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Poll: Should LF Forum stay with Photo.net?


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"because I don't beleive you are decisive, BE DECISIVE NOW, GET ON THE



Don't expect decisiveness from Large Format Photographers or the LF list.


Large Format Photographers eschew the "Decisive Moment" as mere surface fluff. We much prefer the extended quote from appearance and time....


Why do you think our shutter speeds are always so slow and we are always worrying about reciprocity failure! We travel at a slower pace.

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Just a suggestion that if it doesn't work out, and I don't really see why, we can always charge a $20 yearly membership fee for posting to this forum, but allow others to read for free. I personally like the search engine at photonet and the same setup we had.
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<i>...I have on several occassions tried to post comprehensive responses in the last two weeks on both forums and at th time I hit Confrim the message was lost, I was frustrated and gave up. This is a consistent problem with photonet...</i><p>

That's a consistant problem with your browser, not PN. Either upgrade or do as I used to do, make it a habit to copy your text to clipboard before submitting so that you can paste it back if you need to edit. <p>

<i>...together with the aggravation way the drop down tollbar always drops down and screws up the screen and the ability to make choices.</i><p>

Again, that is a problem with your browser. If you click on "My Workspace" at the top of the page you can click on "Turn Pull-Down menus On or Off" on the right. Each time you log in after that you won't have that menu problem.

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Erik, thanks for your concern, but I don't think it is

up to a person whom I don't remember making a single posting

to the LF forum to initiate such things. It would also

help if you re-read carefully the link that I posted

about the history of the LF Forum. Last, if I feel that a

poll is again needed, I will initiate one by emailing

personally each of the several hundred active participants

of the former LF forum in order to gather a significant

amount of votes.

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Erik has posted plenty on the LF forum, so your memory is a little off if that's who you're talking about, but what difference does it make how many times he posted, if he comes up with a good idea or any of us for that matter, are you willing to consider it?


What is sending out several hundred e-mails, and waiting for several hundred back for a poll going to do? There is polarization, suspicion, and confusion going on right now.


Instead of waiting for 300 e-mails why don't you tell everybody what you feel, tell everybody what you feel in your gut about this move and whether you want it to work or not. What's wrong with getting together with Brian, and if you two want the max participation with this since right now there is Nothing else, to just come out and say so?


A bunch of people say they will do what you want to do, say what you want them to do. I don't get along with you, but that isn't the point, who likes who, your dislikes, whatever, the only thing that counts is that when I good idea comes along regardless of whether it comes from one your friends or enemies, are you man enough to consider because it's a good idea.


Are you willing to consider anything from any source as long as it happens to be a good idea? I think it's a good idea for not just Brian but you to answer the concerns of these folks, how you feel about them.


IT doesn't make any difference whether you remember Erik or not, the only thing that matters is does he make sense, does he or anybody else have anything you can use to clarify and/or smooth this situation over. What about a list of grievances, scrutinized by you and Brian with a timely response, what about letting everybody know how you feel about the recent responses and whether they should/should not give photo net a chance, then why not say something.


And now I'm through with this issue, one way or another.

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Thanks JB.


Since QTL addressed it directly to me, I feel that I should attempt to respond.


I don't blame you for not remembering me, QTL, because I have always used a moniker 'X' until recently. Shame on me I guess; I have valid reasons for not revealing my identity and that's no crime. Let's not be naive; on the WWW, nobody really knows who one is really is.


I cannot say that I have made many postings (which is not the same as saying I made none) to the LF Forum. I have not made many because there was simply not much that I could add which had not been better said by my betters. I could not just say, "I concur" just to clutter up the forum. As Dr Greenspun said, this is NOT a $600 000 chat-room.

I have tried to respect that as much as I could. In fact, I learnt more from keeping my mouth shut and merely reading. As your forum is public and not private, you would not be aware of my lurking here.


If you mean to imply that I have simply popped up from nowhere, you are wrong on that count. I have been following the LF Forum since its inception in 1998.


However, as it has been wrongly implied in the past, it is not whether I choose to hide behind a pseudonym or hotmail account or the number of postings I make that my words hold no substance but whether I make sense in my postings.


I initiated a straw poll with no disrespect to you. I had hoped that you may use it as a rough gauge to inform your decision on either staying or moving. It does not help that accusations are flying at photo.net while no headway seems to be made on this urgent issue. Personally, I feel that there is scape-goatism and bruised ego at play here which led to this flurry of heated exchanges.


