Take No Unfair Advantage

I made several mistakes in the last few days. I messed up; I screwed up; I took unfair advantage. Mea Culpa.

I’ll write about them in more detail soon. Looking back the main cause was that I did some things out of public view, and thus in doing things in private denied some information from some that everyone had a right to no.

I apologize and I am going to attempt to put into place procedures that will lessen the chance of happening again.

I ran the Jikes project for a year. I begain as the “King” or “Kindly Dictator” and along the way spent more time than I care to admit sorting things out. It was a real-time, slow-time education in open source governance.

I will write this up in detail in the future. When it was all over, I gave a talk about my experiences during that year to a Linux group in NYC in December ’99. At that time I summarized the key principle as:

No member of the OSS community shall take adavantage of another member of the OSS community.

This was based on the Caltech Honor Sysem: It is used to run Caltech: staff, faculty, everybody:

“No member of the Caltech community shall take unfair advantage of any other member of the Caltech community.”

I have trimmed it down so it can work for any community, or for all communities. But you know what, someone expressed this in a single word:



Copyright (c) 2006 by David Shields. Licensed under the Apache License 2.0.


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