I did indeed discuss the opportunity of a second contract privately (using the email@example.com mail address). I did this because it included then private information which I did not want to share on a publicly archived mailing list (about leaving my then-employer, etc). I think that is a normal process to handle sensitive information.
I offered several ideas of things I could work on (IIRC including WebKit and the ARM port). The inc decided that WebKit was more interesting/useful. At the time the inc was run by Matt Madia, and I discussed some things directly over IRC as it was a faster way to clear up the details.
As I mentioned, my contract stopped in an unexpected way. There had been delays of > 1 month in getting me paid already, and eventually I received an e-mail telling me that they had no idea how much money was left and if it was possible to continue the contract.
I should also mention that at the same time my second contract was announced, there was also one for Pawel Dziepak. So, is he part of the mysterious secret Haiku team? Not quite. It just turns out at the time Matt was running the inc and was much more reactive. He had to leave for personal reasons and since then things are not going all that well on the inc side. However I don’t think I am allowed to complain, because I declined to be involved in the inc. I already run another non-profit (a music school), I know how much work it is, and I’m already happy enough that there are people at least trying to keep the inc running. I do however voice my concerns and try to put some suggestions on how to improve things (eg. with setting up a 3 year mandate for board members rather than asking them to resign when they run out of time/motivation).
As for my contract being extended after the first run, it is a combination of the above (people actively running the org at the time), good feedback from the community (maybe because the web browser is more user-facing than the media kit) and continued flow of donations making it possible, and myself just continuing to work without asking for anything (that’s what I mean by autonomy - I did not wait for the inc to grant me extensions, I just sent them invoices every month until they asked me to stop). I can dig out the private mails setting up the various extensions if you want them. It would be great if the inc coud publish their meeting minutes or at least a yearly activity report so we have some public trace of this, indeed.
I think the difference is mainly related to the fact that the inc was run by different people during my contract, and during yours. Indeed when Matt stopped being active in the inc, my contract soon ended.
As for R1 feature list, I don’t care what the community says, especially about gcc2. The only sane answer an user can give to this question is “why should I care? what is gcc2 anyways?”. It is ridiculous to ask users which compiler version we should be using.
For the perfectionism, it is actually a reason for me to stay with Haiku. After a day of work fixing other people’s work (this is my official mission for my paid work at this point), I can find some relaxation in working with beautiful, properly indented code, with variables having meaningful names. If I was dealing with code as ugly as what I get to handle at work, I would have stopped working with Haiku a long time ago. I can’t speak for other devs on this, but I guess their feeling is somewhat similar (maybe they have better paid jobs than me, however). In the short term it may look like it is slowing down things, but dirty code that needs a rewrite eventually gets in the way, so in the long term is it very important to keep everything nice and tidy and to always raise our quality standards. If that means R1 is an unreachable “never done” target, then so be it. I even offered to be the maintainer for the R1 branch while other people have fun experimenting with other things elsewhere (R2 branch, their own github fork, whatever).
As for your work on improving the media kit, I did not say that this was meant to be R2. I only said that when there is a disagreement on anything, people are too quick to say “this is an R2 thing” and dismiss the whole thing completely.
Now if we are getting personal (I would rather discuss this privately, but whatever). I do think there had been some communication issues during your contract. I did try to follow your work but IIRC the blog posts were not of reachable level for me, because you know the involved code a lot more than me. I can imagine how this was even more a problem for regular users, maybe including people from Haiku, inc (again I can’t speak for them). I know it is a difficult thing to do and the fact that I was working on the web browser made it a lot easier for me to have some public-facing news regularly. This helped increase the flow of donations and keep my contract running for some more time.
So once again, I don’t think anyone is trying to force you or anyone else out of Haiku (again, why would they do that?). My personal view on this is that if someone doesn’t get along with how the project work, we should try to see if we can improve things in a way that improves the situation for everyone. This can sometimes just be taking the time to discuss our respective visions and making sure we agree. This can be making adjustments or maybe just clarifications to the workflow. But your attitude of “there is a secret team inside haiku with a conspiracy to get all the contracts” won’t drive you anywhere, unless you have something to prove it. Haiku is an open source project, the inc could do with more transparency. But that does not mean they are trying to hide something. Why would we do this with Haiku? It can’t be for the money. It can’t really be for the fame either. So, that doesn’t make any sense to me.