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Sorta like bootleg tape trading..

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56 replies to this topic

#1
fdv

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...That's what this has come to.
The Backstory Of Recent Events

Tomcat76 took an extended leave of absence and although we know his name, we're unable to contact him. It's a wasted effort -- even emails we're SURE are also him get denied. In Tomcat's case, he was someone who I call "overdedicated" to the project. He was encouraged to spend some time outside, so to speak, and one day he finally did. He went from posting here every few hours to... just gone. In Tomcat's case, it was for the best.

TommyP caught a break when Tomcat was doing heavy development but when it got dumped back into his lap, it became another job taking up hours of his time and he got nothing for it. (And let's be serious -- forcing people to pay for it? How far would he get?) It wasn't the money anyway, it was the tremendous effort and being asked 20 or so times per week here and via private e-mail about use in a corporate environment. We've been over the software licensing issues time and time again; the most recent time, it resulted in a change of license (even though we were pretty clear that the first license, the GPL, explicitly disclaimed covering use as "beyond the scope" of the license).

Putting in time and effort is one thing; imagine having to patiently type replies to a dozen people a week who are, or want to, use HFSLIP in their workplace. Maybe Tom could have made the license extend to workplaces limited to three or four employees, or make users promise in blood to leave him alone, but he didn't. He wasn't worried just about lawsuits. Imagine if Corporation X lets IT Guy Joe Sixpack go and they want to know why Add/Remove programs has HFSLIP in it -- what is that? Maybe they're delighted! What's Tom supposed to do when they turn to him for support right here in MSFN?

He can refuse, sure, but at some point it gets to be too much. Microsoft can cover all of that. Tom isn't a professional software engineer, he's a hobbyist who makes software for OTHER hobbyists. HFSLIP quickly presented a scalability challenge with respect to it's creator. He's got a fairly demanding day job, a girlfriend, assorted esoteric hobbies (like building tube amplifiers), but HFSLIP took on a life of it's own. It was a combination of these things that led him to not only take a leave from MSFN for a while, but to pull the software and be "done" for good.

I barely have time anymore for support here, and in any case it's gotten way too complex for me to support. No one else stepped up to the plate after Tomcat76, there were petulant demands on Tom* and no pay, so the program is no longer available for download.

*Remember, what you see here in MSFN is the polite stuff. Imagine getting a dozen e-mails a week that are demanding in tone -- eventually, it will be beyond money, it will just p--- you off.

Tom's not naive; he knows he can only police this forum and the website, so HFSLIP will no longer be available at these locations. I personally will not be distributing it in accordance with his wishes. Forum posts will simply have the binary attachment removed (again, this is what he wants).

HFSLIP may be "around," but it no longer lives at this address.


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#2
jaclaz

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Sorry fdv,
though I know nothing about what happened and the people involved, the License of HFSLIP is clear enough, it's the Creative Commons one, and the first prompt is also clear enough:
ECHO ========TommyP's 2K3/XP/W2K/IE HOTFIX SLIPSTREAMER LICENSING AGREEMENT=========
ECHO.
Echo You are free
echo    (1) to Share - to copy, distribute and transmit HFSLIP (the work) 
echo    (2) to Remix - to adapt the work 
echo.
echo Under the following conditions:
echo (1) Attribution. You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the
echo     author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse 
echo     you or your use of the work). 
echo (2) Noncommercial. You may not use this work for commercial purposes. 
echo (3) Share Alike. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may
echo     distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to 
echo     this one. 
echo.
echo For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the license
echo terms of this work. The best way to do this is with a link to 
echo http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/deed.en

So, what's the sense of "policing" this Forum (or the Website)? :unsure:

I mean, should I attach a copy of HFSLIP to any of my posts on MSFN would it be removed? :ph34r:
And on which basis? :w00t: (No, I am not going to break Rule #8, it's an hypothetical question ;))

HFSLIP is redistributable, no matter if the Author changed his mind later. :angel

jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz, 26 May 2010 - 09:26 AM.


