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Putting things behind me ...
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Putting things behind me ...


Recent events have been very disturbing for me, and even now many defamatory posts and blog entries are being written about me and what I said or didn't say.

The thing is that I don't care, the people who are doing this have their reasons, and at least DSL agreed to honor what in my view are their legal responsibilities ... I will get on with MY shit, and they can keep on making up whatever stories they like.

I have also received much more support than I expected, and that has given me renewed faith in all the different things I am doing.

I want to put a close this unfortunate episode, but as some people have asked me for a summary of "my account" of what happened I have decided to post a copy of what I sent over to one of the guys at Lxer who asked (and forwarded to a couple of others).

I do not really wish to talk more about this, people can say what they like about me, and the rest can make their own mind up ...

Anyway, here it is :

Well the story starts almost two years ago when the DSL guys asked me for permission to include murgaLua in DSL. I was flattered and happy, it was a young project and this was great.

Things continued to go really well as people from the DSL community got involved and became part of the murgaLua community, submitting examples and making very valuable contributions.

I even created builds aimed at DSL, and spent a lot of time working on the issues of targeting systems with older libraries because of it, and kept the core DSL team in the loop of what I was doing.

So far so good, but things started to get weird with my last release, where ironically I removed newly introduced threading features to retain kernel 2.4 compatibility (so it would still work with DSL) ... At that time I was releasing private snapshot(testing) builds, and one of them made it to the latest version of DSL.

The release was a testing release, and not really ready for prime time, so I half-heatedly complained and after not getting a response I made that snapshot build into the official version 0.6.8.

There where some philosophical differences, that where well known, the most important of which was the group of people lobbying for me to release the FLTK bindings that I wrote as a separate binding outside of murgaLua. I repeatedly stated how adverse I was to that idea, as what I was building was a development environment where you could rely on your programs having the same functionality on different platforms. I also did not want to support a binding (with it's inherent issues), or have people using the interface I had created in different and inconsistent ways (furthermore, from my own selfish perspective it would just dilute the proposition offered by murgaLua) ... More information on this can be found in murgaLua forum postings.

Anyway, murgaLua 0.6.8 isn't really a public release, it isn't really even a good release, because apart from what I previously stated it was also untidy and bloaty (in relative terms). Unbeknown to me, due to this (I assume), the DSL guys decided to fork murgaLua (always a contentious issue with any project), and use it in exactly the way I had been trying to avoid (which they had a right to do as I licensed it under the GPL).

This happened for the 4.1.0 release and I was blissfully unaware (still working on features aimed at DSL). I didn't find out until a user reported that DSL had dropped murgaLua. I was pretty shocked and surprised, but sure enough, reading their release notes that's what seemed to have happened. I knew how much of my work they where using, so I was curious to see how they had replaced it.

I downloaded their latest release, looked around and sure enough they where using a standard lua interpreter and it wasn't until I dug deeper that I found some of my lua code and the FLTK binding based on my code.

I was pretty furious, not just because they had used it as a binding, not because they had forked it, but because they had swallowed it without a trace ... To all effects and purposes murgaLua had disappeared other than in a hidden filename somewhere. And all this from people that I was working with/for. One of the first things I did was send them e-mails about this, but I haven't to date had a single response to emails sent to them on this subject.

Free software principles are one thing, but the letter of the law is in the specific license used, so I looked at the GPLv2 and found that DSL had violated it (see attachments). By now I admit was VERY upset, and with no further options I started posting, first to the murgaLua forum, and then to the DSL forum (to get some kind of response).

Things quickly went downhill from here, Mr Shingledecker from DSL was angry with me and the thread was locked. At this time, John Andrews stepped forward and offered to address my concerns ... I had sought legal advice (and been exposed to the cost of it), so I realized the best thing was to settle the matter. The timing also unsurprisingly coincided with the filing of the attached documents, which had been checked (thankfully I was able to exchange work for these services).

Things where looking better and I was ready to move on, but one user (lucky13) seemed bent on representing me as the villain, and he kept on trying to miss-represent and accuse me, so I defended myself. His views where shared by Mr Shingledecker who once again locked the thread with his "final words" about me. Pretty slanderous stuff, and not in the spirit of what John and I had been trying to achieve at the very start of the same thread. Interestingly in that last post a reference was made to "my affiliations", which I can only assume means that Robert has an axe to grind with the Puppy project (which I have been involved with).

Anyway, I sent him a response by e-mail (attached), and left the matter, I received no response (as before).

However, in a further twist I was sent a link to lucky13's blog last night (apparently pretty popular), where he really goes out of his way to discredit me and encourage people to stay away from my projects.

Right now I have no option but to lay low, but the fact remains that despite whatever mistakes I have made in handling this (a posting I made to the Puppy Linux forums was unfortunate), the DSL project appropriated my work in a way that was not legal. Aside from that they acted in an underhanded way towards me, and are now trying to discredit me and my work ... To the point that I am now considering gardening as a hobby :-(

Recently I have come to suspect that Mr Shingledecker and lucky13 are the same person (two identities), as Robert seemed most upset when I was confronting lucky13, and they share the exact same views, post at the same sort of times and miss-represent things in the same way ...

The technical stuff on lucky13's blog also seems like what Robert would post if he had a blog ...

But I'm probably wrong on this.

For your convenience I have attached e-mails, documents and links here :

Log where I communicated events to the murgaLua community :

First thread on DSL forums (locked) :;st=0

Second thread on DSL forums (locked) :;st=0

lucky13's blog (which I REALLY do not wish to promote)

I hope that's enough information for you, really I just want to put this unfortunate episode behind me.

Here are the attachments that where with the message.

Attached File(s)
.txt File  final-email-to-robert.txt (Size: 1.38 KB / Downloads: 6)
.txt File  infraction-details.txt (Size: 1.25 KB / Downloads: 5)
.txt File  takedown-notice-affected-files.txt (Size: 1.85 KB / Downloads: 3)
06-22-2008 04:47 AM
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