1. knowing Theo and how he'd "reinterpret" any private mail in public doing a private notification would have been madness. The OpenBSD folks have made this kind of public process necessary by their systematic hostility towards Linux wireless projects.
2. the OpenBSD people had already started distributing the contentious code, in fact SUN was looking at adapting their driver for Solaris. There was no way to handle this quietly at this stage - one had to notify third-parties because third-parties were already getting involved
Writing it has been mishandled by both sides is misleading. The initial notification was not closing any doors (one could fault it for being impersonnal, but given previous bad blood between the projects that was a good thing), and the Linux people did not react to the numerous flamebaits the other party shovelled at them.
Every way you look at it OpenBSD folks brought this on their heads themselves. Given the circomstances the Linux project has been pretty gracious about the whole thing.
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