Contributed by deanna on from the no decency at all dept.
User A asks for a feature.
Overworked developer A responds with all the information user would need to add the feature himself.
Another call for participation goes out.
More time passes.
User B surfaces from nowhere and reveals that he's done the groundwork, and offers it to the community.
Developer B shows interest, and the serious work begins in earnest. Months pass, with scores and scores of commits being logged as newly re-focused developer works to finish adding this feature.
Now, if you've followed any of the links, you'll see that the original call for participation directed people to the existing Linux driver as a starting point. Nothing unusual here; it's what many of us would say is the single most important freedom in free software: freedom to study.
Since the nature of our community is participatory, the work-in-progress is now stored in a public CVS repository, so that even more people may study and contribute. What lies in CVS could be called a very rough draft. Bits and pieces of necessary information are gathered together while the work itself is being rounded out. If you've ever had to write a paper for school, you can think of it this way: the bibliography has not yet been written; in fact the citations themselves haven't even been decided on yet.
This activity continued for months. I watched closely, because it made me happy to see how well the community can work together for the common good.
And so yesterday I'm sure many in the community were equally stunned to see the message about its removal from the tree, and the thread where Marcus was so publicly attacked for his work which, to our community, was so clearly good-intentioned.
For those of you who only saw it in archives, please allow me to show you the full impact of this message when displayed with the usual headers in an actual mail reader - which is how it must have looked to Marcus Glocker.
From: Michael Buesch <mb> Subject: OpenBSD bcw: Possible GPL license violation issues Newsgroups: gmane.linux.kernel.wireless.general, gmane.linux.drivers.bcm54xx.devel To: Marcus Glocker <mglocker>, Jon Simola <jsimola>, Theo de Raadt <deraadt>, Stefano Brivio <stefano.brivio>, Martin Langer <martin>, Danny van Dyk <kugelfang>, Andreas Jaggi <andreas.jaggi>, Larry Finger <larry.finger>, Quaker.Fang Cc: Johannes Berg <johannes>, Joseph Jezak <josejx>, John Linville <linville>, Greg kh <greg>, bcm43xx <list>, linux-wireless <list>, license-violation <list> Date: Wed, 4 Apr 2007 22:08:13 +0200 User-Agent: KMail/1.9.5 I, Michael Buesch, am one of the maintainers of the GPL'd Linux wireless LAN driver for the Broadcom chip (bcm43xx). The Copyright holders of bcm43xx (which includes me) want to talk to you, OpenBSD bcw developers, about possible GPL license and therefore Copyright violations in your bcw driver.
A little much, wouldn't you say? Yes, there's more, and I will not respond to the legal issues here. I am only interested in providing the backstory so that the Linux people may know what their ridiculous egos have stomped all over and destroyed.
Mr. Buesch, have you no decency?
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