[RC5] If you were writing our next client, what would you put in it?

Jeff Woods jdwoods at bga.com
Sat Apr 24 04:00:20 EDT 1999

At 4/23/99 06:42 PM -0500, Jim C. Nasby (aka decibel) wrote:
>With our new forward momentum and renewed enthusiasm, distributed.net

What?!  Have you not been reading the traffic on the RC5 list?  If anything it
seems to me that there is more dissatisfaction now than I have ever seen in the
530 days I've been contributing blocks to RC5-64, not to mention the days spent
on other projects like DES.

>is finally in a position to begin a new era of open development.
>What this means is that we envision all of distributed.net working
>together to define the protocols and code that will become the
>distributed.net of the future.

[Details of how this is being planned have been snipped.]

>We look forward to hearing your ideas. Thanks again for your continued

Well, it's obvious that this has become a "design by committee" project.  While
it's truly excellent that input and opinions from every is of value, there has
to be someone with a vision and the will to follow through with that vision to
bring all the ideas that aid that vision together.  Without a cohesive vision,
large committees almost invariably wind up designing one big kludge composed of
compromise on top of compromise.  I fear that's what the announcements of the
last couple of days implies for distributed.net, even though I truly hope
that's not the case.

I think Adam Beberg, as founder and apparent visionary of this organization,
brought exactly that to the table.  Yes, I'm sure that distributed.net wouldn't
be anything nearly as successful as it has been without the dedication and work
of many other people.  But I wonder if distributed.net would even have been
conceived, much less gotten off the ground if it weren't for such a vision.

I can't help but wonder with a great deal of interest exactly what has
precipitated the departure of the man I understand to be the founder and
principle visionary of distributed.net, especially with what appears from the
trenches to be an abrupt departure.  As has been commented already, reading
between the lines of the official announcements certainly leads one to believe
that there's much more to the story that's not being told.  If it's a political
power struggle that has precipitated it, I think that an open disclosure of
what went on is due.  If it's a personal matter, then certainly nothing more
specific than noting that such is the case would be due.  This doesn't seem to
be the case, however.  In a grassroots volunteer organization it's especially
important that those not at the center of things be kept informed as to what's
going on in the organization... or does the DCTI executive board now meet at
the Kremlin?

So...  I am sure I'm not alone in wanting to know much more information about
this split in the group, about who will be the technical visionary to lead DCTI
into the future and some supporting plans that justify why the whole bunch of
us shouldn't follow Adam and help with the implementation of Cosm.

P.S.  I hope that no one takes my opinions as a personal attack, because I
don't even know who is trying to fill Adam's boots other than the interim
appointment of McNett and Nasby to posts that I presume were previously filled
by Beberg.  My concern is not one of lack of faith in any individual but
focuses rather on the vacuum left by the sudden departure and the apparent new
policy which I perceive as "Well, I guess we can do whatever we want now. 
Anybody got any ideas where we're going?"

Jeff Woods
Jeff Woods
jdwoods at bga.com  [PGP key available here via finger]

To unsubscribe, send 'unsubscribe rc5' to majordomo at lists.distributed.net
rc5-digest subscribers replace rc5 with rc5-digest

More information about the rc5 mailing list