Re: [Spi-private] Bruce's Platform

From: Matthew Garrett <mjg59-spi(at)srcf(dot)ucam(dot)org>
To: Bruce Perens <bruce(at)perens(dot)com>
Cc: spi-private(at)lists(dot)spi-inc(dot)org, spi-general(at)lists(dot)spi-inc(dot)org
Subject: Re: [Spi-private] Bruce's Platform
Date: 2006-07-14 11:20:27
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On Thu, Jul 13, 2006 at 08:26:14PM -0700, Bruce Perens wrote:

> Without discounting your concern, I should note in my defense that some
> of those missed meetings were due to things like visiting the U.S.
> patent office or speaking to the U.N. or the European parliament in
> Brussels.

How many of them? Why did you not offer apologies in advance? If
elected, how will you ensure that you attend a higher proportion of

> But back to the political policy thing. None of the other folks who are
> campaigning chose to say anything about the big issues that concern us.
> And that is the biggest problem that I see with SPI. Let's face it, SPI
> manages a checkbook. And it does that relatively poorly so far. AND
> THAT's ALL. Yet, SPI is the same kind of 501(c)3 organization as EFF.
> SPI should really be doing more of the things that EFF does, and that I
> am currently doing without a non-profit behind me.

This makes it sound awfully like you want to be involved in SPI so that
you can use SPI to justify your political campaigning. What procedures
will you be using to ensure that you have the backing of the member
organisations? Which of the goals outlined in the SPI bylaws do you
believe would justify this?

> I hope you understand what deep s**t Free Software is in with the
> software patent issue. In a few years, there could effectively be no
> Free Software, if political decisions go badly for us. And frankly I
> would not be able to sleep if I were to just stand by and let that happen.

There are already lobbying organisations that exist for the purpose of
fighting software patents. Does SPI really need to become another?

> Now, it happens that I don't really have to be on SPI's board to do what
> I'm doing.

Indeed, so I'm struggling to see what this has to do with anything...

> But I continue to believe in SPI, and in Debian, and I'd
> especially like to see Debian pull through some of the bad times it's
> been having.

With all due respect, SPI has very little influence on Debian right now
and I think most developers are quite happy with that situation. What
do you feel the bad times have been, and why do you think that SPI can
do anything about them? Would this aim not be better furthered by, say,
getting involved in Debian instead of a separate organisation?

> Well, I thought that as secretary, you were in charge of the election.
> If so, maybe it would be best for you to restrict yourself to civil
> debate until it's over. I shall endeavor to remain civil to you.

And then proceeded to claim that there was a problem with the process.
I'm not convinced that's civil.

> Actually, I wish _all_ of the business was on the mailing list. I would
> vastly prefer it to IRC, and I am on other boards that operate that way.
> I submit that it would help the organization operate better and
> eliminate the quorum problem, and people in different time-zones would
> be able to sleep at night. And regarding where the real business is,
> please take an objective look at the board meeting agendas. But this is
> not to say that more important stuff was being done on the mailing
> lists. We haven't taken on important stuff while the money issues were
> being worked out.

The by-laws would appear to make it rather awkward to run the meetings
in anything other than real time. How would you change this?

Matthew Garrett | mjg59(at)srcf(dot)ucam(dot)org


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