#3
bfc_xxx

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HFSLIP is redistributable, no matter if the Author changed his mind later. :angel

jaclaz


Ok, if you decide to redistribute it, are you ready to help hundrends of users, answer their questions and develop the script to solve their problems???
And also if you change the license and permit the use to corporate enviroment are you ready to face the lawsuits from large companies in case something goes wrong?

#4
kenlau

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HFSLIP is redistributable, no matter if the Author changed his mind later. :angel

jaclaz


Ok, if you decide to redistribute it, are you ready to help hundrends of users, answer their questions and develop the script to solve their problems???
And also if you change the license and permit the use to corporate enviroment are you ready to face the lawsuits from large companies in case something goes wrong?


Thanks for the info. I can certainly sympathize with regards to some of the more petulant if not downright rude emails demanding support for HFSlip. It never cease to amaze me how demanding some people get even though they are getting the software free.

Nonetheless, I really do not see the point of deleting all the links. Just a simple message that HFSlip has ended and no longer supported will suffice will it not? Afterall, there is still demand for this utility. When I search the web for a copy of the latest beta, I even found Japanese websites for HFSlip! Still, it is the authors' decision whether they want to leave the links, or delete it, but I hope and the end of the day, TommyP will reverse his decision and leave the software on the site.

For all the prats that are rude demanding support, there are still good people here that support each other.

#5
submix8c

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:( Durn! Probably didn't even get the latest/lastest one...

Someday the tyrants will be unthroned... Jason "Jay" Chasteen; RIP, bro!

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#6
jaclaz

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:( Durn! Probably didn't even get the latest/lastest one...

Oww, comeon! ;)
http://www.msfn.org/...howtopic=144214

@All
The point I was trying to raise is that while the Authors :thumbup have all the rights in the world to:
  • STOP supporting it
  • STOP developing it
  • CLOSE the related site

It seems to me:
  • pointless to accurately remove the file(s) from everywhere.
  • unmotivated to "police" MSFN Forums about a LEGALLY REDISTRIBUTABLE file (or threatening to do so)

The app is now in NO OFFICIAL SUPPORT status, fine, what's the problem? :w00t:

Ok, if you decide to redistribute it, are you ready to help hundrends of users, answer their questions and develop the script to solve their problems???

Redistributing, at least on my copy of the dictionary, mean "redistributing", NOT "redistributing AND supporting", nor "redistributing AND suporting AND developing".

And also if you change the license and permit the use to corporate enviroment are you ready to face the lawsuits from large companies in case something goes wrong?

Besides the above ("redistributing" does not mean "redistributing AND change it's license"), this cannot be done.

If you had actually READ the license, you would have seen that the clauses are transferrable.
HFSLIP (or a derived work) CANNOT be rightfully licensed commercially.


jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz, 26 May 2010 - 01:42 PM.


#7
Tripredacus

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The app is now in NO OFFICIAL SUPPORT status, fine, what's the problem? :w00t:


Exactly, that hasn't stopped people from using Win 9x. :ph34r:
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#8
Acheron

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I think now the project is abandoned HFSLIP should get a proper Open Source license. Tomcat76 and TommyP just don't understand how Open Source software works.

Edited by Acheron, 26 May 2010 - 03:03 PM.

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#9
tommyp

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I totally agree with FDV. As far as just making HFSLIP an open source utility, please re-read jaclaz's post a few just above this one. He nailed it right on. Yes, that means you Ancheron. Open source and other licenses have been beaten to death on this hfslip subforum. It's been beaten to death on the nlite forum too. Usually it's people who want to use it for corporations/businesses. HFSLIP was written for the normal home user, who wants to reload his PC in a quick manner. The target audience usually does not care about licenses, because, well, he's just using it for his own use. The program was not written for the lazy sack of sh!t IT guy wants to cut time of reloading OSs. He's paid to reload OSs to proper way in accordance with Microsoft standards, which is the "legal" way of installing the OS.

For such a popular piece of software as everybody says, can you say not a single dime was donated in well over 2 years. Maintaining this for users who demand fixes for free just isn't fair. Hell, would anyone out there donate 20+ hours a week to help someone they don't know without? And do that without getting paid? Forget it! I'd rather do things around the house or continue building my home audio equipment.
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#10
tain

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I'm sad to see this project reach the end. Too bad I didn't review the latest update to the site before uploading tommyp's update, maybe I could have argued about it :) Speaking of the site...what should it be now? Anything? Something?

