It's been some time since I've been here. I've stepped away due to personal reasons, however, I have followed up and have been poking around.
Let me be frank and upfront about my feelings here. I hope I do not offend anybody here.
Mindbender has become a very close friend of mine. It's been my pleasure to work with him, and it's a part of my life I'd never want to take back. I've always trusted bender and I ALWAYS WILL. I have had no reason to ever suspect that he would use this community for any personal profit. I have never found him to be one that would take advantage of other's.
There are indeed issues here with our community. Let me do my best to address these problems. To understand the issue, let's start where this story begins. I became an admin here to help my dear friend. For reasons I cannot disclose without mindbender's consent, I was sharing administrative duties with mindbender, and I found it enjoyable.
During my "tenure", I became ambitious, and sought ways to improve our community, i.e. server upgrade, manufacturing info, etc. I, NOT minbender, was the one the proposed that we take rwhitby's offer to host our site on OSUOSL. I, NOT minbender, was the one responsible for the change from minibb to phpbb. I was the one that started the software upgrades (i.e. redesigning the wiki, implenting wordpress ... though I did not have the idea for the blog). I was the one that took over the domains, and created nas-central.org. I say this to show that I am responsible, not mindbender, for starting these controversial changes that we see today. It's true that since I've left, much has changed (i.e. manufacturer pages). However, for those that disapprove the changes, please don't blame mindbender, blame me if you want.
Unfortunately, I had to leave at the end of last summer. There were many things that I wanted to see, however I just did not have the time to help manage the community anymore. I gave mindbender my notice, transferred the domains to him, and withdrew from the community. I proposed that ka6sox, from nslu2, be the one to take over managing the infrastructure (thanks ka6sox). After I left, I'm really not sure who decided what, therefore you'll understand why it's unfair for me to discuss the decisions made since.
So, since this is a thread for opinions, let me state mine. I believe that the people working "behind the scenes" deserver credit for taking care of this site. I'll admit, the site is not what I had envisioned (i.e. a general NAS site, rather than Buffalo centric). However, I left, so it's unfair for me to criticize the people that attempted to continue my previous efforts. For example, I did talk with rwhitby and ka6sox about sharing wiki/sql resources. I did not think that we would actually create a superwiki though. As its been stated previously, this community is everyone's ... not mine, not mindbender's, not the admins ... EVERYONE's. Speak and share your opinions. If you don't like the changes, "speak now or forever hold your peace."
Personally, I'd like to see the community more "buffalo" centric again. I do see the advantages of spreading out, however I fear that it will become too impersonable. I think it's the admins responsibility to poll the community before new changes are made (I know, I didn't always do this myself). I don't believe that occurred (and no, it's not mindbender's fault ... it's mine, other's just tried to continued what I started).
As far as the comments regarding development, I believe things are truly changing. I've seen that most linux developers prefer mailing lists to develop. I don't believe that the developers are deliberately being "hush hush", but rather prefer not to repost everything in the forums. I feel that it's nice to have development discussions in the forum, however I don't think the developers are responsible to post their work here. They do their work for free, so if they want to only chat on IRC or via mailing lists, that's their prerogative.
There's a few developers (which they can disclose themselves if they wish), that have privileged information from various manufacturers, and cannot disclose certain developmental details to the public. Please understand that these developers are not "hiding information" in defiance of the open source spirit. On the contrary, these developers are disparately trying to find legal means to develop open source alternatives (i.e. the kernel, DRM, etc.) for our devices where currently only proprietary software exists. It's a dilemma, we need hardware docs to speed development, however if we accept the docs ... we have to be closed mouthed sometimes. Please try to understand the situation. I know this has been very controversial, but this is just "how it is" at the moment.
What should we do? Honestly, I don't really have an answer that would please everyone. I do think that we need to stop current site development, and have a series of polls regarding the look and feel of our site, the rate of expansion, etc. It's true that people should have spoken prior ... but who cares. Let's just try to fix this situation the best we can, and if we must start over, then so be it. If we continue forward, but the majority of our members are displeased, our community will die. Open the lines of communication, and let's do our best.
In summary, it was my fault, not mindbenders, for the current situation we are in. I left on short notice, and mindbender did the best he could to complete my efforts. The current state of our community may not be what I had intended, but I cannot complain either. Let's do the best we can to get past this, let's start talking, and let's make the best for the future of our community.
P.S. Don't blame ramuk either ... I was the one that encourage him to speak his mind (w/o peeing on the grass). I apologize for my poor grammar ... I was trying to type this fast while bender was here.