Of course, I wish you well in making an official poll since you are the moderator and owner of this forum. And in the interest of clearing up the air, I wish that you'd do it quickly. After dragging your feet for the last six months, I hope that action will be taken now. I am sorry for that stance; as an ex-soldier, waffling means getting shot and certain death.


I have read your history of the LF Forum and pardon me for saying this: I feel that you are not giving the complete picture. It is, uh, a biased account. I am also fully aware of the setting up of Lusenet; we all chose to start up forums there knowing full well the intent behind it. Phil did not attempt to hide the facts from anyone. It was well-known from day one what Lusenet was all about. Phil did not point a gun at anyone's head to start a forum there. It was done voluntarily. We are all adults so let us be responsible for our own actions.


The crux of the matter is this: you dragged your feet, your forum was moved in a last-ditch effort to preserve it before it is wiped out forever, you are feeling unhappy that you had not been asked, and now it is turning into a photo.net moved us forcibly for its own self-interest thingie. I don't buy that.


It matters not a whit whether LF Forum remains here or not. It is your forum. But I recognise scape-goatism when I see it and I am calling it that. This will rankle. If it takes fisticuffs to bring resolution to this matter, so be it.


QTL, you are fully cognisant of the opinion poll done in July 2000 and Dec 2001. You even said that you were for the move to photo.net if a suitable home was not found by the beginning of Summer(2002).


A life-line was thrown to you out of the goodwill of photo.net and now that the forum is safe and breathing, you are saying that you did not ask to be saved (forcibly) but be given more time to think it over in a sinking boat?


So I beg you sir, for the sake of our suffering friends at photo.net, make your decision now or hold your peace until you find a new home.


Remember that it is considered impolite to criticise the host while he is putting you up.


PS Thanx for starting the LF Forum. I mean that sincerely. And thanx to all contributors who made your LF Forum successful.



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As a point of clarification, QTL is the moderator of this forum, but he is not the "owner" of it. The contributors "own" the content; the community "owns" itself; and first Philip Greenspun and now photo.net own the "meeting place", the online infrastructure for the forum.


QTL deserves deference as the person who initiated the forum on LUSENET and the person who has spent significant time moderating it. But many other people have made significant contributions. Many people, in varying degrees, "own" the forum.

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I think part of the objection was that we were only told that LUSENET was going to go away, not when. It does little good to say that some day something is going to happen. Some day we are all going to die, but I'm certainly going to choose my activities differently if it's tomorrow versus 50 years from now (there's no guarantees, but you get my point). Then, a day before it moved we were told when. Even a week's notice on the drop-dead date could have given us (I use the word "us" loosely, I'm just testing) enough time to finish up the code.


Brian -- you clearly know IT. You should also know that a coding project is never done. Every developer will always take right up until the very last second, fixing and tweaking things, adding features. Josh had made great progress on a LUSENET substitute, and with a little warning we could have migrated.


Erik -- you are completely right that to a certain extent the ball was dropped. But, I also think it was dropped on BOTH sides. I think that better communication from photo.net would have helped.


At this point I feel we've lost a very valuable resource. Some key contributors have disappeared and a tremendous amount of bickering and noise has filled that void.

Anyway, I just felt the need to share my two cents. There's two sides to every story and the truth is generally somewhere in the middle. (My late-night attempts at words of wisdom.)




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Jennifer, when Philip told the moderators that LUSENET was "going away", the sense of the message was that it was imminent. There had already been several warnings before that.


Even in 2000, when QTL and the photo.net staff were negotiating about moving the forum to photo.net, the eventual end of LUSENET was foreseen, even though it was not imminent at that point. The members wanted to stay, according to a poll, and photo.net and QTL couldn't agree on how much QTL would be paid and the terms under which he would continue to control or own the forum; so those discussions broke down.


The reason the December 2001 two minute warning turned into six months was that the migration had to be done by volunteers, and it was difficult to find people to do it. There were several previous attempts, the first in February or March. They failed because the people underestimated the work or skill level involved and ran out of time. Philip perhaps did not appreciate the fact that these delays had made it advisable to give another two minute warning.


I read through the December 2001 poll and knew that several people were volunteering things towards an independent server. But I must confess that I lumped them all in with Andre's offer to run it from his apartment in LA, and didn't take them seriously, especially since there were no subsequent discussion in the forum of these efforts, like asking for testers, etc.


