Sean Egan seanegan at
Thu Mar 22 03:15:00 EDT 2007

On 3/21/07, Stu Tomlinson <stu at> wrote:
> I don't like the cabal name in this mailing list.
> Could we please have devel at, in which we discuss issues
> relating to the development of this IM client that we can readily open
> up later on.

(I'm not positive if you're suggesting renaming this list or creating
a new list, so I'll respond to both ideas)

cabal@ is specifically targeted towards discussion specifically linked
(especially directly, unfortunately sometimes indirectly) to our legal
woes. Some of that regards development, especially now that that's the
only development work remaining before 2.0.0. But any discussion about
development that isn't specifically related to the rename should
happen on gaim-devel at

There have already been a few (but not many) instances of development
questions unrelated to the rename being brought up here (I'm probably
guilty of this too), and I've migrated more than one of them over to
gaim-devel@ after the original post. This sort of thing is bad (and
probably the root of your frustration with the list), and I fear that
devel at will only encourage it.

That said, once we can put this all behind us, we will naturally
transition gaim-devel at to devel at, and discontinue
and open the archives to this list. In the interim, I think the name
serves an important role in reminding us that this is not supposed to
be a development list.

In a similar vain, I personally like it because it's slightly harder
to confuse cabal at with gaim-devel at I know I get
nervous and triple check every post I make about something "top
secret," to make sure I'm sending to the right list.

> I also like(d) the open development we have (had) with Gaim and #gaim on
> - would it be premature to suggest #pidgin for a place
> for real time interaction on development issues (presumably a "secret"
> channel for now)?

For development issues, broadly, #gaim should still be the place for
that. If people feel a need for a channel to discuss, specifically,
renaming issues, #pidgin would be fine for that. But again, I worry
this may be a slippery slope.

You'll recall we had #gaim-dev for a long while (or maybe it was
before your time? Chanserv says it was 4 and half years ago). Anway,
#gaim-dev certainly predates some of the people on this list, so I'll

Someone (I honestly forget who, but Chanserv seems to think it was
Robot101) decided that to escape the constant noise of #gaim, it would
be useful to have a "secret, private" channel where only the core
development team would be allowed in to discuss Gaim development
behind closed doors.

It didn't take long for #gaim-dev to become a real old boys' club.
That "open development" on #gaim that you like was, for a while,
happening nearly exclusively in #gaim-dev. It became a huge cultural
problem for the project that we were all guilty of contributing to.

In fact, some people made it a point of pride that they knew about and
could /join #gaim-dev, to the point that they let it "leak" that there
was a secret second channel only for the cool kids. The whole idea of
the channel was patently retarded from the get go, so I eventually
shut it down. Chanserv's flawless memory recounts:

(11:20:46 PM) ChanServ: (notice)        Topic: This channel is closed.
 Really.  We're going to try using #gaim in order to keep our
development community-oriented and open as well as give #gaim
something to talk about other than crap.  We'll come back if it
doesn't work

Someone else might remember more of the details about #gaim-dev, but
that all of us contributed to a secret channel that, in hindsight
should have been such an obviously bad idea before it was even thought
up... that people are starting non-secret discussions on this list...
the fact that you're concerned about the dangers our requirement to
keep a select few certain things secret has on the project as a
whole... it shows how easy it is for even the best intentioned people
(myself included) to forget about openness and community given an

(Please, don't read this as an accusation against anyone that they may
consider their membership on this list a point of pride or ego; I know
everyone here wants this over, done with, and out in the open as much
as everyone else here. But when we have a situation like this, where
it's certainly better to err on the side of caution... naturally
sometimes we actually err.)

So, yeah, if people feel a need to talk as a group, in real-time,
about the specific issues our attorneys have advised us not to discuss
publicly, #pidgin sounds like an appropriate place to do it. But we've
tread down the "secret IRC channel" road before, and it absolutely did
not turn out well at all.

> Apologies for not being as active as I have been in the past, but I feel
> it's almost a closed-source not open-source project at the moment and I
> have enough of that in my "day job".

I, personally, am very sincerely sorry you feel this way. I take
responsibility for the way this legal mess has been handled, and ask
all of you (and will ask all of everyone else) for forgiving me in any
way I've handled this sub-optimally.

I think all of us share your frustrations about cabals and secret
source repositories, but I don't think we'll fix anything at all by
adding *more* avenues for secret back-room discussion.

Of course, anyone on this list can make a mailing list (if you don't
have root access to, just ask), and anyone can make an IRC
channel, and I won't stand in the way of anyone who does so. However,
I think the need for devel at is covered entirely by
gaim-devel at, and the need for #pidgin is covered mostly by
#gaim: we should talk about Gaim development there, and (exclusively)
legally sensitive topics here.

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