Thursday, January 24, 2008

Paperwork arrived in NM. Forking Gentoo? Some corrections.

Paperwork arrived

It appears that the reinstatement paperwork was delivered
to the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission on Tuesday.
(It actually arrived last Saturday, but there was nobody to
sign for it, so it didn't actually get delivered until Tuesday.)

Now we wait for NM to process the paperwork.

Encouraging forks...

The first respondent to a recent blog post by drobbins,,
has urged drobbins to fork Gentoo. Drobbins has replied that
he'll consider it. Cool. I wish him well, if he decides to
to do it.

One of the great strengths of the open source world is that if you
think you can do something better, you can create a fork, and try
to validate your ideas in the marketplace.

A few corrections of "the response"

In drobbins' blog post "The Response...",,
there are a few misapprehensions that I'd like to correct.
I wasn't particularly clear on the phone, I'm afraid.

It's quite true that I would not be happy handing over the reins of the
Foundation to anybody without first having a vote of the members of the
Foundation. Indeed, were Gentoo to be accepted as a member project of either
the SFC or SPI, then a formal vote of the membership would have been required
to approve such a radical change. That said, what I mentioned to drobbins is
that I thought we should have an actual vote on accepting his proposal. I also
pointed out that a vote would have a deadline attached. I was thinking of the
polls being open for two weeks, but I would have been happy to negotiate on
that point. In any event, I thought I was proposing something that was
absolutely _not_ "an extremely long-term...decision-making process". It
certainly would have been political, though. What else is a process that tries
to find a consensus? Shrug (As an aside, the current Foundation members are
any previous dev who voted in a Trustee election, whether or not that person is
still an active dev, and any current or previous Trustee. Eligible members are
any active devs who have would have been developers for at least one year at
the time the polls close.) I assume from what drobbins has written, however,
that I failed miserably in getting this idea across.

Drobbins noted that I "did not express interest in resigning".
That's true, although I don't believe he asked me about it.
(It's quite possible that he did so indirectly, though, and that I
completely missed it.) I didn't mention it because I thought
it was obvious. I haven't made a secret of my having been a poor
steward of the Foundation, and I've publicly stated that I think the
Foundation urgently needs new trustees. (Trustee nominations
are now being taken on -nfp, by the way.)

Finally, it seems that I incorrectly conveyed the notion that the Foundation
is "stuck with developers and just developers as voting members".
That's not quite accurate. Right now the Foundation membership
is all current and ex-devs, but the members could vote to change that
in the future, if they so desired.

Sticks and stones

I've received some particularly vicious comments recently from some
Gentoo users. In case you were not sure, I find that polite,
well-reasoned arguments tend to be much more persuasive (to me,
anyway) than are vulgar, vicious screeds. I dare say that it's
a character flaw in my nature to not be that interested in reading
past the vitriol, but that's the way it is.

1 comment:

  1. imported comments

    Posted by Brian on Thu Jan 24 13:14:21 2008
    Thanks for the continued updates.

    It's not a character flaw not to want to be flamed. The way much of the community is reacting to this entire situation makes me sad.

    Posted by bmichaelsen on Thu Jan 24 18:31:38 2008
    @Brain: Well, I found the community reaction in the beginning - when the situation went public without any offical gentoo statement for two days - understandable. But that wasnt Grants fault, I guess. After the info was on the homepage and Grant posted his first (very well written) post on the topic, however most of the "angry user posts" seemed rather pointless to me.

    @Grant: Good work, thank you. As for encouraging forks, I guess thats one of the things gentoo should consider seriously as the gentoo ecosystem grows. Forks are good, if they create separate projects that get things done instead of one projects were all fractions veto each other.

    Posted by Max on Thu Jan 24 21:17:25 2008
    @Grant - You seem to be a well-spoken down to earth person with good manners, who is also not shy of admitting fault. I see no problems in you retaining your position if you so wish. Why not take Daniel on board, and you two then decide on how to take it forward from then on?

    Posted by Aniruddha on Fri Jan 25 00:53:46 2008
    Thanks for the update Grant. I think you're doing a great job.

    Posted by Tonko Mulder on Fri Jan 25 03:28:05 2008
    thanks for your well informed update. It's good to hear both sides of the story. Drobbins and yours.

    Posted by pcb on Fri Jan 25 07:35:47 2008
    Grant, I have not seen any comment from you on the fact that over 90% of the user base who voted here: would have liked drobbins offer to have been accepted. Do you have anything to say about this?

    Posted by Daniel Andrlik on Fri Jan 25 11:08:52 2008
    While I'm a user also interested in Daniel's offer, I will admit I'd like more details. Thanks Grant for keeping us informed.

    @pcb Honestly, I think these things should be done properly according to the Foundation's bylaws (Daniel helped create the structure of the Foundation, after all), regardless of a forum poll don't you? I for one really appreciate the open and balanced approach Grant is taking.

    Posted by pcb on Sat Jan 26 04:06:07 2008
    @Daniel Andrlik Not suggesting anything isn't done properly, just wondering whether Grant has considered, aside from sorting out the legal and administrative issues, how he's going to address the huge disconnect that currently exists between the foundation, the devs and the user base.

    Posted by Aniruddha on Sat Jan 26 23:14:21 2008
    To suggest that a poll on the forums represents 90% of the userbase is just silly.I think your capable enough to figure out why.



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