I know that Amy will probably be ignoring this post as she usually does but I'm posting this in the slightest hope that she doesn't since I was elected to converse with the SMF Team afterall. Also since the veil of confidentiality has been lifted by her post, I feel obliged to reply to her post in the same way.
For the past few months, many past team members (SMF Friends) have been returning to offer advice regarding our project. There had been ongoing discussions about our business structure as well as our team structure. These discussions were very informative and helpful; however, some of those past team members who returned have expectations of making the decisions regarding the future of a project they left behind. (Some of them left recently but others left over three years ago.) ... and while their advice was (and still is being) considered their demands were not met and many became disgruntled.
That is incorrect and false information. The team was struggling on all sides, both development and management wise and a lot of the SMF Friends (including its founders and valuable contribitors) decided to help in saving their child. Because of the anarchy created by a lot of people talking. A restructuring committee was elected (by the team itself) including Jeff Lewis, a co-founder of SMF by the team to go along with the process.
That disgruntlement became openly abusive aggression and the aggression then turned into childish attacks.
I will admit there were attacks but not only by the past team members but by the present ones as well.
The Staff of SMF chose to ignore the immature actions until such time as it was no longer wise to allow these actions to continue. The negative comments and childish attacks started to hinder the forward motion of the project. The morale of our active team members was slowly being stripped away one post at a time. Some team members left over the hostility and a great many others, including all of our developers, were about to leave if something drastic hadn't been done.
This is a very sad comment as it explains that Amy only sees part of the team as the so called "staff" I was a team member when this happened and we were electing a new project manager to oversee the whole transition process but that vote was interrupted by a select group of people and even an LLC partner and a lot of team leaders weren't notified about the coup d'etat.
Without developers, we would have no future, so the majority of the Developers and Management discussed what drastic action should be taken. A few of the team members had made the suggestion that we should fire and ban the entire team. The decision made by the majority of Devs and Management was that the best course of action would be to force all Team Members to sign an agreement stating that they would not be party to the ongoing hostilities and would respect the project's Core Values rather than ban them. This left the decision up to the members to sign and continue. Sadly, some of our Team Members refused to sign the agreement and we were forced to remove them from the team. Some went gracefully, but the majority chose to become aggressively vengeful. Regretfully, as a result, some of them along with some of members of the community were banned for posting negative propaganda.
The agreement was in violation of the Core Values itself while preaching about equal rights and democracy, it also banned any kind of political talk without offering a healthy election system. Not even saying that the team agreement was forced on by a select group not by the whole team, not even the leadership team.
I convinced the admin responsible for those bans to lift them, but not until a considerable amount of damage was done to both SMF and to my own reputation.
The blog post she is referring to contains pure truth and I swear on it for what it counts. Also, I wasn't approached by Amy when my ban was lifted but instead by someone else which makes the truthfulness of the above comment doubtful again.
Many of the past team members have started a great deal of negative propaganda against SMF and the management for taking the above actions. Most of those who remain on the team are in agreement that the move was needed and while it is regretful to see so many leave our project, we have faith in our remaining team to move forward and continue doing what they do best.
We haven't been doing negative propaganda against SMF, only the management. People keep forgetting why we are making a big fuss about, the reason is because we love it, would you spend 6 hours a day on a thing you don't care about? Geez.
Some people have been so swayed by the negative propaganda that they have become spiteful and in retaliation have removed themes and mods from our site. I am very disappointed by this childish and spiteful act. One of the SMF Team Members has gone so far as to purchase (as in paid real money for) some of the mods from those who originally authored them so those mods would still be available free to the community.
Well he hasn't done it only for that but also out of concern for financial gain over the mods he purchased as well.
My total time investment on the SMF forum alone is over 334 days 4 hours and over 5 days 7 hours on our Online Manual. (This is not including the time creating the Online Manual on another site or moving each existing post from our old wiki system to that new site. Also not included is the time invested to balance the books, handle incoming email, dealing with the accountant, the IRS, trips to the post office, organizing trade shows and other get togethers.)
I don't think that is even a fraction of a contribution to those who have created SMF from nothing
akabugeyes has never asked me to see the books, therefore I have never told him no let alone refused repeatedly. If he had asked, I would have granted his wish.
Well its your legal obligation to keep the LLC members updated, not the other way around.
I have never abused the SMF funds for personal gain. I never even borrowed a dime from the money in the SMF account. But while mentioning this, I'd also like to point out two little ironies... see attachments below and note the amount and date on the check.
