So Long, MINA!

Before I begin, I’d like to admit I learned a lot of great things and met many nice people in the foundation. It was an exceptional experience for me to make MINA one of the world’s best network application frameworks. I believe MINA was a good example which has shown how great project the Apache way can create.

There were several arguments (flamewar, dispute or whatever you call) in the MINA community recently. Those arguments took place in the MINA private mailing list mostly. However, the internal disharmony got a breakout finally. There were also subsequent IRC chat and blog post which gave more public exposure. Let me add another now. It’s not something which can be slienced by saying ‘LET IT DIE.’ with a high hand and private chat anymore.

Someone seem to find the underlying cause of this issue is just because I was an employee of Alex Karasulu. However, that’s not the sole issue – if you believe so, it just means that you are too simplistic. Although I had tough time dealing with him while I work with him, it’s not something that makes me sick of this situation. So, let me talk about what make me sick actually.

First, I hate people keep telling me that I have to thank and respect someone because they helped me join the Apache Software Foundation and make MINA promoted to be a top level project, or I would be still toying with Netty in the corner of the Internet. It is a direct insult to many individuals including me who run or ran great personal open source software projects.

Second, I hate people veto my hard work prematurely because of a stupid reason. I understand we are collaborating with each other and collaboration has pros and cons. Therefore, the slowdown of a collaborative project is absolutely OK to me and it’s expected. Everybody has his or her opinion and each other’s technical points should be reviewed properly. However, what’s happening in the MINA community now is far from that. Especially, the recent arguments on JavaDoc tags and volatile keyword are good examples of stupid arguments.

Third, I hate people who say just like there’s something going on in secret among Red Hat employees, which is plain wrong. There’s no such organized move that those conspiracy theory believers imagine. Sure, I shared my complaints with my colleagues, but it’s stupid exaggeration if it’s considered to be an attempt to control the project. Red Hat employees are seriously asked to behave ethically when we get involved into an open source project so that the project grow up as sustainable and healthy as possible, instead of taking an immediate advantage.

Fourth, I hate people degrades (or misinterprets) that MINA is a one man show project and that one man show (or lack of proper documentation?) prevents people from getting involved into the project. It’s true that I wrote pretty much chunk of MINA code by myself. However, it was because many great active contributors were with me – Peter Royal, Niklas Therning, Julien Vermillard, Mike Heath, Vinod Panicker, Rich Dougherty, Daniel Wirtz and many more committers and patch submitters. Please note some of them were once loyal Netty users. Were they able to join the project just because they were freaking genius that they can catch up the moving target? Hell no! The documentation and my communication skill sucked much more at that time. It’s because they shared the vision of the project and had strong will to contribute to the project, instead of complaints and vetos with no sustainable and sound suggestion. Therefore, keep saying ‘one man show’ is also a direct insult to all contributors including me, of course excluding those who are causing the trouble. Also, it’s a lame excuse that people can’t contribute enough because of lack of documentation.

A few weeks ago, I thought about forking MINA seriously because of the reasons above. However, I kicked that idea out of my mind quickly because I had strong belief that there are many silent yet nice people in the community who supports MINA.

Now? My hope for MINA is pretty much dead because of a few loud noise makers. I’m fed up with dealing with unnecessary arguments. Whatever you say, I did my best and don’t want to let myself hurt both mentally and physically anymore. I think it’s good time to go back to the calm corner of the Internet they underestimate.

15 Comments So Long, MINA!

  1. brianm

    MINA rocks, thank you for your work. I had no idea it was this ugly on mina-private :-/

    Wherever you wind up setting up your project/fork (and forking is good, don’t hesitate to!) make sure to be a *little* noisy about it so I can find it.


    ps: was good to catch you (if briefly) at J1!

  2. Trustin Lee

    @rich dougherty: Thanks for your understanding, Rich. Sorry that I posted this before your joining MINA team. The invitation message will be sent soon.

  3. Niclas

    I have followed the “flame” on MINA private, and the aggregated flames of MINA over the year or so, has been like a quiet evening in Apache Avalon in 2004 ;o)

    Trustin, I still think you are over-reacting. I hope this blog entry cleansed your system. Take it easy for a while, and when the emotions are gone, perhaps take a stab at MINA again as a peer among peers.

  4. Trustin Lee

    @Niclas: Thanks Niklas for keeping watching the community and giving great advices whenever we are stuck. Again, your advice is insightful. It will take quite some time for my emotion to go away, but I’d love to get back when I am ready.

  5. M.D.A

    Trustin, I urge you to reconsider your decision, I used Mina a lot and it saved me at least 2 times. I say do not listen to flamers or trolls (there will always be more), just go forward.

  6. Tim Fox


    We know MINA is a great project and we also know who’s the real force behind MINA.

    It’s sad that a couple of jealous bureaucrats, envious of your ability, can put you in such a situation. Blame it on the Apache model that allows such minor and noisy contributors to wield such power.

    Whatever you decide to do, please understand that you can count on my project’s support.

    Thanks again for a great product, and I look forward to working with MINA in whatever form it takes, or whatever it is called in the months and years ahead.

  7. Niklas

    Sad, sad news Trustin. I seriously hope you will reconsider your decision. Remember that there are lots of people out there who love what you started and we all have achieved, together so far. It won’t be the same without you.

  8. Bill


    Trustin isn’t going away!

    I urge Trustin to be a true JBossian and fight for his project at Apache. I think the combination of a few blogs, the IRC chat log, and the email thread shows what a bunch of schmucks these guys are. Maybe they will shut up now and you’ll be able to go back to work?!?!

    All and all, your work will live on as MINA or a JBoss fork of MINA, correct?

  9. Anton Tagunov

    Guys, it’s not that simple.
    Both Trustin and Emmanuel are on the PMC.
    They are both ASF Elite.

    And they both have a point.
    Emmanuel is right in demanding the code to be rigorously documented.
    Trustin is right that in this particular case it was good enough to inherit the javadocs.

    I believe the best thing would be for both parties to admit the other side’s valid points and make peace again.

    It is the ASF way to handle such disputes for mutual benefit.

  10. Trustin Lee

    Thanks everyone (those who either commented here or e-mailed privately) for all your advice. I appreciate them.

    I’d like to say I am not burnt out because of the previous disputes. Please stay tuned… wherever I end up with.

  11. santi

    I have been dealing with incubator crap recently and I must say that until I joined the incubator PMC in December I was not aware about how far “magic policies” and bureaucratic rules are creeping from there to the rest of the ASF. Sorry it has bitten you.

  12. Trustin Lee

    @santi: I think the ASF board and many members are aware of the problem we are facing. I believe they will come up with a better solution someday.

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