[HEADS UP] New project name: Monitoring Plugins

Michael Friedrich michael.friedrich at gmail.com
Fri Jan 17 01:54:50 CET 2014

On 17.01.2014 00:49, William Leibzon wrote:
> On Thu, Jan 16, 2014 at 2:50 PM, Michael Friedrich
> <michael.friedrich at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On 16.01.2014 22:48, L. V. Lammert wrote:
>>> At 06:12 PM 1/15/2014, Holger Weiß wrote:
>>>> As some of you might've noticed, we, the Nagios Plugins Development
>>>> Team, renamed the "Nagios Plugins" to "Monitoring Plugins".
>>>> Why?
>>> Yes, Why? Seems like Nagios has a slightly different opinion, ... why
>>> can't you guys play nice?
>> Because Nagios Enterprises tries to censor every mention of any fork.
>> Mention Icinga on your website containing nagios in your domain, say
>> nagios-portal.org - ban hammer & domain lost. Claim Icinga copyright on your
>> patches at tracker.nagios.org  - banned. Wikipedia article mentions Icinga
>> and other forks - Nagios Enterprise users edit the page and get banned by
>> Wikipedia for being a sock puppet. More on that fights at
>> http://www.freesoftwaremagazine.com/comment/79247#comment-79247
> I'll give you my personal opinion since we're discussing it.
> I think this all started with people at Netways. I was under the
> opinion that they way they were doing things (with nagiosexchange but
> also a few other projects) was as if they were trying to take project
> away Ethan while promoting their own software and company. I was very
> reluctant to add my plugins to their site because it was not official
> nagios and they were promoting themselves too much. I also had private
> discussions with them in regards to some of my own work and they
> refused to allow me to contribute unless I give up copyright to them,
> which I refused because this is not how its done in open-source unless
> copyright holder is a neutral organization. At the time ICINGA
> appeared there were also quite a few other software packages based on
> nagios that did not actually fork it. There was no need to fork and
> force the issue.
I joined the Icinga project a month after their fork looking for a way 
to bring Oracle support into NDOUtils. Looking back at all those years 
with Icinga now, leading the Core development and having fun in my spare 
time, it was the best decision ever made, and I've learnt a lot during 
these times.

I do know that people start to think that a company promoting their 
addons and additions around Nagios (or Icinga even) is bad. I've 
experienced that most of the time when talking to people about Icinga. 
They approached me with things like being abused by Netways. Which is a 
total negative association - you'll put your energy and motivation into 
a project for your personal pleasure and leisure activities. But not to 
work for someone for free. At least I was *never* under the impression 
to do so.

I probably do know more than anyone else in the community about what 
Netways invested into the community, providing stable platforms such as 
monitoringexchange, or plenty of useful addons and plugins. Just like 
other companies in this sector, like consol does. Maybe just because 
I've asked Julian and Bernd about all those rumors instead of trusting 
someone claiming that their intentions are evil and bad.

Though it's sad to see that there's still the opinion that someone 
started something. The real problem is much more different - when you 
want to build your stuff based on a software developed by someone not 
responding (or slowly even), you'll either live with it, or you'll copy 
the code and patch it yourself. Looking at the nagios-devel mailinglist 
archives and all the patches I've collected into Icinga, the impression 
was that every patch sender has a local fork of Nagios anyways.

Being responsive isn't always easy, especially when you lost focus and 
motivation. And that won't get better when you'll see your "friends" 
earning money with the product you're developing in your spare time. 
People start to even insult you for not responding. Like it happened 
some months ago on the repoforge mailinglists, where Dag luckily 
responded after all those blamings (sad to see).

In the end I'd say it was a mix of the nagios community demanding too 
much and too fast for nagios3 which started the things getting worse, 
and also the single developer "failure".
> And that it happened got Ethan really really
> irritated and strongly in favor of keeping nagios private for his own
> company.

Keeping something private has nothing to do with enforcing trademarks in 
way of censoring every occurence of bad words. Ok, the fork was bad. But 
hey, we could've lived side-by-side, sharing patches amongst each other. 
But when your patch gets corrected just because you've sent it under the 
Icinga hat? Well, that's *very* strange and imho not into the right 
Comparison charts could've been answered with straight forward 
comparison charts themselves, instead of spreading FUD about non 
existing ip violations. The list is rather endless what could be gone 
wrong. And i'm not saying that Icinga is the good guy in the story. In 
the very beginning, telling that Nagios is bad, and Icinga is better, 
worked quite well. But after a while you'll go figure that people don't 
like the "blame nagios" habit, and you'll change in sharing what Icinga 
can do with your social media channels. See, it works even better.

