Colin Watson, Steve McIntyre & Debian, Ubuntu cover-up mission after Frans Pop suicide


We present a new email today revealing that Steve McIntyre (sledge), formerly of ARM Ltd, was invited to remove the servers from the home of Frans Pop.

The email reveals that Debian was Pop's entire way of life. He lived with his servers doing free unpaid work for different Debian teams.

If a volunteer kills himself and gives you a house full of servers it smells a lot like some Debian people got a reward for working Frans Pop to death.

Therefore, if there are no consequences for killing somebody, if they get a reward from his assets, there is no reason for these people to change their behavior towards volunteers.

To put the email in context, remember that Colin Watson was trying to downplay the significance of that phrase "His main concern was his work for Debian". Yet he lived surrounded by his computers.

We could think of this visit to Frans Pop's house as some sort of cover-up mission.

McIntyre also tries to use Pop's previous cancer as a scapegoat for the suicide. His musings about this are absurd. McIntyre lacks the competence to make judgments about such medical matters, just as WIPO lawyers lack the competence to judge who is or isn't a developer. McIntyre's comments about a cancer show us that Debian people are simply unable to admit there is a possibility that they worked Frans Pop to death.

Subject: Re: Death of Frans Pop
Date: Sun, 22 Aug 2010 12:21:47 +0100
From: Steve McIntyre <steve@einval.com>
To: debian-private@lists.debian.org

I'm saddened to see the news about Frans triggering arguments, but I
suppose it's not too much of a surprise - shock and grief can cause
all kinds of reactions in people. :-(

On Sat, Aug 21, 2010 at 11:47:34AM +0100, Steve McIntyre wrote:
>Hi all,
>
>I have bad news to share with people, I'm afraid. This morning, I've
>just received an email from the parents of Frans Pop telling me that
>he died yesterday.
>
>"Yesterday morning our son Frans Pop has died. He took his own life,
>in a well-considered, courageous, and considerate manner. During the
>last years his main concern was his work for Debian. I would like to
>ask you to inform those members of the Debian community who knew him
>well."

I've had another email from them today. Something that many/most
people will not have known before now was that Frans had been
suffering from thyroid cancer. He went into hospital a couple of years
ago for treatment and only mentioned it to a few of us at the time. He
had not mentioned it since, leading me to assume that he was
cured. Now I'm not sure either way.

I didn't mention this illness to people here yesterday while I asked
his father if it might have been a factor in Frans' choice to end his
life. I've just had confirmation this morning that apparently it was
*not*. Frans had other reasons, although I'm still personally
wondering if there might have some contribution.

I'm going to ask them about a funeral/memorial service and whether or
not some of Frans' Debian colleagues and friends will be welcome. If
so, I'm planning to head along myself and I trust a number of more
local Debian folk will too. I'll also ask whether an official
statement or dedication (of some sort) on behalf of the project will
be acceptable.

Finally, a more mundane matter. Frans was hosting/using a number of
machines at his house and asked that they be passed back to Debian.
Please contact me *off-list* if you can help. His parents live a fair
way from the town where he lived, so will need to arrange to travel
there to meet people. They'd therefore appreciate it if one person can
take care of everything.

Please respect the privacy of this information; I'm expecting that
we'll make a co-ordinated public statement of some sort in the near
future.

Thanks,
-- 
Steve McIntyre, Cambridge, UK.                                steve@einval.com
"I can't ever sleep on planes ... call it irrational if you like, but I'm
 afraid I'll miss my stop" -- Vivek Dasmohapatra

Watson's earlier email downplaying the role of Debian in the suicide:

Subject: Re: Death of Frans Pop
Date: Sat, 21 Aug 2010 13:39:21 +0100
From: Colin Watson <cjwatson@debian.org>
To: debian-private@lists.debian.org

On Sat, Aug 21, 2010 at 01:52:33PM +0200, Ludovic Brenta wrote:
> Steve McIntyre <steve@einval.com> writes:
> > "Yesterday morning our son Frans Pop has died. He took his own life,
> > in a well-considered, courageous, and considerate manner. During the
> > last years his main concern was his work for Debian. I would like to
> > ask you to inform those members of the Debian community who knew him
> > well."
> 
> Does that imply he took his own life *because* of Debian, which was "his
> main concern"?

This is probably the wrong thread for linguistics, but that phrase would
normally just indicate that Debian was his main interest.  In
http://oxforddictionaries.com/view/entry/m_en_gb0169810 under "noun",
this would be sense 2 rather than sense 1.

-- 
Colin Watson                                       [cjwatson@debian.org]
Frans Pop, Colin Watson, Steve McIntyre, sledge, debian, ubuntu, suicide