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----- Original Message ----

From: Charles-H. Schulz <>
Le Tue, 19 Oct 2010 16:05:50 +0200,
"Gianluca Turconi"  <> a  écrit :

In data 19 ottobre 2010 alle ore 14:34:33, Charles-H.  Schulz
<>  ha scritto:

I can understand why you want to make that  distinction. My own
interpretation, aside the fact that we stated  at the beginning what
we hear by "member", is that how we define  the membership applies to
anyone, but it is based on its role and  contribution. An individual
should be able to contribute and be  recognized as a member. As
such, no corporation, who might also be  a member, shall be
recognized as having a higher footing;  contributions are what
matters only. Perhaps I did misunderstand  you there, but there is
of course another kind of community, which  is often referred as "an
user community".

Yes,  it's likely you misunderstood me. :)

I didn't mean the "user  community", but the dev community itself.

However, I think  there's another important misunderstanding about what
*you* (Charles and  Andre and maybe others) think a Foundation is and
what *I* think it  is.

According to me, a Foundation is a central, independent  legal entity
that takes decisions about a productivity suite called  LibreOffice
(BTW, who owns the trademark?): how to protect its code base  (without
copyright assignment), how to further develop it, how to  improve the
open source ecosystem around its development.

That kind of things cannot be done without a formal and well  defined
membership application.

Contribution cannot be  enough for a member's application acceptance,
because in my conception  of Foundation, there are actual principles
that are not limited to  "contribution".

And they cannot be tested in the books ("I  swear to respect the
Foundation's Charter") but they must be clear in  the facts ("I'm a
well respected member of the community and I've always  acted in good
faith in the past").

I mean: this time,  after what happened with Sun/Oracle, we need to
cancel any "gray zone"  and keep in mind that ***Free Software***
comes first.

 A larger members' base is useless for a Foundation if those "gray
zones"  are kept.

So, if I understand you well, you do indeed raise a good  question, but
one which, to me, adds more gray zones. Let me rephrase how  I
understand your position: you are afraid that we're mixing  the
membership of the Foundation and the membership of the community,  and
that by mixing the two we would be putting the foundation itself  (the
legal object, the kernel as you called it) in jeopardy .  Basically,
every contributor could come around and harm the foundation. (Did  I get
this right?)

If that's what you implied, I... sort of don't  agree with you but at
the same time see wisdom in your objection. We would  need protect
certain parts of the foundation from direct, daily  interference.
However, where I don't agree with you is that we should,  provided a
majority of contributors do agree, be in charge of our own  destiny. 

This being said, I believe it's necessary to focus on the  question of
the membership, and separate it from the question of the  foundation
structure and its governance. Obviously, these questions are  all
related, but if we handle more specific ones, we'll be able to  generate
some valuable input I think.

Perhaps this could be resolve by two classes of membership?
One of a general community membership recognized solely as suggested, and one 
that has a greater responsibility to TDF and TDFs agenda that also has a more 
thorough check to enter into, perhaps with the community membership as a 
pre-requisite requirement.

I think the primary concern being raised is one of someone becoming a member for 
subversion purposes, much like what Microsoft did to ISO for OOXML. While 
Microsoft as an organization could not be a member, they certainly stuffed the 
appropriate committees with their people (directly and indirectly through 
partners)such that they were essentially the only voting entity. Since we are 
aware that some organizations will stoop that to that level to get their agenda 
through - whether it is a document format or simply to crush a competitor 
(again, Microsoft has been known, and can be shown to currently, to push their 
executives into an organization to subvert it for their agenda when the 
organization is not doing what they want - e.g. pushing Windows).

I'm a bit of an outsider to this - one that would like to find a way of getting 
more involved at some point, so please take it for what its worth.


P.S. Not meaning to pick on Microsoft here, they just have the best, most  
recent, and most well known examples of the suggested bad-behavior that  needs 
to be protected again.

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