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Thanks so much Simon for this comment ! I would especially like to
endorse your statement: 'It needs to be realistic about the pragmatics
of large-scale software engineering and how it's paid for and rein-in
those trying to frame "commercial" as tainted.' as an extremely
insightful statement.

Open Source has won the argument in terms of how software should be
developed. I can't think of a commercial product shipping today that
doesn't include Open Source software. The struggle that remains is for
freedom and equality of access to the world-changing technology that
is being developed as Open Source (and also to commit to equality of
access to the decision making behind it), and I hope that TDF will
dedicate itself to these principles.



On Fri, Jan 14, 2022 at 10:14 AM Simon Phipps <> wrote:

Hi Sophie,

I appreciate your comment here and (with some fear) have to respond to amplify it.

On Fri, Jan 14, 2022 at 11:14 AM sophi <> wrote:

On my point of view, it was not about achieving market dominance but
about solidarity. And TDF has failed here, again on my point of view.

Yes, I have to agree with you. Freedom, equality and solidarity used to be the norm at TDF. Over 
the last couple of years that has largely ended at the Foundation level (fortunately our 
community still has many parts where this is not true). This has led to progress grinding to a 
halt through mistrust. For example, both TDC and LOOL were ended just at the point where the 
external conditions suggested they were going to flourish. Little has been achieved in their 
place as you observe, and as the tired bickering in this thread illustrates.

Egalitarianism was replaced by turning inwards to fight unproductively among those privileged to 
be allowed information - and in the process to slander those involved before. As a result of this 
the Foundation has turned even more closed, with Board inflighting leaving the Trustees in the 
dark while the arguments went on. There has consequently been no spirit of solidarity to harness 
to do good outside the project. As you say, that is tragic, and I really appreciate your 
observation of it.

If TDF is to satisfy its mission this has to stop. The new Board has a huge opportunity and 
responsibility to put all this behind them and lead positively. It must shun divisiveness and 
seek ways to rekindle solidarity by emphasizing equality and promoting freedom. This will not be 
done treating the motivations of some participants as suspect! In fact almost everyone is 
pursuing an "interest", almost by definition in a collaborative community!

As Maslow observed, before higher-level behaviours can be cultivated, basic needs must be met - 
especially belonging and esteem. The Foundation needs to be more inclusive of all its trustees in 
its processes rather than just consulting them for votes once every two years. It needs to be 
realistic about the pragmatics of large-scale software engineering and how it's paid for and 
rein-in those trying to frame "commercial" as tainted. It has to seek ways to encourage both 
community and commercial activities inside its "umbrella" rather than treating some as clean and 
some as unclean.

I very much hope the new Board will engage positively and unanimously on these things. I'm not 
finding the current conversation encouraging but I have hopes the new team will take a firm hold 
and change things for the better.

Best regards

Simon Phipps
TDF Trustee

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