Re: steering committee vs foundation

Bart Decrem <> writes:

> I understand your concern and I would also prefer it if we could have one
> entity instead of two.
> However,
> 1- there seemed to be consensus in yesterday's discussion that we want to
> keep the technical and marketing functions separate
> 2- we need a forum for corporations to get involved and that doesn't
> really jive with the elections idea.
> The foundation does provide the legal umbrella that our corporate
> partners require.  Since the corporate members will most likely provide
> the bulk of the funds, I don't think it's so unreasonable that they would
> have a say in how those funds get allocated.  But the board would be a
> balance between hackers and corporate reps.

I guess it makes me uncomfortable (quite uncomfortable, in fact) to
think that the legal entity for GNOME (US) would be controlled
primarily by companies contributing money, and not by the "hacker
community". I doubt that the planned foundation for Europe is going to
be organized along these lines.

Such a body would be unsuitable for carrying on a good number of the
activities that we might want a legal body to do. For instance,
for holding copyright on code.

And I'm not sure such a structure would necessarily assure
accountability to the contributing corporations - I get the feeling
that the most of the OpenGroup's corporate members were not happy with
the way it handled X.

It seems to me that a body controlled by technical contributors,
(which would include people from corporations), and with a "corporate
advisory council", would be a better structure.  But then again, I'm
only speaking as a hacker, and not even for Red Hat as a company,
so I can't say what companies require in this regard.

Since we aren't considering having a body with corporate members
actually make the decisions, either such a structure (combined with control
over next year's contributions, and the interest of GNOME hackers in
getting their code adopted) is sufficient to align GNOME with the
companies, or we have a problem. It's not likely a company-controlled
GNOME US is going to solve this problem.

The less bodies, the less chance for conflicts between them, the
less chance for confusion, the less chance for mistaken 
impressions. ("When I talked to the GNOME Foundation US, they
said you were going to release in April, but its now October
and you still haven't released!")


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