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To: "William L. Thomson Jr." <wltjr@g.o>
From: Luca Barbato <lu_zero@g.o>
Subject: Foundation existence and behavior (Was: Section 4.1 Member Classes)
Date: Sun, 25 May 2008 02:03:39 +0200
William L. Thomson Jr. wrote:
> On Sat, 2008-05-24 at 17:59 -0400, Richard Freeman wrote:
>> I'm not going to reply to anything specific in this thread,
> 
> Then start a new one. This thread exists to get something done. Not to
> air everyone opinions, thoughts, etc wrt the foundation as a whole.

Well Richard opinion goes quite in another direction about that proposal

>> As a Gentoo user, I could really care less whether Gentoo holds any 
>> tangible assets.  As long as there is a server to rsync off of I'm good 
>> to go - and there are lots of people out there willing to contribute 
>> bandwidth because it is for a good cause.

> Ok, well there are allot of users interested in release media.

They'll help getting it done, either by doing themselves or supporting 
people doing it because they find the thing interesting.

> So your thoughts there? Or what about at an event?

Get someone sponsoring it.

> Ever been by a Gentoo booth compared to others? Like say FreeBSD?

Say FFmpeg's one?

> And those rsync servers and bandwidth cost $.

Kindly provided by privates and organizations using Gentoo.

> 
>> As a Gentoo user, I'd rather see enthusiastic volunteer developers who 
>> are happy to contribute, than to see Gentoo turn into some kind of 
>> corporate atmosphere where those who pay get the features they need (a 
>> la most commercial distros).  Sure, it might be a non-profit on paper, 
>> but large non-profits tend to be indistinguishable from commercial 
>> enterprises - neither is really grass-roots.
> 
> Let's be quick to think the worst, never the best. Your thoughts ensure
> Gentoo will never be certified on any hardware. We will have no vendor
> relationships. That we will always be a grass roots hobbyist efforts.

Non-sequitur.

> What does that say to users that run Gentoo in business and depend on it
> daily? There are countless big and small business depending on and
> running Gentoo. Guess those users don't matter.

Non-sequitur again.

>> As a Gentoo user, I'd like devs to listen to my ideas, but I recognize 
>> that I'm getting far more out of Gentoo than I'm putting into it.
> 
> But devs do not have to listen to users.

Why should they? Ah, well, because we are reasonable people, open to 
feedback and treasuring the help others give us.

> At this point users have little to no representation or say in anything
> that isn't relayed or acted upon by a dev that is interested or cares
> about the users point of view.

And that is perfectly fine. We are all users before developers, we are 
doing lots of wonderful stuff since each of us tries to solve his 
problems and by doing that solves others' as well. Give and take back 100x.

> That's providing devs are even available, on irc, email, etc for users
> to interact with. Some are only around to commit code and work bugs.

So?

> Which bugs and any direct emails are the only contact they have with
> users.

Again, nothing problematic here.

>> Frankly I'm amazed that so many folks put in so much time to make this 
>> distro really great to run - and I don't have to pay a dime for it!  So, 
>> when I want to have things my own way, I don't really expect anybody to 
>> bow to my needs.  I think that devs should listen to the collective will 
>> of the users because it is the right thing to do - not because the users 
>> should hold any power over them.
> 
> Well we get donations and contributions from users. In fact several of
> our sponsors are sponsors because they are also users. So if we have no
> users, and we need more gear, bandwidth, etc for you to have fun
> committing code. Who will provide that? It's a fine balance, like most
> things in life.

We have users because we are the best for their needs and they want us 
to be around. Chicken and egg problem solved.

>> I think that Gentoo should be run by a group of volunteers who are 
>> accountable to the volunteers that contribute (whether staff or devs).
> 
> Ok, so I guess me being on the board. I am no longer a dev, or a user.
> Nor am I am volunteer. I guess I am going to get paid at some point?

No, you should not exist.

