[jdev] Rhymbox coup d'état? Recommend everyone avoid Rhymbox.com

Frank Seesink frank at mail.wvnet.edu
Tue Jun 15 15:53:23 CDT 2004

[[ LIST ADMINISTRATOR'S NOTE: The matter referred to in this email
message was resolved on November 3, 2009; for details, please visit
http://xmpp.org/xsf/press/2009-11-03.shtml or contact Peter Saint-Andre
at stpeter at jabber.org ]]

[Apologies in advance if cross posting is in error.  As the issue
relates to users, developers, and admins alike, I thought it best to
post to JADMIN, JDEV, and JUSER.  If in error, please forgive me.]

At this time, I would like to renounce my support for any new
versions of the Windows Jabber client Rhymbox as it is shown on the
website www.rhymbox.com.  Please note any previous posts from myself
regarding this software are in relation to Rhymbox v1.6, which was
released in May 2003, and do not carry over to its current state.

This is a long email, but the short version is that something unholy is
afoot in the Rhymbox family.  I would recommend everyone avoid visiting
the website, signing up for any new release, or using any new releases
posted there, as it appears some kind of coup d'état has occurred.
Either one of the two original developers is revolting, or those
currently running the site and its matching Jabber server have, in fact,
hijacked them.  The website in question may or may not represent the
true Rhymbox software team, and until all parties weigh in somewhere in
a truly open forum (such as the Jabber mailing lists), I would recommend
that anything you read on the site be taken with a grain of salt.

Now allow me to explain.  One of the many sites I monitor is the Rhymbox 
website.  I have been using the Rhymbox software since v1.5, have used 
v1.6 since May 2003 without issue, and I have been hoping to see a new 
release with advanced support for XMPP, etc.

Yesterday morning I noted that the website had changed.  I looked, and 
lo and behold it appeared a v2.0 was on its way.  The main page 
indicated that people could sign up for an early release of v2.0.  I 
decided to check the support forums to see if there was any more 
information regarding this upcoming release.

The first thing I noticed is that the support forum no longer runs on
ezBoard.com, but rather now was using phpBB.  So I thought, "Great. 
They're updating their site, changing their support forums in 
preparation for a new release."

However, I also noticed that all the old postings were gone.  No feature
requests, and no history of problems & solutions.  I figured this was an
unfortunate side effect to changing forum software.  There was a few
posts in the Problems & Solutions section, and I decided to check them out.

It was here that it became clear that something was wrong.  One of the
posts read 'Open Letter to the RhymBox Community', apparently written by
one of the 2 authors of Rhymbox as listed in the 'About...' box in the
software itself.  Reading his post, it became clear something was
wrong.  Instead of paraphrasing, I am attaching the HTML version of that
page (Rhymbox_issue-stripped.html), which luckily I saved at the time so 
I could do some copy/pasting with ease.

I posted my own message to the forum, and less than 12 hours later,
found the entire forum had been wiped clean again.  I reposted, asking
for clarification of what was going on.  My repost I also attach here
so as not to paraphrase (Rhymbox Support email.txt).

Please note that today I found the forum had been wiped clean yet again,
and I received a private email from info at rhymbox.com titled "Your
concerns", attached here as well (Rhymboxfinal.txt).

Now my personal opinion on the matter.  The 'official' response from the
Rhymbox website basically says nothing of substance, and their actions
of basically censoring their users seriously makes me believe the open 
letter's validity.  (They never did this in the past...I had several 
posts in their forums over the past year)   I have also emailed 
Sebastiaan Deckers at the email he provided in the open letter, and 
Sebastiaan actually telephoned me.  I have no reason to believe this was 
anyone other than who he said, and our conversation was consistent with 
the open letter.

I have no idea what the legal situation is, nor will I pretend to be
such an authority.  However, it seems painfully clear that something
unhealthy is occurring with Rhymbox.com.  This is extremely unfortunate,
as the software has worked well for us in the past year, and I was
looking forward to a new release.  I suspect we will see a new release
by the author(s) under a different name, and I would recommend anyone
out there currently using Rhymbox or contemplating doing so stick to
v1.6 until the authors indicate that they have a new program.

Thanks to all who read this far.

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