But that's just Icinga. Why has it happened to other projects as well? 
Why was adagios removed from nagios exchange? Is it ok to fork existing 
community projects like NagTrap (NSTI), TeenyNagios (Nagios Mobile), 
NagioSQL (CCM) just because you've created the Nagios core project, and 
take something back, while on the other hand creating licenses that 
forbid you to fork the project?

That doesn't fit into being honest with the community imho. And it's no 
wonder how Nagios Enterprises (whoever may be responsible for that dick 
move) treats the Monitoring Plugins developers, copies their website and 
leaves the _user_ without any information, replacing unwanted opinions 
and developers. That's something you could do if you pay for them and 
their dayjob. But actually it's their fucking spare time and they want 
to be treated like people, and not some unwanted "thing".

>> Kicking Andreas Ericsson out of the Nagios Core development team, who wrote
>> 99% of Nagios 4 and then let him fork Naemon? Priceless. (you might need to
>> see the full presentation from last years OSMC:
>> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgbbyyNIiHc )
> Andreas did major rework on nagios3->nagios4. Its really good work.
> But he is really hard on policing what goes into core and not allowing
> fully joined development. This happens in open-source regularly when
> lead developer is a bit of a nazi but this does not promote
> cooperation and growth of the project and without new developers
> project stagnates. I told him all that privately.

It doesn't hurt to control the architecture and quality process. But it 
hurts the project if it's just one leader, that's true.

> All that said kicking him off core team was absolutely wrong thing to
> do, and shows Nagios & Ethan's interest in keeping project private
> rather than truly open-source.
The fact that I've extracted from all those happenings was that the XI 
product still uses Nagios 3 and the OSS version with Nagios 4 would just 
been better than the commercial version performance wise. So more of a 
product strategy decision which wasn't really the best idea given the 
recent happenings. Well, the reaction closing down the mailinglists and 
kicking him out leaves nothing more to add.

> There were other solutions available
> that would not cause yet another split in the community. Some time ago
> in private I tried proposing having a technical review/advisory board
> of about 5 people so that there would not be one person making
> decisions on the core and the decisions and work on the core would be
> more transparent to the open-source community. There was not enough
> interest and without multiple people a board like this a split was not
> surprising.

People are lazy (and slow even). That doesn't work well with the 
monitoring community, maybe other communities do better. Though, the 
idea is great.

> I'm quite disappointed how because of their personal egos and/or
> business interests the developers couldn't work together to continue
> the project in open-source collaborative way. Multiple forks is bad
> for everyone and actually means less contributions and development.
> Notice how Shinken does not have this issue where as original nagios
> core code development does.

Shinken got other problems which are in the nature of how they organize 
development. But that's the fun with these projects - learn & get 
better. In terms of Icinga and Naemon sharing the code base with Nagios, 
you're probably right about that.

But to be honest - that's history. Either you choose to fix the code, 
and rewrite it (Andreas had a slide on OSMC with ~35% of the code being 
rewritten). In Icinga 2 we made a radical decision in throwing away the 
old Nagios code and implementing everything from scratch. Well, not 
really me, but Gunnar did a magnificent job on that. And I know what 
people say - why C++? Why not Java/C/whateverlanguage? Why not asking 
Naemon devs to join forces? Apparently that question was after each 
presentation on that wednesday. Different interests and goals. And the 
most important part - everyone wants to act *independant* from a 
dictatorship like seen with Nagios.

>> ** Rather ask Nagios Enterprises if the value of defending their trademark
>> is worth loosing a community full of qualified developers & users. **
>> I welcome and appreciate the project's decision to overcome the censorship
>> enforced by Nagios Enterprises and freely commit to Nagios and its forks -
>> Icinga, Shinken, Naemon, Centreon Engine, Opsview, etc
>> That makes me believe that this project is _free_ and follows the true open
>> source community spirit - it keeps me motivated to start sending them
>> patches from which i've stepped back in the past due to the unclear
>> situation.
> I've stepped back from working on Nagios core code work because of how
> people who control its development have been acting. But I basically
> have my own fork, I just keep it private for my own customers use
> only. For now until things are more clear I'm not sending any patches
> to anyone.