Well that can only be proven if you go open with all the books, don't blame if I don't take your word for it
I freely admit that I listened to the advice of our accountant suggesting that I take a salary to help reduce taxes. That money is untouched in a private account (less the taxes that needed to be paid) and I have never even borrowed a dime of it. After 18 months, I stopped taking that salary as it proved to be roughly equal in taxes and is truly a nightmare for bookkeeping. I also want to state that it was never a secret... MANY people were aware of this. If I really wanted to steal from the company, I surely would have kept it private.
WOW, admittance of tax evasion? I hope IRS isn't monitoring simplemachines.org
While I can't take credit for all of the following list, (Projects I was involved in are marked with an asterisk* and projects I headed up are marked with two **) I thought others may like to see what has been accomplished since I joined the team in Dec 2004. The list includes but is not limited to:
- Jan 2005 -- The birth of our Online Manual -- prior to becoming a Project Manager, I was the Doc Coordinator
- Dec 2005 -- Shipped t-shirts to all team members (out of pocket for me) *
- Mar 2006 -- Online Manual goes public *
- Apr 2006 -- I became Project Manager although I had started doing the work June 2005
- Apr 2006 -- 1.1 Beta 2 released
- Jul 2006 -- Arranged the addition of a second dedicated server with our previous host. (Which was delayed by over six months due to the absence our previous PMs.) *
- Jun 2006 -- 1.1 RC2 released
- Oct 2006 -- Formation of an LLC to hold copyright and trademarks for the project **
- Nov 2006 -- PowWow: Transfer of copyright from LM to SM LLC **
- Dec 2006 -- 1.1 RC3 released
- Dec 2006 -- Shipped t-shirts to all team members (out of pocket cost for me) **
- Dec 2006 -- 1.1 Goes Gold
- Mar 2007 -- 1.1.2 released
- Jun 2007 -- 1.1.3 released
- Aug 2007 -- Linux Expo **
- Sep 2007 -- Purchase first two servers (built by dschwab9) and switch/power distribution unit *
- Sep 2007 -- Move to a Data Center *
- Sep 2007 -- 2.0 Beta 1 and 1.1.4 released
- Oct 2007 -- Purchase database server *
- Dec 2007 -- MotM: Meeting of the Minds, a week long team get together in Arizona which 17 people total attended and had flights, hotels (some stayed in my home) and meals provided and each received a t-shirt **
- Jan 2008 -- 2.0 Beta 2 released
- Jan 2008 -- Purchase two additional servers *
- Apr 2008 -- 2.0 Beta 3 released
- Aug 2008 -- OSCON **
- May 2008 -- 1.1.5 released
- Sep 2008 -- Purchase of trademarks *
- Sep 2008 -- 1.1.6 and 2.0 Beta 4 released
- Nov 2008 -- 1.1.7 released
- Jan 2009 -- Sent t-shirt and swag to all interested team members **
- Feb 2009 -- 1.1.8 and 2.0 RC1 released
- Feb 2009 -- CodeFest: Where I opened my own home for a face to face meeting of our Devs. Flights and food were paid for by SM LLC. **
- Mar 2009 -- Purchase two additional servers *
- Jun 2009 -- 1.1.9 and 2.0 RC1-1 released
- Jul 2009 -- 1.1.10 and 2.0 RC1.2 released
- Aug 2009 -- Purchase final two servers needed for full redundancy **
- Nov 2009 -- 2.0 RC2 released
- Nov 2009 -- Sent t-shirt and swag (including usb drive) to all interested team members **
- Dec 2009 -- 1.1.11 released
- Dec 2009 -- Sale and co-location agreement for three old servers **
- Jan 2010 -- GotMe (This was intended to be a full team get together, but only a few had committed and had non-refundable flights purchased when the gathering was canceled.) **
It is funny how most of the people who were involved with you on those projects are all against you now.
I would like to reassure all SMF users that there is no intention of shutting down the SMF project or making it a paid software. While SMF is currently attempting to heal from the wounds of the ongoing battle, I am still optimistic about a great future.
Well if you had ever tried to make SMF paid software, I assure you that I would do anything humanly possible to stop it as well.
I apologize to everyone for not informing you sooner of the ongoing strife, but felt it would be inappropriate to point out the childish behavior of our past team members.
Well way to go Amy
Starting a dialogue with us and personally attacking us here? That is way to build bridges, also it is appearent there is total chaos on your side right now as each manager I talk to plays a different song nowadays.
Just one question: Why aren't you leaving the team? Do you think you are worth as much as all the people who would rejoin in the event you left?