>> I'd rather not have a foundation with power over trademark, assets, etc, 
>> threatening to pull the plug or force a fork if the devs or their 
>> elected leadership don't fall in line over some controversy.
> 
> That is very far fetched and completely negative.

Strong counteraction from to a strong opinion.

>>   As long as 
>> the Foundation and the Council have a common constituency I'm not too 
>> concerned about this happening, but when the constituencies are 
>> different there is the potential for conflict.
> 
> There is only conflict if the foundation overstepped it's bounds. Which
> would not and will not happen. If we could ever make progress in the
> bylaws we could stipulate such things. Worse case have means for
> arbitration if there was some issue or etc. But the two will never have
> equal authority over the same matter.

Again what the council received as proposal could be interpreted in a 
quite grim way.

>> Personally, I'm not too concerned that Gentoo depends on our sponsors.
> 
> Sure because they are there. If we lost one, and you could not commit
> code, or go to g.o, or etc. Then I think you and many others would care.
> Allot, and very quickly.

Then we'll find solutions.

>> I contribute to Gentoo because it is the right thing to do and I'm able 
>> to give back a little of what I'm getting.  I suspect most who sponsor 
>> open source projects in various ways do so for the same reason.
> 
> Maybe you should look into the reasoning behind each of our sponsors.
> Why they are sponsors I have been looking into that with little success.
> However there are some that are sponsors only because Gentoo devs work
> there. When that is no longer the case. I wonder what will happen then.

They'll be replaced as needed.

>> Open source is about community - a community of contributors, not a 
>> community of voters for whom a vote costs nothing, or maybe it costs a 
>> few bucks.
> 
> Ok, so FOSS is about community, but that community of contributors can't
> vote or have representation or any say. That makes allot of sense in the
> same sentence :)

You have your say since you are part of this community and you got this 
by contributing, easy, isn't it?

>> None of us started using gentoo because we got to vote to 
>> make the devs do what we wanted, but rather because we saw that a bunch 
>> of devs had created something that we could really use.  Every 
>> successful FOSS project I can think of operates in the same way.
> 
> Really, so have you looked at Gnome lately?

Less than stellar?

> Or what about FreeBSD?

Devs do their stuff as they like in their quite closed community.

> Have
> you looked at any projects of our size or near it? What are you basing
> your comparisons on? Be specific, providing an opinion with no facts to
> reinforce it is baseless.

Your examples are satisfactory already.

>> I'd really like to see the Foundation aim to involve more of the 
>> community and point out when the community is neglected.
> 
> That completely contradicts most of what you have said so far.

Not really, you plan to get more people inside the foundation that can 
have some kind of power over the developers, he would like to have the 
foundation get more developers and aggregate the opinion of non 
developers. Pretty different, isn't it?

>>   I'm genuinely concerned that this move could have the 
>> long-term results of causing a fork which would be very disruptive (or 
>> maybe not - just look at XFree86).  I'd really rather not see this 
>> happen to my favorite distro!
> 
> Again, let's thing about all the negatives. All the bad things that
> could happen. That you would even thing a stronger foundation would lead
> to a fork in Gentoo. That's pretty hilarious.

C.F. Xorg vs XFree86

> I think Gentoo has come close to forks before and it had 0 to do with
> the foundation. If something like that occurs, it's for many other
> reasons.

People can have different opinion and wants to check if they are right 
the experimental way. Nothing wrong with it.

lu

-- 

Luca Barbato
Gentoo Council Member
Gentoo/linux Gentoo/PPC
http://dev.gentoo.org/~lu_zero

-- 
gentoo-nfp@g.o mailing list


Replies:
Re: Foundation existence and behavior (Was: Section 4.1 Member Classes)
-- Roy Bamford
Re: Foundation existence and behavior (Was: Section 4.1 Member Classes)
-- William L. Thomson Jr.
References:
Section 4.1 Member Classes
-- William L. Thomson Jr.
Re: Section 4.1 Member Classes
-- Richard Freeman
Re: Section 4.1 Member Classes
-- William L. Thomson Jr.
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