I'm sorry to have to bring this to a public forum, but it's an issue that
affects the netrek community, and I'm at a loss of what to do.  In May
2006, I was router blocked from connecting to sage.real-time.com, the
machine that hosts both the metaserver and the continuum server, after
using multiple slots to register 2 ban votes to ban people on the
continuum server.  Since that time, both limitations on slots per IP and
minimum ban vote requirements (4 votes minimum) have been put in place.
Since that time I have apologized, to both Quozl and Tanner.  No response
from Tanner.  There was then a period, when my sturgeon server was between
hosts, in which I attempted to run the server from my local address.  Of
course, with the server not being able to communicate with the metaserver
due to the block, it limited the ability for people to play there.  Myself
and multiple people asked for the server to be able to be listed, again no
response.  In the interim, I have put in a ton of work on both client and
server development (I think it's fair to say I've been the most active
contributor to netrek development in the past year).  I've released a
client which is used by a significant portion of the playerbase.  I've
helped revive the dead status of netrek organized games by starting a new
mailing list (to replace the unused netrek at us.netrek.org list) that now
has close to 30 members, and has been responsible in great part for 3
successful clue games, the first such games in years.  Of course, a great
deal of "getting the word out" to the netrek community happens directly at
the places where the netrek games are played, and for the most part this
has been the continuum server.  I have used proxy software to get around
the router block (for the client at least) in order to reach the netrek
players, to advertise my client, to advertise clue games, and to provide
tech support for people who use my client.  Needless to say, I don't like
having to use a proxy, the connect is unreliable, the lag is too great to
play, and it wastes a great deal of time that is spent on actually
connecting to continuum.  But even with this large obstacle placed in the
way of what I consider progress in netrek, I said nothing.
Recents events with regards to metaserver policy (i.e. not listing all
servers) have led me to merge the COW UDP metaserver code into my client -
one of the features of the UDP metaserver is the ability to collect data
from multiple metaservers and display it simultaneously.  Needless to say,
actually testing this code is greatly inhibited by the fact that I could
only connect to 1 metaserver.
After 7 months, of multiple attempts to contact Bob Tanner, and many
contributions to netrek development, I finally manged to get my
development environment set up at a new, non-blocked IP.  Within a day I
had discovered 2 UDP metaserver bugs that I had not previously been able
to see due to not being able to reach both metaservers.  I fixed one, and
was in the process of debugging the other, when I found myself again IP
blocked from sage.real-time.com.  Again, with no word from Tanner.
So here I am, wondering what the hell should I do?  Bob Tanner owns much
of the netrek infrastructure, yet I cannot access it, and I cannot
properly debug a client due to his actions.  I'm seriously considering
removing metaserver.us.netrek.org from the UDP metaserver in my client
(would keep it for the TCP metaserver), and instead just use 1 metaserver.
Granted, I *could* make that 1 UDP metaserver be on the box Bob owns, but
giving how he has treated me, why would I want to have my client rely on
anything he controls?  I feel I can't trust him to do the right thing for
the community , or for the people who use my client.  I feel he's out of
touch with the community, evidenced by how the community has moved around
things under his control, as seen with the creation of an independent,
player-managed mailing list for netrek games, as well as a large number of
people who now use metaserver2.
What I want to know is, what would people do in my situation?  I don't
want to penalize the players by limiting for my inability to interact with
Bob Tanner, but it's getting to a point where it's having a serious effect
on both my ability and desire to work on a client.  Part of me worries
he'll ask for my client to be taken down from netrek.org as well, seeing
as that server is also hosted by real-time.  I just don't know what to do.
Maybe someone can help resolve this, I would appreciate it greatly.  I'm
frustrated to a point where I just can't hold it in any longer.