Havoc Pennington rhp at
Fri Apr 2 21:10:05 UTC 1999


For those who haven't seen it,

Seems to be a project by law students and "internet activists" to get end
users involved in free software, support free software development, and 
work on free software advocacy. I don't know anything about it beyond the
web site, so add a grain of salt, but it looks cool.

The problem is that these guys are not free software developers, and may
not represent our interests. On the other hand, the essay on that site
shows that their heart is in the right place, it appears that they have
good legal/academic/lobbyist connections, and IMO involving end users in
this way is a 200% more exciting goal than getting yet another big
corporation to donate some token code. (My free software work has been on
the Debian Tutorial and Gnome, so clearly their goals and mine are
similar. :-)

I would like to see SPI the developer's organization work very closely
with them. I'd like to see them contributing to Debian; to achieve their
goals they need a 100% free operating system, and Debian is the only one
right now.

SPI needs people to do outreach, advocacy, lobbying, finance, legal stuff.
They need people to write code, and they need free software "street cred."
Could be a great pairing.

They are also not yet organized and their goals aren't set in stone;
there's some sort of online meeting on May 20, and SPI members should be
there pushing for something like the Social Contract and advocating
developer's interests. Maybe the H2O people can even become a part of SPI
instead of starting their own group. Anyway, I plan to get involved with
this if I can and I hope others will give it some thought too.


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