Who is representing Mambo?

Who is representing Mambo?

Summary: If a great project like Mambo can be split like this, it makes it that much more difficult for a business to trust its future to open source, any open source.

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Mambo Foundation logoI took a call from Brussels, Belgium, this morning, from Ben Kwiecinski.

It was about Mambo, the open source CMS project. A dispute between Miro Software, which created the original code, and its development team, has resulted in Miro placing the code with a foundation it created and the developers walking away from it.  

Kwiecinski was pretty down on the Foundation. "This foundation hasn’t done anything right as far as I’m concerned," he said. As he talked it reminded me of what happened at a neighbor's church, where the pastor wanted one thing and the deacons another. The pastor left, and parishioners had to choose. (Most went with the pastor.)

"All this was sprung on us a few weeks ago," said Kwiecinski. "This is not the way to do it. The foundation needs to come from within the community, and it must be a consultative process, or people feel alienated."

MamboI don't know who's right here. I do know that CMS software is mission critical to many businesses (maybe to most businesses), that Mambo has been downloaded 5 million times, and that those users are now caught east of the rock and west of the hard place. Should they follow the fork? Which side is the fork?

And what does this say to the open source community at large? If a great project like Mambo can be split like this, it makes it that much more difficult for a business to trust its future to open source, any open source.

My guess is users will choose, in time, based on performance. Kwiecinski makes it sound like a freely competitive situation. "We’ll have two people doing the same thing, with the same code, in the same way, just under another name." But a year from now, or two, people will have to choose, and either way they go, they're going with an outfit that is smaller (when compared to proprietary competitors) than it would be otherwise.

Why not just call Oracle? 

Topic: Software Development

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9 comments
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  • A bit confused here...

    ""This is not the way to do it. The foundation needs to come from within the community, and it must be a consultative process, or people feel alienated."

    Ummm, why? Does this person think a committy is better at anything and everything? Isn't the um, best part of open source the fact you can take it freely and build real products on it? Hasn't that in fact been promoted as a method to making open source a viable "business plan"?
    No_Ax_to_Grind
  • Not a big deal

    (posted anonymously)

    "I do know that CMS software is mission critical to many businesses (maybe to most businesses), that Mambo has been downloaded 5 million times, and that those users are now caught east of the rock and west of the hard place."

    Are they? The deployed application is quite mature. Users can follow which ever fork they wish when they need future updates. While an annoyance, I don't see this as a black eye for open source. Even after a major conflict, the codes open and can be maintained. There is no such security when there's a shake up at a closed source vendor.
    arny27@...
  • Irresponsible Developers

    These irresponsible developers basically hijacked the entire Mambo ship and they did it wihout consulting with the community. They act like they ARE Mambo. Now, they have split off, fractutred the community and can't seem to agree on a plan forward -- all they do is issue press releases and let the community argue and speculate. It's a worst case example of open source development practices. If they don't like the Foundation, then change it! I read the Foundation's documents -- the mechanisms are there. Mambo is GPL. There's no threat of it being taken over by Miro. It's unproffessional "I'm taking my toys and going home" B.S.
    smack_z
    • Miro mambles ...

      Take a look at the next posting by Dana ... SugarCRM has at
      least always been upfront about what it was doing.

      The Miro folk say they were in consultation with the core
      developers about the establishment of a foundation; the core
      developers seem to deny this. Miro concedes that in the end,
      only one core developer was to be on the foundation board of
      directors.

      Whatever Miro's intentions, this has been a public relations
      disaster for Miro and had the company brought in just one
      professional communications specialist before announcing the
      establishment of the foundation, this schism probably wouldn't
      have happened.

      There are many open source projects where a commercial
      endeavor has a hand in the development, but the most
      successful is another CMS, Zope. Though there is friction
      between the community and Zope Corp., it's mild compared to
      what happened with Mambo/Miro.

      In 20 hours a new brand will be launched that will have the
      backing of the former Mambo core development team (that's 19
      people, BTW, and not one decided to stay with the Miro project)
      as well as the new community, which includes more than 2800
      people who have signed up in the last 14 days.

      And the word Mambo will (quickly) fade from memory.
      dmcole
    • Get the FAQs before commenting

      While I respect your opinions on this as a member of the community, I do have to ask you to read the forum at OpenSourceMatters.org before saying that they have no plan forward or that they just argue. They have a clear roadmap, they have good support for users and developers and they want to produce the best CMS around. None of that has changed. What has changed is that they have been shut out from inputting into the future directions of Mambo. Mambo was first and foremost a community project - the Foundation doesn't allow that. To develop for it, you have to sign up with the Foundation - and agree to all their stipulations. There is no room for altering the practices: it is drawn up, signed and, in short, a done deal. That forces those who wish to actually contribute to the project freely and with a community mentality, to leave the Mambo community and go with the lead developers. It took a lot of courage for them to do what they did - an uncertain future etc.

      How about the communities support the CMS they want and contribute, at least for OSM.org, as they can.
      live2teach
      • Like a little lamb.....

        Sorry, all that I have seen is a bunch of misguided developers blowing up a situationa that didn't need to be blown up. What is funny is that people just sudddenly felt the need to start slamming on Miro for no real reason. OSM team is no different. Look at who several of the main dev team members are? They all started a company called Jambo that provides commercial support and development for Mambo/OSM. If Miro has the foundation then Jambo had a distinct and heavy hand on the Dev team.

        But no one wants to think ill of some group of people running around using the words "open-source" as a masquerade for their own over-inflated egos. It's been under a week and some of the peeps are still bagging on Miro because they haven't quite gotten all of the development roles filled out and there are still bug fixes that need to be done. It wasn't Miro's fault - the devs up and bailed.

        As much as the dev team doesn't want to admit it, the members filled out by the Jambo team pose the exact same level of purported "conflict of interest" that they've taken to beating Miro with.

        While I think Peter Lafont may have some issues, Andrew Eddie and the rest of the mutineers are really not that much different. So maybe live2teach you should really look a little deeper into the situation than just a couple of forum posts. Oh, and last time I looked, there are no openings on the dev team for OSM. If this is truly a collaborative effort, why aren't they allowing more of the community to contribut the core? And if you say anything to the effect of "managing resources" you may want to reconsider what Miro was trying to do.
        xgrendel
        • Message has been deleted.

          myfevertoy
  • Mambo/OSM is the proof - OS works

    It is my opinion that these events only strengthen the position that open source projects and the GPL can be viable. Miro believes the project should be taken one direction and the core project teams believe it should go another. Regardless of who you believe the project will undoubtedly survive one way or the other.

    I?ll admit my personal bias; I believe the project teams acted in the best interests of the project and community. My opinion is based on a reasonable examination of the published rules governing the foundation. Which brings me to the conclusion that the very nature of the GPL allows the project to survive and serve the community who uses it regardless of any one group?s agenda. I think it is important to note that all of the project teams (translation, documentation, etc) and most third party developers have expressed support for the development team?s decision.

    If you?re using the product in a production environment you have no real risk because of these events. If both teams decided not to continue development on the product you could still continue to use the existing stable version. The source code is open so you can make any changes that are required as your clients needs change, try that with a proprietary solution. This is the beauty of open source, no one can tell you that your license has expired and when support is necessary you have the source.
    gkanks_z
  • The split is not unprecented

    I seem to recall a similar event occuring when Xorg split off from XFree86. The founder of XFree86 got greedy and wanted to everything his way. As a result many, if not most, distro's today come with Xorg instead of XFree86. Most users, like me, never noticed the transition until they read about it in the news. I'm not even sure XFree86 is still out there.
    xyz
    km4hr@...