Well, I really have no idea how to explain this. I wrote two specifications for Ubuntu, especially for Google Summer of Code '06. One was for a SAMBA GUI Configurator and another one was for an Offline Update Tool for Ubuntu. I had applied for both the projects and the Offline Update Tool idea got selected.
Now yesterday, I noticed that someone had applied for the SAMBA GUI Tool and her idea got accepted too. I was curious and went to check out the proposal and I was dumbstruck when I saw the proposal. It is a word-for-word copy of my original specification! Now I really don't mind others using my specification as the basis of a proposal, that's actually what it's intended for, but certainly not like this. I also understand that the Ubuntu Wiki is Public Domain, but licensing of content is not the issue here. It's the integrity of the student & the viability of the project I am worried about. I am worried about Ubuntu here. Can we really expect somebody like that to write good or any code for that matter? A proposal like this gives away the following information about the student —
- No willingness for attribution
- Lack of honesty
- Lack of creativity
- Lack of judgement
- Probably sub-optimal IQ
Now I am not screaming for revoking the scholarship from the student, I am just worried about the selection process & Ubuntu. It caused me a lot of pain when a good friend of mine didn't get selected. I thought there were better people who got through … but this tells me something else.
I also have extreme respect for the Ubuntu mentors … but my heroes, how could you overlook such a thing? Quite a few of you guys knew about my Specification, couldn't you just check it once and ask the the student to modify the proposal? Weren't there any better proposals than this? Can we really expect this project to be completed?
I always thought that the Copy-Paste Syndrome is a purely sub-continental obsession … but this incident has changed my notion completely. I feel bad about this.
To the student: I have nothing against you. I am happy that you want to help Ubuntu. But this is not the way it should be done. Remember, there are always two paths — the easy one, and the right one. What's easy now, will prove out to be wrong … soon.