Re: polarization

From: Havoc Pennington <hp redhat com>

> So I would want to see us work with a publisher of some kind if we did this.

Of course. But it's nice to be able to take or leave one when the interests of
the project aren't necessarily those of the publisher.

> I don't see how we can have a foundation about money that's separate
> from the developers' governance of the project.

The developers do technical direction. The foundation is mostly concerned
with nontechnical issues and is representative of the developers, but it
doesn't do things the developers want or need to concern themselves with

> GNOME has been doing just fine for 3 years with no money of its own to
> speak of (though millions of dollars worth of code, hosting, etc. have been
> contributed). In fact we had and still have substantial disagreement
> on this list about whether the foundation should have any significant
> funds at all. The archives will have that discussion, you probably saw
> it.

The question is whether we want to be a hacker's tool or the world's desktop.
If we're just a hacker tool, no money is fine and we can depend on begging for
individual items to be donated every time we need something. I hope you don't
really think that is what "independence" means.

I think we are trying to take GNOME to the next level, and of course not
everybody is bought into that - many people are content to see the developers
make the system just for us hackers to run.

> To me the foundation is a mechanism by which the developers are going
> to govern the project. For example, the board will be in charge of
> coordinating releases.
> The board is not making technical decisions, but it is making sure such
> decisions get made, and that they get communicated well between relevant
> developers.

So we've created a nontechnical management team to make sure the developers
do their jobs. Nobody's going to resent _that_, will they?

> We want to coordinate the technical efforts of the involved individuals
> and corporations;

It doesn't sound to me as if the process you intend to fix is broken. Excuse
me, but I have a sinking feeling about this.

> All the more reason to avoid depending on a foundation that has large
> coffers - if we don't have an interesting amount of money, we can't
> get too upset if they sue us for it.

You will need to be able to defend yourself in court, and that takes money.
Your coffers aren't available to be taken in a lawsuit if the organization
is structured properly, but they are your legal defense fund. With all of
the software and business system patents that are happening, we will need
to be able to defend GNOME from people who would make it impossible for us
to use a user-interface element because they've filed a patent on it. We
can't even fight unenforcible patents if we can't afford to go to court.



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