#11
fdv

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I mean, should I attach a copy of HFSLIP to any of my posts on MSFN would it be removed? :ph34r:
And on which basis? :w00t: (No, I am not going to break Rule #8, it's an hypothetical question ;))

HFSLIP is redistributable, no matter if the Author changed his mind later. :angel

jaclaz


Ah, a clever edit.

I hope I was clear on the not naive part.
It's why I put "like bootleg" trading.
It's out there and has a life of it's own. We know about other sites.

It just won't be in this neighborhood, unless its creator changes his mind. Tom's not going to haunt you in your dreams. But he's perfectly within his rights to stop distributing it himself, and the website and this forum is how he does that. No, the license has not changed from CC. Does it need to? Nope. By removing the binary, he's stopped his own distribution.

If you share the binary privately with your friends, that's all you.

The CC license does NOT mean that TommyP is forced to offer HFSLIP for download.

#12
My2GirlsDad

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While I'm sad to hear of tommyp's decision to stop support for this great program, I can fully understand his frustration. It's disheartening that people would take something that is meant for personal use and go against the author/creator's wishes. After all, this is tommyp's baby and if he doesn't want it used on commercial installations that is his right. I just wish people could have respected his wishes. Now, because of this we all lose.

tommyp, I want to thank you for all the hard work you put in to this project. Thank you for all the help you offered in making my slipstreamed installations working flawlessly. I will always be grateful for your courteous answers to my questions and helping solve my problems. My best to you in your future endeavors.

M2GD

Edited by My2GirlsDad, 26 May 2010 - 07:21 PM.


#13
Kelsenellenelvian

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Sad to see the project die...

I hope all you guys well.

#14
jvidal

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I am also sad to see it die. I didn't even know that donations were possible. If I knew, I surely would have donated something now and then. But I never saw anyone requesting donations. too bad...
In my own way, I also contributed to the project with extensive testing and bug squashing. This is very sad...

I would like to know if there's a possibility for someone to pick up where tommy left off...

c ya!

#15
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Darn, I barely just got here and learning about this when I received a notification in email.
Sorry to see it go.

#16
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This was a terrific project in its heyday. Though I haven't been on here much in the last couple of years, I'm also sorry to see it go. Perhaps someday, someone will pick it up again, but OSes are evolving, and there's always a time for the world to move on. Best wishes to you, TommyP, and to Tomcat76, wherever he may be...

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#17
cluberti

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Always sad to see a project die, but that usually means the authors have moved onto other projects they like more (or get paid for, or both), enjoying life outdoors, etc. It was a pretty good project, and while I am sad to see it dead, there are other ways to skin that cat. Hopefully Tommy and Tomcat are happier now, because that's the only really important thing.
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#18
Kiki Burgh

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whoa ... this recent development has indeed depressed me though this i think was forthcoming, thus wasn't surprising as tommyp had been always warning those who used hfslip for corporate environment while others even demanded changes as if this was a paid technical support service :( embarrassing to admit this in public but it was my sincerest intention to donate even a little amount had i not been in between jobs for the past year (in fact, lots of other domestic plans have been put on hold too) ... the best way i thought i could compensate though in my little ways was to test for bugs + make suggestions to others hfslip users if they encounter concerns i've already experienced whenever i could afford to be online.

tommyp, tomcat, fdv, mimo, muppet hunter & everybody else who contributed to the success of hfslip, since the start i've been a very vocal & proud user of hfslip & please know too that i'll forever be grateful to hfslip & wish the best for the authors. hopefully, tommyp would have a change of heart, tomcat would 1 day return, fdv would continue to support hfslip or that by any chance someone would step up to take the lead to continue developing this wonderful & very handy piece of os utility. for now, just like what geej posted, it is with heavy heart i must accept this hfslip fate.

cheers! god bless!
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#19
theruan

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All this is really sad, because I do really like this project, i have used hfslip hundreds maybe thousands of times, i know that its not meant for commercial purposes, but if there is need of money as we all need, why the licensing isn't changed for payable in commercial and free for home users. It wouldn't even need to be a great amount of money, if this was done in the past, one to five years ago, i'm sure they would have thousands of dollars in hand, 'cause i know for experience on my last job i used to take my laptop to work and my boss used that one time and questioned me what was different on that computer since it was a lot faster than another one in there, and i answered, simple hfsliped OS, he wanted me to use hfslip and buy a license, but unfortunately i couldn't use it.

