC, but were offering help to the existing MC Team to continue to work on their project in a pleasant and stable environment.

   Why you now try and say we were, in essence, trying to scavange MC Developers away from the existing project to create a new one I cannot know - but the message traffic shows this in just not so.  In my next note, I underscored this fact (note already posted in full below) saying:
  Regarding a "fresh start", if it was our desire to compete with MC, 
we would have already released our product - this is not our wish. Our
wish is to try and save a distressed project that we all regard highly
and support. We are MC users, too. From what I see in your forums, you
don't need new developers, your developers just need to see their work
used by MC users. New developers are not the answer, new leadership is
the answer.

   My note of June 1st also emphasizes that point, full message below.  In the sentence marked "1)", you acknowledge that you understand that we are talking about giving the current MC Project a home, and no other.  No new project, No fork, THE MC Project.  That was the offer from the start, and nothing else.  Please stop mis-characterizing what I communicated in my messages.

   The notes speak for themselves.


Subject: Re: Awaiting your reply
From: Pavel Roskin <proski gnu org>
To: Fudoki <fudoki bellsouth net>
In-Reply-To: < 429DF5D1 3060504 bellsouth net>
References: <429DF5D1 3060504 bellsouth net>
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Date: Wed, 01 Jun 2005 20:38:34 -0400
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Hello, Terry!

On Wed, 2005-06-01 at 13:52 -0400, Fudoki wrote:
> Pavel,
> The leaders of the Krusader Krew have decided that we should wait a
> few days before directly posting our offer on the Midnight Commander
> Forums to give you an opportunity to respond to my last letter. I see
> the wisdom of this, and will not be posting to the MC Forums until you
> have had time to get back to us with your position on the MC Team
> becoming a part of the Krusader Project.

1) >>>>>>*****Sorry, I didn't realize that the question was about "MC Team becoming a
part of the Krusader Project". I cannot answer on behalf of anyone
except myself. I may join if I have time, but I'm not very optimistic.*****<<<<<

If you are going to create a mailing list, please feel free to subscribe
me. I'll unsubscribe if I have to.

> Our leadership wants to be certain that your feelings on this matter
> receive the consideration they deserve. Please let me know when you get
> a chance. Thanks!

My feeling is that it would be nice to have a file manager with a
maintainable codebase. I don't think anyone would object (maybe except
competing projects).

Pavel Roskin


Sorry, I should have answered this long ago.

On Sat, 2005-06-04 at 05:58 -0700, Fudoki wrote:
> Greetings All!
> My name is Terry Wilkinson and I am on the Docs
> Team and also am the Public Relations Coordinator for
> the Krusader File Manager Project
> ( Our Team
> has been watching this list closely because most of us
> are regular MC users. I have also been talking to our
> leadership, and to Pavel Roskin, about offering to
> become the new Maintainer of the Midnight Commander
> Project, and Pavel has encouraged me to do so.

This is not true. In fact, it tried to discourage you from attempts to
take over the existing project.

That's what I wrote you:

"Fresh start needs developers. If you have developers, you don't need
to talk to me. Just start coding and show me your existing code if you
want me in your team."

>From another message:

"By the way, I think the new project shouldn't be called "Midnight

Either you misunderstood me or you are misrepresenting my words. In
either case, I don't think you should take over the existing project.
If you want mc developers to join your project, show what you can offer

Pavel Roskin


-------- Original Message --------
Subject:     Re: A new day for MC?
Date:     Thu, 26 May 2005 15:01:32 -0400
From:     Pavel Roskin <proski gnu org>
To:     Fudoki <fudoki bellsouth net>
References:     <200505241901 27639 fudoki bellsouth net>


On Tue, 2005-05-24 at 19:01 -0400, Fudoki wrote:
Dear Pavel,

   I am a longtime MC user and fan.  I am also the PR Coordinator for the "Krusader Krew".  We are the project that makes the Krusader File Manager, so we understand all the issues and concerns you raise, firsthand.  Been there, and are doing that.

1) >>>>>*****In reply to your suggestion that " If someone else can take the responsibility for the project and make a release, I'm fine with it"; the Krew has discussed your Project's current dilemma.

   All of us are MC users, and many of us use MC as much as we use our own Krusader (they have different areas of usefulness) - so we say this as not only as co-developers, but also as avid supporters, and loyal MC users: We would be willing to have a conversation with you, and your lead developers, about allowing your team to "find a home" in the Krusader Krew's project.*****<<<<<

I'm not sure you really understand the problem.  The problem is not with
hosting or "having a home".  The problem is that I don't have enough
time to deal with the project properly.  This problem exists since
January 2003.

