>> On 1/29/2011 at 12:16 AM, in message
This topic is probably the most important,
It is. As you point out below it sets the tone and scope of the Foundation.
but hopefully we will agree
pretty easily on it :-), so may be we have to discuss it now.
First some details.
The topic pages says: "Objective of the Foundation". May be we should
say "objectives" (plural)??
The page linked: http://en.opensuse.org/openSUSE:Foundation
title : "Charter and Purpose of a Foundation".
This should be changed for "Charter and Purpose of the openSUSE
Good catch - I changed the wiki page.
then on the most important parts.
In my mind, at first think, a "Foundation" deals only with legal stuff
and money, not with the day to day life of a project. So I see two
options for the openSUSE foundation:
* restricting the goals to that (legal and money), make it leaded by a
small group of old timers, well known and interested members and let
the openSUSE community at large work with the project on informal
basis (like many free software projects). Then the foundation will
have a board different from the openSUSE board as seen now (the
present board can have a control power of some sort);
* make the foundation the whole project. Looks like it's the prefered
option for now. In my opinion it's a bit more complicated to deal with.
I don't know for sure (and I don't know at all for german
associations), but I beg to be a member of an association one have to
pay some fee ("cotisation" in french) and to be identified physically
(not only in electronical form). Associations with non local (country
resident) members may have to be special - most states wants to
control strangers activity.
This is necessary and even very important because any group involving
money may attract some bad interest :-(.
No membeship fees!
In this option, by-laws have to be very well fitted not to have the
main direction board changed too easily.
That's why it is important to put checks and balances into the bylaws. Setting the
scope of the organization within the charter is one. Voting parameters is another;
setting high thresholds for significant changes for example -we'll dive into that as
part of another topic.
Let me give an example: I beg than kde organisation do not attract
many users at large, but mostly kde developpers. It's not the case for
openSUSE that have to work with a large community. I remember when the
ICANN wanted to have an "At large" vote, and sent reigistered mails to
any people that wanted to vote (I was in them), the cost was probably
I have already seen relatively small groups of motivated people take
the power in association against the former board. It's not impossible
than 20 motivated people could discourage others and take the power in
openSUSE (how many people in openSUSE are really intersted in legal
problems? right now there is little interest to do so and Novell is in
control, but on a foundation with lot of money...)
I personnally don't have any real taste for one or the other option :-(
let's discuss it.
NB: If you agree, I may summarize the discussion. Given we are on a
week end, may be be we can let go for 4 days, until approx tuesday?
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