Appalling journalism that is iTWire

While I am not a Jeff Waugh apologist (disclaimer: he’s a friend of mine, whom I met through the open source community), I find this kind of journalism, simply appalling.

Five whole pages over the running of a Planet? With pulling out details from the archives of lists? It clearly looks like Sam Varghese is a little bored these days. And iTWire, which is on my “daily” to read list, is on the verge of being removed. Its becoming drivel.

If Jeff was really doing a bad job, and this is after all the open source world, where is the fork of Planet GNOME?

P/S: For added value, read the comments.


  1. Pia Waugh says:

    I find it unsettling, sad and frustrating all at once. But what can you do about it? He seems to not be accountable to anyone, and probably writes a Jeff hate piece once a quarter at least. There was even a particularly bad one posted on April 1st that was pulled within a few hours so I guess they have a line that can be crossed.

  2. byte says:

    Hey Pia!

    You’re right, re: accountability. I’ve noticed some “critical” articles, that generally seem to be somewhat senseless…

    I never saw what came out on April 1, and I guess am thankful…

    Tell Jeff to hang in there, he keeps on getting slammed every once in a while, which really sucks :(

    Nothing we can do about all this. But I for one, am going to find a better news site to visit, iTWire is generally becoming crap… And if our local newspapers decide to syndicate content from there, maybe again, not reading might help

  3. Forking a DNS name such as is not feasible (it is technically possible – but you don’t want to go there). Getting all the people who visit to go to a different address is not really possible. A common practice in community organisations is to just type to get to the Planet installation.

    Therefore the number of forks of a Planet has no real relation to the issue of how well things are running.

    If you can think of an effective way of forking a Planet then I would be very interested to learn about it!

    NB I am not commenting on any of the substantial issues of this discussion. Merely on your claim about forking a Planet.

  4. byte says:

    Hi Russell.

    I didn’t propose “forking” via changing the DNS name.

    Something like can exist. Getting people there? Well, if enough people blog about it, soon that will become the point of interest… Listing it in appropriate indexes (, should also help. If one is determined, and it provides better value, it surely cannot be hard (its how all websites in general, get popular, no?)

    Also, keep in mind that GNOME DNS is run by the gnome sys admin team… In theory, with consensus from the board, they can move things if required.

  5. I just checked, it has Planet GNOME in a special place at the top, I presume that a hypothetical alternate Planet GNOME would not share the same position.

    In the past it had not occurred to me to use to find Planet installations, I had just typed which in recent times seems to work for any technology based community organisation of any reasonable size. I think that most people do the same.

    Getting people to blog about it only works for getting other bloggers to read it, a significant part of the readership (probably the majority but I have no statistics) of any Planet is comprised of fairly casual readers who just browse the HTML version. Unless you have an ongoing series of blog posts about the new Planet (to a degree that it could reasonably considered abusive) then such readers won’t learn about the new Planet.

    Sure the GNOME sys-admin team could move it, presumably they could just appoint new people to the task of running the current Planet installation too. By inductive logic it seems that any criticism of Jeff in this regard is also criticism of the GNOME sys-admin team and of the board.

    Given that in almost every organisation the people who control the DNS also control who can change the Planet (or the other way around) then it seems to me that there is no real option for forking a Planet (or any service based on an Internet address).