Plagiarism from msn-pecan

Felipe Contreras felipe.contreras at
Sat Aug 1 14:24:43 EDT 2009

On Sat, Aug 1, 2009 at 9:02 PM, Ka-Hing Cheung<khc at> wrote:
> On Sat, 2009-08-01 at 12:40 +0300, Felipe Contreras wrote:
>> Hi,
>> It looks like you guys took msn-pecan idea to close a switchboard
>> after one minute[1] into Pidgin[2] in order to solve the infamous
>> switchboard timeout error. That's good, however, you didn't gave any
>> credit; that's plagiarism.
> I tried to comment on your blog, but for whatever reason it didn't go
> through (I tried posting again and it detected double post, so it
> probably got to the moderation queue), maybe you only want people to
> hear your side of the story anyway?

Yeah right, how about you don't let your imagination fly and go for
the most reasonable explanation: it was detected as spam. Thanks for
pointing that out, I've accepted the comment.

> Anyhow, this was the comment I was trying to post last night:
> ========
> Hi felipe,
> It's actually not true that I copied your fix, in fact I explained this
> in #pidgin (right after you left though, I was working and didn't pay
> attention):
> (18:31:37) felipec left the room
> (18:32:21) khc: actually, I knew what was required to fix that timeout
> bug before that, but that discussion prompted me to actually do it
> The day I fixed it I also mentioned in #pidgin:
> (09:43:09) khc: ya, I was going to do that too
> (09:43:14) khc: I wasn't aware that pecan does that
> (09:44:12) khc: (and sometimes the swboard can close < 1 minute too
> depends on the network)
> So ya, I didn't mention that the fix came from you, because it's simply
> not true.
> I asked in #3330 for a valgrind log because the guy who commented right
> before said it crashed for him. I've also observed this happened before
> 1 minute of idle time (the other end was using the offical client too),
> while other times a longer idle time didn't cause any problem. Another
> thing I planned but don't have time to do yet is change the retry to use
> offline message instead of over the switchboard.
> Plagiarism is a serious accusation, and extra ordinary claims require
> extra ordinary evidence. I hope you will think twice before making
> similar claims in the future.
> ========
> Now that I see other comments, I don't remember exactly when I came up
> with the idea, but it was definitely a couple weeks before that
> conversation. As Stu pointed out, the idea isn't novel or anything, so I
> don't know why you are so surprised that others can come up with the
> same. Maybe I should have credited you even though it's not true?

Coming up the idea is easy, the hard part is the investigation and validation.

Did you know the idea would work? How? And why didn't you mentioned it
in the bug report?

As you can see from the story people were complaining in #pidgin, and
Pidgin developers didn't acknowledge it as a problem, which points out
that if you had that knowledge, you didn't bother to share it with
anybody. Convenient.

> Anyhow, I am not sure if I have convinced you that I came up with the
> idea independently, but if I didn't, I am not sure what else I say
> would, so I will try to make this my last email on the subject.

You have convinced me that you came up with the idea. You haven't
explained how you *knew* it was going to work.

Felipe Contreras

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