[volunteers] [svlug] Linux to Politics ratio

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Sun Dec 2 00:43:56 PST 2007

Quoting Daniel Gimpelevich (daniel at gimpelevich.san-francisco.ca.us):

> On Sat, 01 Dec 2007 22:19:30 -0800, Rick Moen wrote:
> > And you know what?  He looked startled!
> Sometimes appearances can be deceiving....

If you'll read the archives of this mailing list, you'll note that he
was also _completely_ unaware of Linode's upgrade of hardware resources
at Lisa's request -- which request he personally authorised -- though it
was discussed _right here_ in threads he was personally involved in,
eleven months ago.  This has been a long-term trend:  Things are
discussed in great detail but aren't registering.

E.g., I asked Paul _twice_, right here on this mailing list, if he's
_sure_ he wants to insist on reintroducing, against my professional
advice, the very same SPoF problem into the domain contacts that nearly
cost the group ownership of svlug.org last time -- which disaster I
personally saved the group from at the last minute because I was
independently monitoring expire dates -- and who he wants to implement
the domain changes.

I also reminded him in both mails that we still need the Registrant
authentication password for svlug.net, which Heather set differently
from svlug.org (probably inadvertantly).

On the second reminder, I referred to the first request, and said this
was a repeat of it.  He never responded.

So, no, I don't think appearances were deceiving.

, and although I can't make an
> informed judgment as to whether they were here, but I do know that most of
> us were well aware of your aversion to the wiki migration idea, and I'm
> finding it very hard to believe that Paul was genuinely unaware of it. 

> If you seriously propose that the new website have in place the very same
> RCS-based editing procedure, then you should be prepared to become the
> sole maintainer of the website's pages in perpetuity. Otherwise, wiki it
> is...

In the first place, I refuse to believe that anyone with a genuine
desire to edit Web pages cannot handle ssh'ing in, "co -l", and "ci -u".  
Reed thought we'd instantly be flooded with capable people who would be
glad to give capable help with Web page maintenance if only they could
avoid evil text editors and RCS checkout.  I called that bunk then, and
I call it bunk now.  You disagree?  OK, fine, you're welcome to your

In the second place, there are even wrappers already in place for vim
(at least) that automate the (incredibly simple) RCS checkout and

In the third place, I notice that it's really easy for someone like you
to dictate software requirements that _other_ people will need to implement.  
J. Paul Reed and Micah Dowty had that same attitude:  "Gosh, Rick, 80MB
is _plenty_.  You should be able to get Apache httpd, Exim4,
spam-interception, MoinMoin, sshd, spfd, and a nameserver running in
that with _no_ problem!  Quit bitching and go do it."  So, I tried, and
after a lot of tricks that Micah never dreamed of came really close to
making it feasible.  

So, in your case:  It's really easy for you to tell _other_ people that
they should substitute a wikified version of the Web site, as if the
recoding were easy and quick rather than a monumental amount of work.
As it happens, I personally _did_ about 80% of that recoding, in order
to drive the wiki project to completion even though I fundamentally
disagreed with its basic rationale.  What remains is a lot of hard
slogging through tables on some pages, some recoding of speakers'
presentations, the CGIs cited, and other things you can see scrupulously
documented (by Heather and me) on the front page of
http://gemini.starshine.org/SVLUG/ .  If you think the remaining tasks
are easy, prove it by doing them.  Please, I'll be utterly delighted to
be proven wrong.

And, remember, actually getting lighthttpd/FastCGI/MoinMoin operational
is unproven, and getting the "gemini" contents exported and then
reimported on Linode is unproven.  You think all that is easy?  Easy for
you to _claim_.  Meanwhile, the duplication of the existing site is
_done and works_.

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