Re: Question to candidates: what about next ODF?

On Mon, 2007-12-03 at 01:11 -0500, Richard Stallman wrote:
> I don't recall that any candidate explicily rejected supporting the
> free software movement by means other than improving the
> attractiveness and success of GNOME.  But several candidates answered
> in a way that seemed to pointedly imply a rejection of any such form
> of support for the community.  They listed various ways of helping the
> free software movement, all through making GNOME more attractive and
> successful.  To me, it seems to imply that they reject the idea that a
> project such as GNOME ought to try to help the movement other than
> through maximizing the project's own success as software.
> I'm glad to know that isn't how you see the matter.

I see what you mean now.  I have been thinking about this very same
issue recently.  Looks like GNOME Foundation is by definition limited in
what it can do, because unlike foundations like FSF or EFF, it was
solely created to handle GNOME Projects needs.  It's part of the
definition that it should avoid making controversial decisions that are
not backed by the community, and recent examples show that the community
at large can't really agree on anything but what compiler to use...

Examples of foundations that have not limited themselves so strictly and
have grown to shine are the Apache and Python Software Foundations.  By
limiting ourselves to routine tasks, we have essentially limited the
potential income of the foundation to such low levels that we have
problems hiring a decent Business Development or Executive Director, and
that means it's now up to the board members (plus our part-time
administrator) to do all the mundane tasks that can be done much better
by a professional.  Of course, it looks like we have too much money at
our hands, but just because we don't spend anything.  Hire two people
and we are as poor as you can imagine.

To summarize, while I'm a huge advocate of "board just does the mud work
for others", I have started feeling that GNOME Foundation as a whole is
limiting itself too much, risking to become irrelevant in a few years.
We can't change that overnight, but we can start thinking about it.

Richard, I also like to see you show up in the GNOME Advisory Board
meetings and mailing list as FSF's representative.  Many of your points,
comments, and criticism on this list is exactly what the adboard is for,
and FSF is already a member.



...very few phenomena can pull someone out of Deep Hack Mode, with two
noted exceptions: being struck by lightning, or worse, your *computer*
being struck by lightning.  -- Matt Welsh

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