Rob Levin, the founder of PDPC (the Peer-Directed Projects Center) blogs about being under attack from Patrick McFarland. You can read Patrick’s side here, where I left a comment. Since I’m concerned that the comment won’t be published, I want to repost it here in my own blog:
If you think raising funds to support Rob Levin through the Spinhome project doesn’t benefit PDPC, Freenode and their benefactors, then you aren’t smart enough to successfully “liberate” the Freenode IRC network and PDPC. Rob has contributed a good portion of his life, has sacrificed much, has been living close to the poverty level supporting a spouse and a young child on the generosity of the community, and has persevered much grief heaped upon him by others who haven’t even accomplished a small fraction of what Rob has already done. Supporting such a person to enable them to continue giving what he already gives selflessly is a win-win for everyone involved.
If you have real, tangible criticisms of PDPC and/or Freenode (or even Rob Levin, himself), I suggest you think them through and express them in an intelligible way. While everyone has their emotional moments, generally adults respond better to reasonable people more than they do to ad hominem attacks.
The way you are currently going about things will accomplish very little.
The sad reality is that any time you provide a service, there will always be customers who you just can’t satisfy. Perhaps Patrick is just one of those people. The fact still remains that Rob is trying to raise funds through his Spinhome project, to help improve his situation so he can continue to focus on improving PDPC and Freenode, which almost 30,000 people benefit from every day. His fundraising goal is in the ballpark of $300K, which might sound high, but just think: if each one of those 30,000 people donated $10, he’d hit his goal. However, since this is a personal project and Rob has very firm convictions about not using PDPC or Freenode for his own personal gain, he won’t even consider directly soliciting support from Freenode’s many users.
Well, as his friend and someone who benefits from his services (the #aolserver IRC chat is hosted on Freenode), I’d like to ask that if you also use Freenode, consider taking the time to make a one-time donation of $8 or $16 to his Spinhome fund. If you know people with open source projects who use Freenode, please pass the word along to them. A small investment from each of us will help ensure that Freenode continues to operate and improve for years to come.