Musings of an anonymous geek

October 21, 2007

“For the Community”

Filed under: Big Ideas,Technology — m0j0 @ 10:08 pm

Sometimes people claim they’re doing things for the good of the community, but I guess that doesn’t necessarily mean they intend to involve the community in the effort :-/

A group of open source/free software users in New Jersey (where I currently reside) learned that the hard way when the maintainer of a web site that advertised it was “For the Free and Open Source Software Communities of New Jersey” posted a shut down notice.

The biggest slap in the face to the community the site was allegedly for was the text of the shutdown notice itself. For example:

“Maintaining GnuJersey has been mostly fun, but I want to prune the list of blogs I read daily, and I can’t do that while I maintain a website featuring some blogs I don’t want to read.”

So… this is a site “for the community” whose shut down notice contains 5 instances of the word “I” in the single sentence that is supposed to give us some clue as to why this is happening.

But wait! There’s more!

“[The site being taken down] is not up for transfer and I will not use DNS to point to a successor blog aggregator.”

Sweet. Not only is he not entertaining the idea of maintaining the site himself, he’s also eliminating the possibility that the site will be maintained “for the community”, by anyone, at *all*.

He does offer to link to a successor site, but insists that we get permission from the syndicated bloggers (and presumably, that we prove that we have said permission), if we expect him to link to us. So, we shouldn’t have any expectations of him to live up to his word and maintain the site “for the community”, *or* to let the community maintain the site for the community, but we should honor his request to prove that we have permission from all of the authors involved to put a successor site in place.

Rich, ain’t it?

Well, I’ve cloned the site here for whoever wants to continue to keep up with their friends and colleagues involved in open source and free software in New Jersey.



  1. Wow. And thank you. I may have been a bit _removed_ from New Jersey lately, but I had made it a habit to check GnuJersey on an almost daily basis. Simply as a way to keep track of what’s going on. We haven’t actually spoken recently, but I know all about your new job and your hard work for the Python magazine. With that link gone (I removed it from my links almost immediately), I have a hard time remembering to check up on everyone.

    On a more interesting note, I may still have access to all the original graphics and artwork if you want them. I just have to check my old backups from the machine I designed it on.


    Comment by haaseg — October 22, 2007 @ 2:42 pm | Reply

  2. Thanks, haaseg!

    I actually was able to grab the main CSS file, and in early testing, it turns out that it works almost 100%, untouched, with the lone exception being that the side bar content winds up at the bottom of the page (but it’s nicely formatted!). If there wasn’t so much content on the front page, it would actually be nice that way! 😀

    If there were graphics and not just formatting and color changes, well…. yeah! Sure! Send them along and I’ll work them in, probably whenever I have a chance to go over the css as well 🙂

    Thanks for the support. Lemme know when you’re in town!

    Comment by m0j0 — October 23, 2007 @ 7:41 am | Reply

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