[PROPOSAL] Open Source certification

Russell Nelson nelson at crynwr.com
Sat Apr 10 20:02:36 UTC 1999

Anthony Towns writes:
 > It's just a little bit difficult to take it on good faith that the OSI
 > board are essentially great blokes and will just do everything right,
 > so don't you worry about that now. I apologise for being untrusting.

I expect that you'll find we make mistakes.  Nobody's perfect.  But if
you look at the track record of the board members, I think you'll find
a long string of consistent support for libre software.  History matters.

 > Admitting your mistakes, your bugs, your design flaws, whatever is a key
 > element of free software development.

You are absolutely right.  That is how hackers do things.  It's
completely lacking in a business environment.  If we were to be seen
as hackers, we would get the same regard that hackers have always
gotten: zero.

 > >  > Further, not doing it makes you look like you're not interested in
 > >  > correcting those mistakes.
 > > There will be an APSL 1.1.
 > Hurrah. So, everytime I find I don't like a license you've claimed is
 > open source, I should flood board at opensource.org with mail asking for
 > a personal reassurance that you're working on the problems?

No.  You should look at the work we've done and say "They are good.
They are our friends.  We trust them."  It's not like I was chosen out
of the blue to be on the board.  I marketed packet drivers
sufficiently well enough to hold my own against Microsoft and Novell,
for a few years anyway.

 > Look. I'm convinced, you do care. But from the opensource pages, from
 > public response posted to slashdot, and from the rumour mill you just
 > don't look like you're doing anything about it.

You don't see the duck's feet paddling, either.  OSI has *got* to look
like a duck -- calm and unruffled on top, and paddling like crazy
underneath.  It's the only way we can function.

 > Then add a rider "Please mail the President concerning most matters at
 > president at opensource.org. If you need to contact the whole board, mail
 > board at opensource.org", and change "mail us" to "mail the OSI President".

I'd rather have one person in the front line.  I don't want a
gazillion people mailing the whole board.

 > (if you'd rather take this up privately with the SPI board, that's fine,
 > but it'd be nice to have a note that you're doing this rather than just
 > trimming the issue from your reply)

It's being negotiated with the SPI board.

 > I can understand that you, personally, might have better things to work
 > on. I can't understand why you're willing to just palm it off with a
 > "there's too many to list; go away kid, you bother me". That's not the
 > way free software people respond to feature requests.

The way free software people respond to feature requests is "send code."

-russ nelson <rn-sig at crynwr.com>  http://crynwr.com/~nelson
Crynwr supports Open Source(tm) Software| PGPok |   There is good evidence
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