As this is the end I just would like to give a huge thanks to everyone involved in this perfect script.
If people like you happened to work in Microsoft i would imagine that Windows would be much better, cause a lot of people here knows more about microsoft OS then most of their employees.

Many thanks

Edited by theruan, 04 June 2010 - 03:16 AM.


#20
Geej

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Yeah. Let's not forget to give the author & the longest cmd script in the world a ... Posted Image

#21
cluberti

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I know that its not meant for commercial purposes, but if there is need of money as we all need, why the licensing isn't changed for payable in commercial and free for home users.

Because that's what the authors wanted. I think this was the biggest request other than bug fixes, and it was always shot down. Yes, it probably cost them money, but it was what the authors wanted, and that's all that mattered.
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#22
ebernard

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...That's what this has come to.


Hi All,
FdV, you explained quite well what happens to people and their feelings if others draw to hard on their initiative and hard labor. 'Been there'..
Of course, I'm very sorry that HFslip is abandoned by the main supporters/developers.
I became a user only lately (3 months ago) and - in short time - grew very enthusiastic about HFslip and the FDVfiles.

I reckon the FDVfiles won't be updated either, if development of HFslip is stopped?

What can we do?

Anyway, thanks a lot TommyP, TomCat, FdV and the others, for sharing your ideas and products with the world.
You helped to make this world a better place.

Best regards
Eveline

#23
fdv

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I reckon the FDVfiles won't be updated either, if development of HFslip is stopped?

My attitude toward the fileset has always been a little different -- if you're crazy enough to use my files on a corporate install, then either you are probably your own boss, or you don't care about user complaints when something bad happens. If it's the latter, then good luck and God bless, because I can't imagine your boss putting up with you for very long when mission critical applications or IE-only websites or programs that are both like LiveMeeting don't work.

Using HFSLIP always means that there is a chance something might go wrong, like a messed up integrated IE 8 install from using a beta. Using my files means there's a pretty good chance something major definitely won't work, especially with the XP set, and I have, oh, a couple hundred private emails supporting that conclusion.

I am pretty busy these days as I am in graduate school (to explain to non-US'ers, this is the degree after four years of college) and what I would love to see is a little more self reliance from some users.

I don't say that to be a jerk, it's just that a LOT of casual users could end up debugging and fixing their own problems and then sending me the solution if they just took a few days to really analyze things -- that would be great. But it's not typical, unfortunately, and I'm usually the one who has to make fixes.

Bottom line, my fileset hasn't ended, I'm just really busy. I also have two small kids (1 yr old and 2.5 yr old) and I don't usually have the time anymore that I used to.

Important takeway point:
My fileset's actual main aim, way back when, was to teach people about Windows -- that's why the detailed process. I hope everyone uses my example, not necessarily my fileset, and makes the changes that THEY are comfortable with. The nLite forum is filled with questions from people who removed things and then get scared or wonder how things work because many just don't know what they're doing.

It's a different neighborhood here -- you're mostly all tinkerers, and to me, that sets this place apart. ;)

#24
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I'm probably simplifying a lot of things, but it seems that TommyP isn't distributing HFSLIP mainly because the onus is on him to support it. Fair enough, but not having a "official" (and trusted) distributor could create a lot of future problems, even more so than those created by leaving the HFSLIP website online. Personal copies of HFSLIP could get corrupt overtime, and sharing these corrupted copies could result in many broken Windows installations. Furthermore, counterfeit/malicious copies of HFSLIP could replace current legitimate versions on major downloading sites and/or be introduced some other way "in the wild". With TommyP's name very much associated with HFSLIP, it is possible that all these negative consequences would take their toll and come back to haunt TommyP, hurting him more in the long run.

