There is a very simple reason we decided to create a new forum. We believe that FlightGear should be an Open Source project that grows and develops as cutting edge flight simulator. The recent experience of conflict between we who belong to FGMEMBERS with the Flight Gear Core Developers has reached the point we believe further interaction with the main FlightGear Forum makes the free exchange of ideas impossible.
I cite a passage from the American political classic “The Federalist” written by Alexander Hamilton (1787) on the nature of obstinate opposition:
Ambition, avarice, personal animosity, party opposition, and many other motives not more laudable than these, are apt to operate as well upon those who support, as upon those who oppose, the right side of a question. Were there not even these inducements to moderation, nothing could be more ill-judged than that intolerant spirit, which has at all time characterized political parties. For, in politics as in religion, it is equally absurd to aim at making proselyte by fire and sword. Heresies in either can rarely be cured by persecution. (The Federalist, p. 2-3).
From my perspective, we have been branded the heretics, that our ideals of freedom of speech, of the open expression of ideas, especially if they are in opposition to those of the Core Developers have been repressed in a way across the entire FlightGear Forum, it is now impossible to disagree with them without fear of retribution, censorship, or banishment.
The Developers have published a manifesto declaring the new rules in which they place the Core (i.e., themselves) above criticism. This is indicative of an organization that is devolving into an authoritarian structure anathema to both the spirit and the letter of Open Source.
The Developers’ actions also defy the very best models for Open Source organizations as defined in “The Cathedral and Bazaar.” In fact, as a result of the changes as defined in the Manifesto, FlightGear can no longer be defined as either a Cathedral or a Bazaar, but rather, a Medieval castle with gate keepers, a palace for the Developers that the commoner FlightGear players are banned from entering, a court with a Judge but without a jury and no due process, and finally an enforcer, who has the power to wipe out whole sections of the historical record at whim, not unlike the ancient Egyptian pharaohs who would deface and destroy the images and statues of their predecessors in a vain attempt to erase them from history.
So, we break from the FlightGear oppressive and anti-freedom of expression forum. I fully expect that according to form we will be further persecuted, perhaps even having our accounts erased as retribution. It also will be very interesting to see if they have the courage to register on this forum and write some form of rebuttal, which they are welcome to do.
What they will find, however, is a much different conversation.
Fly free. Think free. Speak free!