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Il 14/11/2010 14.29, Charles-H. Schulz ha scritto:

1) Quotation from the draft: "The Engineering Steering Committee
(ESC) is made of developers who are coopted (i.e, there's no need
for election and there can be as many members of the ESC as

question: *must* these developers be Foundation *members* at the
same time too?

Your question is giving me the opportunity to clarify something
which is in the bylaws but it needs to be clearly written: the
foundation itself (the legal entity) will not/shall not have members
per se.

OK. It works like in Italy.

So, we're now *formally* speaking about a real Foundation, not an
"Association" with members.

Therefore, if I'm not wrong, there is a whole part of the bylaws that is
"informal" (membership, board election, ...), this is to say it is not legally enforceable in a country like France or Italy. Or it is partially enforceable only.

That's just fine, IMO, as far as the (individual) "members" exactly know what their *real*, legally enforceable rights are. In a sentence: where the Foundation ends and the Community begins.

Corporations and administrations understand this kind of stuff better than individual persons. ;-)

possible issue: sponsored developers can be coopted by other
developers and their employer can gain more powers/rights other
than the seat in the Advisory Board.

Yes it is a risk, but then there is also social pressure, that works
in two ways. What would you suggest ?

A balance of powers. :)

This is to say: both BoD and ESC with a fixed number of members should be elected from "members" and "members-developers" and a maximum % of those seats reserved to main sponsors. AB with its advisory role remains for *all* sponsors.

So corporations and governments would have a direct role in both the political and technical bodies without a predominance of anybody.

possible solution: sponsor's paid developers shouldn't participate
in ESC as *single* persons. Contributions in their free time and
following cooptation in ESC should be carefully evaluated from BoD
or Membership Committee.

Hmm, I think it's a bit unfair to segregate corporate developers.

It isn't a question of unfairness, but of realism.

The ESC is not elected, in its current form, it works with a system based on cooptation.

Let's say corporation X and government Y gain enough members to control the ESC. Economically speaking, they can form a cartel and exclude any other corporation/government/person from the TDF technical committee. No enlargement of the ESC would prevent such situation, because no enlargement would be permitted at all by the dominant members.

Just like Oracle with OOo.

Maybe, it would be a "special" condition in which the BoD should directly act...


possible solution 2: ESC has a maximum and preventively known
number of members. The vote for this committee can be expressed
from *members* that have contributed code to the project. This
system needs a specification of "code contribution" and "role of
sponsor's paid code contribution".

I'd go for the number 1 solution which I like, if others agree.

I'd prefer #2, but, ehi, #1 it isn't so bad. :)

No. Again, the ESC is not the source of issues: it's a technical
meeting place.

Please, don't get me wrong, I've nothing against ESC or developers.

However, the ESC isn't simply a technical meeting place. In a software project, devs do *the* work, so they have the real power.

ESC would be the *statutory* peak of such power.

Since ESC members can be BoD members too (and I suppose at the beginning this will be rather common), there would be really a lot of power concentrated in few persons, inside the Foundation.

I'd like to see that nobody can take the control of the project simply dominating one committee (BoD or ESC). And ESC, IMO, with its unknown number of members and cooptation, is more likely open to external and uncontrolled bid for power.

I think you raise a good point. I'd like to suggest the provision of
the three employees of the same company at the BoD that I mentioned
above, and that the main (4) officiers of the Foundation are not
being employed by any sponsor but by the Foundation. What do you

Good suggestions, though I'd like a fixed number of ESC members too.

Gianluca Turconi

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