Now by no means am I saying the solution is that Tommy should host HFSLIP again. In addition to his personal reasons for not doing so, it is all reasonable to take into account the costs associated with hosting the HFSLIP website. However, I am suggesting that some main, at least recognizably official channel remain open. Perhaps releasing HFSLIP to the public domain is the answer. That way, there would be no "owner" of the project, while at the same time a trusted source for HFSLIP would be provided.

As I said, I am probably generalizing and assuming a lot, but I do believe my points do deserve some merit.

As an aside, I should say that I would have donated to HFSLIP, but technical reasons, not personal choice, prevented me from doing so. Maybe a rethink of how the HFSLIP project is run could have helped in the regard. Furthermore, to create demand in a product requires more than having people stumble upon it. There are reasons why there are many successful open-source Windows projects out there and why HFSLIP never reaped the benefits of multiple developers.

Edited by Ambassador, 16 June 2010 - 06:04 PM.


#25
fdv

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A lot of this might sound snarky but I don't mean it to.

not having a "official" (and trusted) distributor could create a lot of future problems

Beta J was the last version.
Its filename: hfslip-1.7.10_beta_J.cmd
Its MD5: DF89784782AA5AD6A7AA21371FD18EBF
People are free to support each other and swap ideas and new code chunks here. See also the creative commons license in the archive.

Perhaps releasing HFSLIP to the public domain is the answer. That way, there would be no "owner" of the project

Just so everyone understands what you're suggesting, this means TommyP would be giving up his Copyright on the work. Somehow I don't think he'd be okay with that. I could ask him to come and post his feelings on the matter however if really necessary.

but I do believe my points do deserve some merit.

I think he won't agree. Check the license included. The source can be legally modified.

As an aside, I should say that I would have donated to HFSLIP, but technical reasons, not personal choice, prevented me from doing so.

What were the technical reasons? Did Paypal not work? Did you e-mail Tom for his address to send a check? You should tell have told him exactly what did not work.

Maybe a rethink of how the HFSLIP project is run could have helped in the regard.

A rethink could have helped donations? What kind of rethink? You mean if Tom had sold it and required a license and proof of licensure before he provided support? He said a hundred times he didn't want to HAVE to support the project. He said he didn't like that it was like work. It was a hobby.

Furthermore, to create demand in a product requires more than having people stumble upon it.

I, Tomcat, and TommyP all spread the word on other sites. It didn't, and doesn't, matter. Ultimately, a LOT of people "just didn't get it." There are people who used it and who actually thought that it didn't slipstream. There are people who actually know about HFSLIP and prefer unattended methods (no, I know I could save myself a ton of work, I like doing things the hard way). It sounds absurd, but there you have it. People like pain. I hate to pick on others, but there's a guy here who has an extremely complex process for manual slipstreaming and he has a LOT of fans. What can we do? People like making their lives harder. It sounds sarcastic, but believe me, if you could spend any time in our shoes, you'd see it's absolutely true.

There are reasons why there are many successful open-source Windows projects out there

Well, you're free to name some suggestions that we haven't tried, I guess. Too late now, but I am curious.

and why HFSLIP never reaped the benefits of multiple developers.

And now I'm REALLY curious to hear your reasons. One of the most amazing projects of all time, a LiveCD of the Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator on sourceforge, has lived and died several times for lack of developers. Each time it got resurrected, ONE guy took over. It's alive now thanks to ONE guy. Getting devs to work on something is not as easy as you seem to think. There were some contributions to the codebase but only Tomcat76 was a major developer. Heck even I did not contribute much of anything at all.

Everyone got a lot of free work and Tom felt frustrated. Now, the tables are turned. He doesn't visit this forum and he is free of the burden, and everyone else feels frustrated. But I am pretty sure that people's venting is not going to get him to return.

It would take a miracle but maybe if he got some emails asking him where to mail checks and then he actually got some checks he'd make certain re-considerations. But something makes me think that will not occur.




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