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November 29, 2004

On The Death of SSCLI.Net

Last week I received some panic/angry e-mails from people asking me about a note that appeared on the SSCLI.Net site:

ATTENTION: SSCLI.Net shutdown is scheduled for 12/1/2004. Please migrate all information to local systems before that date.

It is obvious that people were upset about this, especially given the short time frame. I also am very disapointed about it. I think the site served the projects surrounding SSCLI quite well, although it probably didn't live up to the expectation of people that were just looking for more information on SSCLI.

Indirectly the site was funded out of the grants that came through the University Relations of Microsoft. When it became clear this summer that I would be leaving Cornell, I handed the responsibility for the site back to Microsoft for them to find another activist to run the site.

In the most positive scenario, I can think that the SSCLI folks at MS did a thorough analysis job of the usage of the site, reviewed the needs of the SSCLI community, weighed some alternatives and decided that the community was better served by a different service. Unfortunately I can also think of a number of less positive scenarios, given that no public action was taken until Collabnet posted the note (theatening) that they were going to shut down the site.

Mark Lewin finally responded last week with a public statement on the mailing lists announcing a replacement SSCLI portal, but without collaboration support. And it appears SSCLI.Net will remain in the air until the end of December for people to find ways of transferring their collaboration data to other sites.

Personally I am of course disappointed because I put a lot of effort in making the collaboration site a reality. But I know that there is a cycle to things and maybe the cycle for SSCLI.Net was short, so I respect the outcome. Maybe if there would have been an other community activist to drive the process this wouldn't have happened. But the way things are wrapped up does leave a bit of a bitter taste.

The opinion in this posting is personal and is in not related to, or supported by, my employer.

Posted by Werner Vogels at November 29, 2004 02:21 PM