In any case a considerable majority of the contributors favored moving to photo.net, with the minority being divided between various alternatives, and with many of the minority favoring photo.net as second choice. So we also didn't think the independent server route was what the community as a whole wanted. However, it would appear that QTL favors it, having developed an aversion since the 2000 discussions to photo.net as a "commercial" operation. And that seems to be the deciding factor in this forum.

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Brian, if your intention is just to lend an helping hand

to this community, why do you feel the need to try so hard

to convince everybody, and in the process lower yourself to

making personal allegations such as the one you just posted ?


For the record, when I was approached by photo.net in

the waning days of the dot-com boom, they asked me what

I would want for working for them. I saw this as a part-time

employment opportunities, and emailed back my requirements.

I assumed they were a well-funded dotcom.

Subsequently, we had a conference call in which I learned

there were no salaries available. As I mention in my essay,

this is when I initiated the poll (results are on "old polls"

on the LF page). Seeing the direction on which photo.net was

headed made me chose the non-commercial way.


Brian wants you to believe that I have an axe to grind with

photo.net, but this is again just not true. I have participated

actively in the discussions, and uploaded a number of images.

I have written in

2001 a long feature article for photo.net. How many photo.net

members can say that ? I went to great length to buy from

the photo.net affiliates, even if that meant giving up on

the convenience of my usual suppliers. When I had the impression

that one of those transactions didn't register properly, I

alerted Rajeev so he could check. Does that sound to you

like the behavior of a disgrunted person ?


I was not even THAT opposed to a LF move to photo.net. There

were plenty of opportunities to move to another system that

I could have taken if it was more important for me to

prevent the forum from being taken over by photo.net rather

than seeing it served with a good infrastructure. As Erik

(to whom I apologize for the tone in my post)

has pointed out to rightly, I was envisioning a move to

photo.net by this summer if no alternative were found.


Even as the move proceeded, and despite the way it was

handled, I was still willing to cooperate with photo.net

enough that I asked the community to go there for now and

possibly stay. My main

concern was to avoid a split which would loose members along

the way. However, the nature or tone of Brian's replies in

this forum and in email has convinced me that I should have

much more forceful in opposing the move.


What's planned ? We will go forward with setting up a new

site. Once it's running, we will conduct a poll. Currently

you'd just be voting between photo.net and an hypothetical

alternative. It is my hope that when the members of this

community who are currently on photo.net see that the

alternative is real, they will decide

to go there, and that those who have dropped during the

migration will rejoin.

<p> The new site will be non-profit, non-commercial. To

put to rest any thought that it could be self-serving

in some obscure ways,

when the situation is stabilized

again, I intend to retire from being the main moderator.

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If the tone of the recent postings in this thread are an indicator of

the future of the LF forum at photo.net, my response is a

resounding NO! to the question of the forum remaining at this

site. In the old LUSENET forum, there were several amateurs

who participated, but rarely did we see amateurish postings.


In addition to the reservations expressed by others, I also find

the incessant postings by the moderator to be intrusive. It is not

the job of a forum moderator to steer the course of a topic in a

direction that may be beneficial to ones own interests. While I

appreciate the home (possibly temporary) that has been

provided to the LF forum, if the wishes of the forum participants

are to move to an independent site, then these people should be

able to discuss the matter freely without being directed by those

who maintain this site.

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Dr Luong Quang-Tuan,


I apologise to you unreservedly for my own intemperate tone and comments towards you. I got carried away.


Let us try to make amends. This issue has served to divide the community and it is our loss if members get up and leave.


Dr Luong, know that your efforts are appreciated and if you should move the LF Forum to another location someday, I wish you bountiful success with it.


It seems as if the LF Forum is chugging away merrily along under its own steam; most members do not seem to be bothered by this issue and are using the forum just like in the old Lusenet days. We, the minority, have been very vocal and voluble on both sides of the issue.


Whatever your decision, Dr Luong, I wish you well. It is time to bury the hatchet and get back to making pictures.

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Just because people are continuing to contribute should not be taken to mean that the authors are all happy with the status quo.


I have added my tuppence worth in a couple of threads but am increasingly unhappy about the way the forum is going. I started out fairly happy, with only a few reservations re' the (non)privacy policy and the way the move was undertaken. I have become less sanguine after reading Brian's and a few others comments - not to mention the bad manners and aggression that have appeared already in other, less contentious threads (I exclude this thread from censure as I guess a few intemperate comments are to be expected given the strength of feeling on both "sides").

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