That's too bad. Not that I add every patch to Icinga 1.x but I am 
interested in any valuable input that in regards. But I also understand 
your position, not liking the chaotic ecosystem now existing, especially 
with that code base available in different projects. That's btw also a 
reason for Icinga 2 - to abandon old bug history, and start off/over. 
Porting patches and reworking them is much more work, than designing and 
implementing own stuff. But I guess you already know that.

> Do note that unlike many people involved, I'm someone who does not
> have commercial interest with any of these companies or projects. I do
> private consulting and can work with any of the projects. And all this
> is < 20% of my time as I'm not full-time devops with any company or
> full-time open-source developer. This is just something extra I kept
> being involved in when I went to academia because I liked nagios. But
> all this drama will make me rethink if I should continue and in what
> way despite that I've been involved in nagios in some way for over 10
> years.

Hm yeah well. At some point such projects eat 200% of your spare time, 
while work says different stuff. My decision on getting closer with 
Icinga and sharing my expertise with customer projects was led by the 
most common problem these days - meet in either Vienna or Nuremberg for 
3 days, hack away, talk, discuss and you'll get more stuff fixed than in 
3 months. These days, we're doing this in the office, every day. And I 
really appreciate the fact that Netways pays me for developing Icinga 2 
- it could've been my 200% spare time instead (so it's just some 
percentage for Icinga 1.x haha)

And I do know the reactions, just as "Uh ah eh, your employee dictates 
the direction the project is heading". That's just bullshit, even if 
we've learnt otherwise from other companies dictating and controlling 
open source projects (that's one of the reasons why there will *never* 
exist any "Icinga Enterprise" or "Icinga Commercial Version" just 
because that's not our vision of an open source project). And if anyone 
thinks that my opinion is now influenced by my employer - good companies 
actually trust the expertise and opinion of their employees. I feel 
comfortable here in Nuremberg.

> Again, this is just my own personal opinion. And I do hope things get
> together in this community.

I'm hoping that the monitoring plugins project will receive their 
feedback just as usual, and all new users will recognize the new project 
name. It's always confusing acting under a new name, and being asked 
"why?" all the time. Probably the team should add a FAQ entry, sort of 
the "why a fork" entry we keep for historical reasons for icinga.org

Other than that, even if Nagios gets lost in their enterprise cloud with 
their moderated forum, there's still the monitoring-portal.org where the 
community meets, unmoderated.

> P.S. One other thing I've been unhappy about with Nagios was their
> decision to drop mail lists. I don't have the time to read forums and
> as an "old school" open-source person I like mail lists. Not that I
> comment that often anyway but major things I do read on.

That's true. Only moving away from sourceforge is a necessary step given 
the recent ad-ware crap, but a local mailman isn't that hard to setup. 
We did that with lists.icinga.org last week.

best regards,

>> That's my personal opinion, not my Icinga one.
>> best regards,
>> Michael
>> PS: I've taken the liberty to notify package maintainers about the changed
>> upstream url.
>> https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=1054340
>> https://bugzilla.novell.com/show_bug.cgi?id=859105
>> http://www.freebsd.org/cgi/query-pr.cgi?pr=185829
>> OpenBSD response: "I've updated URLs, thanks for pointing this out."
>> https://bugs.gentoo.org/show_bug.cgi?id=498292
>> https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/nagios-plugins/
>> --
>> DI (FH) Michael Friedrich
>> mail:     michael.friedrich at gmail.com
>> twitter:  https://twitter.com/dnsmichi
>> jabber:   dnsmichi at jabber.ccc.de
>> irc:      irc.freenode.net/icinga dnsmichi
>> icinga open source monitoring
>> position: lead core developer
>> url:      https://www.icinga.org

DI (FH) Michael Friedrich

mail:     michael.friedrich at gmail.com
twitter:  https://twitter.com/dnsmichi
jabber:   dnsmichi at jabber.ccc.de
irc:      irc.freenode.net/icinga dnsmichi

icinga open source monitoring
position: lead core developer
url:      https://www.icinga.org

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