Re: Foundation summary
- From: Bart Decrem <bart eazel com>
- To: Mike Kestner <mkestner ameritech net>
- Cc: foundation-list gnome org
- Subject: Re: Foundation summary
- Date: Sat, 29 Jul 2000 01:01:45 -0700
Well, it was a pretty big deal for Eazel to join Gnome. We basically bet our
company, and our investors' money, on Gnome. So before we made the official
announcement to that effect, we wanted to get to know the Gnome community.
Frankly, we hadn't even decided that we were going to GPL our software. For a
while, we were coding in C++. Our code certainly wasn't in CVS. But Miguel,
Federico and others were willing to have private conversations with us and helped
us understand how free software works, and how Gnome works. Then they introduced
us to the RHAD guys. We had a set of very lively discussions, and they ended up
convincing us that we needed to be an integral part of the community, drop our C++
code, put our code into CVS. They then helped us get to know more Gnome hackers,
and helped us introduce ourselves to the community. This was a big deal for us.
And I think we did things the right way. As a result, I do think we're able to be
a real part of the Gnome community and effectively work together. Now, I think we
have built up enough trust among the Gnome hackers that, when conflcts arise,
we'll be able to resolve them based on that trust. Compare: Corel and KDE for
But one thing that was kind of weird was that Miguel, Federico and the RHAD guys
offered to help us, and gave us a preview of how the Gnome community would respond
to our announcement, but they were really in no position to represent Gnome.
So having a place where companies will be able to go to and say "we're interested
in building a company on top of Gnome" or "we'd like to contribute 6 million lines
of code to Gnome. Please help us figure this out. And by the way, this is
strictly confidential for the time being" will be really important if we want to
develop Gnome into a true alternative desktop environment to the Windows desktop.
I'm not sure if you've followed the recent OpenOffice announcement by Sun, but Sun
is basically GPL'ing 6 million lines of code and rewriting OpenOffice on top of
GTK, Bonobo and other core Gnome technologies. This is a huge step forward for
free software and, in my opinion, the most important boost to free software since
the Mozilla announcement. These kinds of announcements require a lot of
preparation. In the future, we'll actually have a forum for these conversations
that's accountable to the Gnome hackers.
Mike Kestner wrote:
> Bart Decrem wrote:
> > For example, Eazel was created several months before we were
> > comfortable announcing ourselves to the world and putting our source code in
> > Gnome CVS. So we went directly to Miguel and, later, to the Red Hat folks
> > and dealt with them. We needed a confidential forum to get to know the Gnome
> > community and get advice on how to join the community.
> I don't understand this statement. Are you saying that Miguel and
> RedHat were instrumental in causing Eazel to post an introductory e-mail
> to gnome-list? In my recollection, that is how Eazel joined the
> Could you elaborate on the types of insight you were looking for from
> Miguel and RedHat, and how that would be more appropriately provided by
> an elected group of hackers representing all the major GNOME companies,
> and maybe a token charity hacker or two?
> Please excuse my sarcasm. I'm honestly trying to understand what types
> of private corporate discussion this foundation board will be engaging
> in. Were you deciding between KDE and GNOME? How did you expect to get
> to know the Gnome community from talking to a few people, and how will
> this be any better when the few people are the board of a foundation?
> foundation-list mailing list
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