Application of as associated project

From: "Michael Renzmann" <mrenzmann(at)madwifi(dot)org>
To: spi-general(at)lists(dot)spi-inc(dot)org
Subject: Application of as associated project
Date: 2007-12-17 11:55:55
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Hi all.

It took some time, but finally all open questions have been cleared (see
[1] and [2] for related discussions on this list) and all obstacles have
been moved out of the way. The MadWifi project (a.k.a. would
hereby like to apply as an associated project.

Is there a realistic chance to get our application added to the agenda of
the next meeting (19th December), given that I've managed to provide all
relevant information below?

In case of questions I'll be available by e-mail as well as on #spi
(nickname "otaku42").

==== develops Linux kernel drivers for Wireless LAN devices with
Atheros chipsets. Started in late 2003 by two developers, the project
today has a total of 23 members. We currently provide two main drivers:
MadWifi and ath5k.

MadWifi has an established userbase and is one of the most advanced WLAN
drivers available for Linux today. It's available in all major Linux
distributions. It's embedded in products from companies such as FON [3]
and Meraki [4] and is also used in many academic projects [5].

MadWifi itself is open source but depends on a proprietary Hardware
Abstraction Layer (HAL) that is available in binary form only. This was
one of the main reasons for the project to shift [6] our focus of
development towards ath5k in September 2007. ath5k is a relatively new and
emerging driver that does not depend on the HAL and thus is fully
open-sourced. It is intended to exceed MadWifi feature-wise, is aimed to
be added to the mainline kernel and finally will replace MadWifi in the
long run.

All "products" (code, documentation and thelike) of the project are
offered according to the principles and ideas of the "Free and Open
Software" movement (FOSS). Past claims that the project does not fully
honour FOSS due to the support and use of the binary-only HAL in MadWifi
should have been voided by our explanation in [4].

Why and What?
Our main motivation to get some backing of a non-profit entity is to be
able to handle monetary donations from users in a clean way.

So far, we are a bunch of interested and only loosely organised developers
working on the driver. Legally there is no "the project", so it's not
possible to set up a bank account for "the project". Accepting monetary
donations would require at least one developer to munge a private bank
account with funds received for the project. As this just calls for
trouble we once decided against doing it this way.

On the other hand we see a rising amount of users asking us how they can
donate money to support the ongoing development of MadWifi and ath5k. The
money would be a great help for covering costs for our server, for setting
up a testbed installation, for providing developers with Atheros-based
cards, and so on.

In short: we'd highly appreciate SPIs support and assistance for handling
all types of donations as well as material and immaterial assets on behalf
of the project.

We are currently in the process of drafting a proper final charter. Until
we come to a decision there we'd like [7] to start off with the following
interim charter:

=== cut ===
The MadWifi project intends to join the SPI as member, basically to get
the backing of a non-profit organization and for being able to handle
monetary donations properly. The project is working on a full-fledged
charter but will need more time to finish it. Until then the following
minimalistic interim charter shall be in effect:

1. Michael Renzmann (mrenzmann(at)madwifi(dot)org) acts as interim liaison for
the SPI. He is authorized by the team to fulfill the tasks outlined by the
SPI in [1], section "Your Project Liason".

2. The team may decide to replace the liaison with another member who in a
vote has received more than 50% of all votes cast (simple majority). See
also 4.

3. All decisions regarding the use of assets managed by the SPI on behalf
of the project (such as donated funds) need to be authorized by an
affirmative vote of 66% of all team members. See also 4.

4. The authoritative list of team members is available on [2], the liaison
is responsible to keep it up-to-date. Eligible to vote are all current
team members, each member has exactly one vote. Voting must take place on
the publicly accessible mailing list madwifi-devel(at)lists(dot)sourceforge(dot)net(dot)
Only those votes are taken into account that appear on the mentioned list.

5. The team should decide on a final charter until May 31, 2008. Once that
has happened the interim liaison informs the SPI board about the result
of the decision. At that point this interim charter will be replaced by
the regular charter the team has agreed on, and a regular SPI liaison will
be elected as specified in the regular charter.

=== cut ===

Bye, Mike



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