One of the most influential figures behind the success of What.CD music torrent tracker is leaving the site. The SysOp who goes by the name ‘Whatman’ will step down not because of legal threats or internal conflicts but due to lack of free time to run the site. Needless to say, Whatmans’ contribution to What.CD and to the BitTorrent tracker community in general has been massive. He was one of the key figures behind the development of Gazelle, a tracker codebase with advanced features pioneered by What now used in dozens of private torrent trackers. Additionally, Whatman took the lead in developing Ocelot, a BitTorrent tracker software that uses server resources optimally and efficiently. His absence will no doubt be a blow to What.CD but the tracker would continue to function normally under the current staff team. Quoted below is the complete ‘farewell speech’ by Whatman, originally posted on What.CD forums:
...Is a long time on the Internet. In that time, I've watched this site grow from a tiny tbsource site, buckling under the load of a few dozen users. to its current form - a record-breaking Internet juggernaut with over a million torrents. I've been with this site as it's moved country due to copyright threats, thwarted database crashes and hacking attempts, developed two cutting-edge codebases from scratch, hosted thousands of independent releases from artists worldwide, and passed milestone after milestone, carving its way into BitTorrent fame. It's been one of the greatest experiences of my life, to not just watch this development as a passive observer, but to play a central role in it.
Unfortunately, times change. I've always been willing to give all of my free time to this site, but as of several months ago, free time has become a luxury of the past. The less time I spend here, the less qualified I am to decide the future of the site and lead it in that direction. In these past few months, these duties have been impeccably overtaken by the current management, and I feel entirely comfortable leaving the site in their more than capable hands. It is thus, with great regret, that I have chosen to resign from my long-standing post as sysop of this site.
To all the current and ex-staff: Even though we've occasionally differed in opinion, you guys are some of the nicest and most intelligent people I've ever had the good fortune to meet and work with. I'll miss all of you.
To the users: From the casual downloaders to the hardcore rippers and uploaders, this place is an ecosystem that needs all of you to survive. We couldn't have gotten anywhere without you.
To anyone I've ever insulted, hurt, or ignored (I hope there aren't too many of you): I extend my deepest apologies. I've always tried to maintain a level head, but I'd be lying if I said that the stress, responsibility, conflicting requests from different camps, and huge volume of PMs didn't get to me at times.
I'd love to write more, but this has been hard enough already. If nothing else, I guess, I'd like to be remembered as the badass who coded ocelot.
It's been a hell of a ride, What. I know you'll do fine without me.
What.CD has come a long way from being one of OiNK’s piglets (the other being Waffles.Fm) to become the world’s largest music torrent community with over 1 million indexed torrents. Running a BitTorrent tracker, especially one that’s the size of What.CD, is not easy – it takes a lot of time and dedication on the part of SysOps to hold it all together. As you can obviously see from the success of the site, Whatman was one of the best Sysops a tracker could have - more than 150000 members What.CD would no doubt be grateful to the services he rendered over the years. Hopefully the development of Ocelot like projects will continue even after Whatman’s retirement.
P.S. – If you want to read more about Ocelot BitTorrent tracker, read this article on Hacker News.