Re: The Cornell v1.0 Dillema

Jon P. Brumbach (
Fri, 14 Aug 1998 15:53:20 -0700

At 10:34 PM 8/12/98 -0500, Bill Woodland wrote:
>I called her yesterday and asked her about the status. She said "It's
>fourth on my list". I asked her if there was any plan to have Steve Edgar
>work on the known bugs, and she said she had been in touch with him. I
>said if she could just take a minute to call him and ask him to work on the
>code, that I was sure he would love to do so. She said she was "working
>something out with him", and something to the effect that she would have to
>stop sleeping in order to get this taken care of.
[snip, snip]
>I then called Steve, who said he hasn't heard anything in over 6 weeks, and
>also hasn't received an agreement to sign from Cornell. Without a release
>timeline from Cornell, Steve is reluctant to do any CU-SeeMe development
>work, as he realizes there is the possibility Cornell could postpone the
>announced release forever.
[snip, snip, snip]
>At this point, despite the announcement from Martyne, one has to wonder if
>the official release will ever happen at all. Postponing the release
>indefinitely has the same effect as killing it outright.
>Does anyone have any suggestions on how we might be able to encourage the
>"announced release" to actually happen?

Hmmm......A while back, after Steve Edgar posted his note regarding v1.0
and indicated Cornell delayed the release at the request of White Pine, I
posted a note stating tongue-and-cheek that the conspiracy theory was
proven. Now, I'm not so sure it should've been all that tongue-and-cheek.
It should not take a PhD in the Obvious to figure out that White Pine would
have an interest in v1.0 not officially hitting the streets, even though
White Pine's product cater's to (or tries to) a different audience then
Cornell's. What really strikes me here is an obvious attempt to mislead
from Martyne when she was talking to Squeek. There is something else going
on other than Martyne's loss of sleep over being able to connect with Steve
Edgar. I suspect there is significant pressure, financial or otherwise, in
the form of an inducement if v1.0 is not released or legal action if it is,
from White Pine (hey, for all you junior lawyers out there remember in most
states you can sue anyone for anything - - doesn't matter if there is a
legitimate case or not and winning is not the point - it still ties up
people, resources, and makes the lawyers richer). Bottom line here is once
again we are all forced to speculate.

As far as suggesting actions to encourage the "announced release" to in
fact happen, Martyne has a boss, and that person in turn has a boss.
Contacting those individuals may help at least reduce the minutia and get
at the meat of what is really happening here. Steve Edgar would be a
smarter person than I to know if that line would lead anywhere (whadaya
think Steve?). Another option is the alumni community from Cornell. There
must be a few of them on this list, but I frankly haven't seen much
evidence of that. Often alumni pressure can be successful in getting the
old alma mater to move in a situation like this. I'm also wondering if
Steve contacted Martyne would result in any movement, or at least truth
instead of what appears to be misleading.

At any rate, this latest turn, as reported by Squeek, is somewhere between
disturbing and disheartening.