Alright, it's been a pretty hectic week, and as always the roller coaster that life can bring has its ups and downs and can even make you sick.
On Tuesday, IB told me that, among other things, my employment-based non-compete agreement with NM had transferred to them. First I'd heard of that.
So, if that is true, then it would mean that I can't do cubits since it's true that much of this site can be seen as competing with DG.
They never did produce the evidence that this assignment had occurred. Rather than spend my weekend agonizing over this issue as I wait for them to produce the document, I decided to just give up and shut the site down, hoping that this would close the issue so I could get on with my life.
Unfortunately, almost immediately after I shut cubits.org down, the subscription on my and Trish's accounts at DG were revoked.
We had dinner and milked the cow, and when we came back in it turned out that our entire accounts had been deleted from DG. It was then that we saw that Michael Egan had posted a pretty lengthy post to DG.
Unfortunately, this statement is loaded with defamatory statements. I sent him an email and demanded he retract the falsehoods, and as of this morning he has not done so.
I am not able to defend myself on DG, because my account was removed. Therefore, his statement remains unchallenged in this very public place. Thankfully, some kind DG members have been posting on my behalf in an effort to at least somewhat mitigate the damage being done to my reputation.
I do need to defend some points.
Michael wrote:3) Within days of declining our offer Dave launched a significantly code-complete site that started as an invite-only community.
This is not evidence that I stole their code. It is evidence that I am a very good and very fast programmer. Anybody who has worked with me can attest to that fact. Moreover, we have a record here at cubits.org of all the development that occurred. On day one, the site was hardly "code-complete" and I had to develop it WHILE MEMBERS WERE JOINING AND USING IT. Many people were there and remember this very well, and I have a record of our discussions of exactly this.
It can and will be shown that cubits.org was written entirely from the ground up.
Michael wrote:4) We also saw that on Dave's profile on cubits that he claimed to be the owner of a plant database which was located on cubits. This database had over 170,000 entries in it even though the site had only been operational for a mere weeks. When we dug into the database it was clear that this was a replica of davesgarden's Plant Files database, taken directly from davesgarden and altered slightly.
This "replica" of their plant database was actually a simple list of plant names, along with links to other databases where more information could be obtained.
My plant database contained no information. Only the name of the plant, along with links to where people can get more information on the plant.
To help you visual this, please compare an entry from my database with an entry from there's, and ask yourself whether it looks like I made a replica of their data.
Michael wrote: we found that Dave had returned to Davesgarden recently and injected html code into his own profile here so that any user who landed on it would be automatically redirected to his profile on cubits.
There's nothing illegal here. The profiles on DG allow anybody to post HTML into their member page. So, I put a meta refresh tag into my profile so that people would be directed over to my profile at cubits.
Sneaky? Maybe. Illegal? No.
Michael wrote: When we attempted to use our admin tools to change this we realized that Dave, prior to handing over the code to us, placed a large number of "backdoors" into the davesgarden codebase that gave both him and his wife special privileges, including the fact that no one could change his own profile.
This is a biggy here. I really can't imagine what he's saying when referring to a "large number" of backdoors. There are no backdoors that I am aware of in the DG code, and I certainly didn't add any either recently or anytime in the past.
Now, it has always been that the code contained admin rules that gave access to people based on who they are.
For example, there is code that says that if the username is Joan or Mystic, then give them special access to PlantFiles.
Or if the username is dave or Trish then he's a super admin.
Or if the username is Terry, then do something else.
And I know that from the very beginning of DG I have always had it programmed that nobody can ever lookup "dave" or "Trish" passwords. I didn't want any admin on DG to ever being able to login as me. I wrote that code back in 2001 before bringing Terry on as an admin.
These things were there and were a part of normal administrative control functions of the site. I'm not sure if that's what Michael is referring to, but he referred to "a large number" of backdoors, so I'm at a loss here.
I can't "prove" that I didn't install a backdoor anymore than you can't prove that you didn't break into the smithsonian last night. All I can do at this time is to flatly deny that I installed any backdoor(s) into the DG codebase (or any other code base for that matter) and his factually spoken statement that I did is the most serious of all his defamatory remarks.
So, why is cubits.org back up?
After talking with my attorney last evening and this morning, we have concluded that leaving the site down could be seen as an act of acquiescence and agreement with what Michael posted.
I was prepared to disappear off into the distance, but unfortunately that is no longer an option for me. I have a long career in technology ahead of me, but I cannot proceed with these defamatory remarks remaining unchallenged. I unfortunately must challenge them or else my career stands in ruins.
As a side note, Cubits.org will remain up at least until IB produces satisfactory evidence that my non-compete was indeed transferred to them. Should they produce evidence to me that the agreement was transferred from Namemedia to them, then I will do the right thing and take cubits.org down. But I won't take it down without that evidence.
.DAVESGARDEN, a Gardening site from US, has been sold to a company Namemedia which at its turn has sold it to INTERNET BRANDS.
A conflict arose and needs to be resolved between IB, the present owner of the gardening site DAVESGARDEN and DAVE, the creator of DAVESGARDEN.
Internet Brands has threatened to sue Dave if he does not shut down another Community site of his creation, called Cubits.org, which IB claims to be competing with the one they bought from him, Davesgarden site, publicly accusing Dave in the forums of Davesgarden.
Myriam, who has been for years a whole-hearted voluntary contributor and paying member of Davesgarden, (bonitin) as she is called there, started a new thread with Dave's own self defence, published on Cubits http://cubits.org/dave/thread/view/24252/ but it has been deleted under the pretence of there being already enough threads going on about the subject. Then she posted David's rebuttal of the false accusation on several existing threads about the issue, to give a fair chance to Dave to be heard in Dave's Garden but she then herself had cut off her membership, without a warning, what is against the policy off the site, on the pretext of "disrupting" Davesgarden.
Who is in fact disrupting the original open, honest and noble spirit of Dave's Garden here?
As Dave for now cannot defend himself in the forums of Davesgarden personally, and his defence has been deleted several times when others published it there, in new or existing threads, and his voice would be further silenced if his other online community site Cubits.org would be forced to shut down, we offer a place here, at www.naturestudio.net , where he can be heard.
As we see no altruism in the threat of IB for www.cubits.org to be closed downbut yes in the community site Cubits.org, even if IB like a Corporate Goliath, continues to pursue closing down this community site Cubits.org by force, Dave still will have won the case in the hearts of the people.
from van Chapman
(a 'till now inactive Cubit owner called Naturestudio).
DAVESGARDEN is an internet community of which Myriam Vandenberghe, of Naturestudio, was a loyal active and contributing member of for many years under the pseudonym of bonitin