I'm struggling to reply to all personal e-mail I'm getting regarding the
project.  Right now, there are about 20 e-mails to reply in my queue.

As for the mailing lists, there are hundreds e-mails I haven't seen
since the last prerelease.  This sort of defeats the purpose of
prerelease because the feedback gets ignored.

There are other developers doing some work, but I don't see anybody who
could take over the project.

Maybe we need more decentralization, but I don't think I could be the
leading maintainer even in this case unless working on mc becomes my
full-time job.

The project requires a lot of expertize.  Somehow I'm supposed to be
able to evaluate Python syntax highlighting or issues with Tamil
translation.  Or I need people whose judgment I can trust.  In any case,
I need to be able to be reachable almost every day, and it's something I
cannot promise.

I cannot see how your project can help here.

   We can make your infrastructure and marketing problems go away literally overnight, and provide an environment where your team can focus on their work in a supportive and positive environment.

Marketing problems?  What do you mean?  Maybe I just wasted my time
explaining you the real problem?

   Best of all, we are all about file management and developing innovative new ways to deal with file management, so your needs and challenges are already well understood by us.

 2)  >>>>>*****Trying to forge a new project from the old, as some have suggested on your forums would only introduce further problems and, by itself, solve none.  Yet some positive, affirmative, action must be taken for the good of all concerned.*****<<<<<

Let's stick to technical terms here.  What is "forge"?  Do you mean
rewriting the whole codebase or gradual cleaning of the existing code?

 3)  >>>>>*****If you feel that a "fresh start" would keep the MC Project viable, and facilitate the development process and morale of your team, let's talk.  I believe you will find we have a lot in common, and a lot to offer.*****<<<<<

Fresh start needs developers.  If you have developers, you don't need to
talk to me.  Just start coding and show me your existing code if you
want me in your team.

   We are deeply committed to the Open Source Movement, and would normally have posted this offer in open forum, but for several reasons, our leadership felt I should direct this offer to you first, to ensure fairness and as a courtesy.  Please understand that we are in no way being secretive or using "back channels".  It's just that no useful purpose would be served by putting you "on the spot"; we want to help, not "fuel the fire".

I'll appreciate if you post in mc-devel gnome org.  Please be more
detailed in your proposal.

   The Krew extends it's support, encouragement, and if it is desired and would be helpful, our material assistance to keep what we consider a very worthy and worthwhile program that we value and use alive for years to come.

I'm on H-1 visa in the USA until November 2005, and it doesn't allow me
to be paid by anyone except my employer.  You may be more successful
hiring other developers in the meantime.

Pavel Roskin


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: A new day for MC?
Date: Wed, 01 Jun 2005 03:29:24 -0400
From: Fudoki <fudoki bellsouth net>
To: Pavel Roskin <proski gnu org>
References: <200505241901 27639 fudoki bellsouth net> <1117134092 2637 26 camel dv>

Dear Pavel,

Thanks for the prompt reply. Sorry for the holiday delay in my reply.

To be blunt, you have confirmed our understanding of the problem: You
simply do not have the time to properly manage the MC Project and allow
it to prosper. Your frankness in pointing this out is appreciated.

The purpose of my note was to come forward and offer to take over the
MC project, and make it a "division" or "department" of the Krusader
Project, with a great deal of autonomy and the ability to move forward
under leadership dedicated full time to developing the best File
Management Tools available. To allow Midnight Commander to move to "the
next level" and continue to be the great tool it has been for so long.
I assure you, that as the person designated to guide this effort should
the MC Team wish to join forces with the Krew, that MC will remain a
distinct and viable application. There will be no merging with
Krusader. These programs serve two entirely different needs.

I am "retired" after a long career of application development and
interface design (26 years), but at 52, still have a few good years left
in me - and I CAN devote the time and effort necessary to make Midnight
Commander prosper and grow again. I will do this - if the MC Team so
desires. I have the Krusader Krew behind me 100%, and we can do this,
and do it right!

Clearly the MC Project cannot continue as is, and there needs to be a
change where the time and effort required to make such a project
responsive to the needs of it's users, and the wishes of it's
developers, is invested in the project. The Krusader Krew has the
resources and the talent to do this. We believe we can do a better job
at this than is currently being done.

There is certainly no shame in your situation, you have serious
responsibilities and the MC Project must be balanced against your "real
job". From reading the Forums, one would think you had nothing else to
do in the minds of some people. We know better, and appreciate that
your professional duties must come first. This is only right, and we
respect you for it.

If you want to see someone who has the infrastructure, expertise, and
desire to take over the MC Project and make it continue to be
successful, look no further - we are here, now. We want to do this.

The Marketing Problems I mention refer to your website, and your
ability to reach out to your users, and to the market - again a function
of available time. We have a Marketing Team ready and able to keep up
with the needs of your users and give the MC Project the kind of
positive press it deserves, after sustaining so much criticism and
doubt. Our excellent website facilities and documentation group can
also be responsive in ways I don't think your team can even consider
right now. And we can do this right away.

Pavel, folks are expecting you alone to do the work of ten men. We
have ten men, and more.

When I mention "forge" a new project, I use the word "forge" in the
sense of making a new product, a code rewrite, as has been mentioned on
your forums many times. How your developers wish to proceed, should
they wish to join forces with the Krusader Krew, will be up to them, but
considering your code base, which has been fully evaluated and reviewed
- I can say I would not be against a complete re-write that preserved
all functionality but took advantage of the tools and techniques in use
today. Again, this would be up to the MC Developers, since it is their

Regarding a "fresh start", if it was our desire to compete with MC,
we would have already released our product - this is not our wish. Our
wish is to try and save a distressed project that we all regard highly
and support. We are MC users, too. From what I see in your forums, you
don't need new developers, your developers just need to see their work
used by MC users. New developers are not the answer, new leadership is
the answer.

Finally, out of order of your questions (below), this is an Open
Source project and when we say we will help the MC Project materially,
we are not offering you money, or anyone else - we ARE offering to
devote our considerable talents, our fine infrastructure in terms of our
website and docs team, and our considerable programming skills, and
mainly our strong leadership skills to getting the MC Project back on
track so it can once more be a productive member of the Open Source
Community. The MC Project, in our view, is no longer a "one man job" in
terms of management. We have the resources to address this problem.

Your request that we bring our offer directly to your Developers
thorough your Forums is appreciated, and will be done without delay. We
wanted to contact you first, as a courtesy, and in the spirit of
cooperation, to see if you would like to remain associated with the MC
Project, would support the MC Project becoming a part of the Krusader
File Manager Project, and determine what your ideas and opinions were as
to the current problems and the best way to solve them. Certainly your
insights and views can be one of the most valuable assets of the MC Team
- if you can just catch your breath and contribute, and stop being
swamped with correspondence, complaints, and complainers....

Your candor and frankness is appreciated, and confirms our findings,
that you are looking for someone to take over the project who has the
capabilities and desire to make MC continue to be an important Open
Source Application. We want to do that and sincerely solicit your
approval and blessing in this effort. Will you support us in this
effort? We are not interested in a coup d'etat, or a mutiny; we would
very much like for you to ask your team to take a look at what we have
to offer and see if they think this is a positive step for them. I will
follow through on your suggestion, and make a post to the MC Forums, and
I hope you will be supportive of our sincere and friendly offer. I hope
you will join with us in this effort. In many ways you are not
replaceable, regardless the many good things we can help with.

The leadership of the Krusader Krew has asked me to be the liaison in
this effort, in part because of my past experience as a Network Manager
at the Univ, of Georgia College of Education (8years), and partly
because I have been a Project Manager on several major software projects
over the years - all successful and industry leading. I want the
Midnight Commander Product to be a complimentary product to Krusader -
they do not compete for the same space; yet the underlying technologies
can be very complimentary. I truly believe we can integrate the MC
product into the Krusader Project in a way that maintains it's autonomy,
and makes both products better in the long run.

I sincerely hope you will support us in this effort, in whatever
level of involvement your professional duties allow. We can handle the
"heavy lifting", the day to day email and details, and allow the MC
Developers to once again be productive, and mainly, happy in their
work. Your advice and ideas will be most appreciated and welcome. More
importantly, Midnight Commander will get the fresh start it deserves and
can move forward to the delight of it's users, developers, and supporters.

Please let me know your thoughts on this. This note, and the
previous one, I consider between us, unless you decide otherwise. Thanks!

With warm regards,

Terry Wilkinson
PR Manager
Krusader Krewz

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