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Subject Re: TDF/LO, what is the art of the possible?
Date Sun, 05 Jun 2011 19:04:45 GMT
André Schnabel <> wrote on 06/05/2011 12:17:40 PM:

> Hi Rob,
> I don't want to leave this unanswered, although I very likely cannot 
> provide the answers
> you like to get ... (steering-discuss in cc, so that other SC memebers 
> might agree or
> disagree)
> Am 04.06.2011 02:09, schrieb
> > If someone on the list from TDF is authorized to answer this (or can 
> > such authorization), I'd appreciate an official stance on the 
> > questions.  This would help us understand what room there is for
> > negotiation and what is not worth discussing at all.
> In your questionary, the questions to me seem to be of two kinds:
> 1) questions that are targeted to individuals actions (sign Apache CLA, 
> contribute
> code to Apache as well as to TDF ...)
> 2) fundamental questions on TDF (join Apache and consolidate there, 
> choose a name
> for the product ...)
> Regarding 1) - those questions need to go to the individuals. I (no one) 

> can answer this
> on their behalf. What I can do is to state, that such discussion are 
> already ongoing on
> one or the other list at TDF, but individuals do what individuals like 
> to do - one choose
> this way, one the other.

Hi Arthur, I tried to respect that fact that individuals make the 
decisions.  But surely we can acknowledge that TDF has a leadership, via 
their Steering Committee and Engineering Steering Committee, and through 
these leadership positions they have influence, albeit not control. That's 
why I asked whether the SC's would are open to discussing whether they 
could "encourage and facilitate" their community to do certain things.  I 
did not ask them whether they were currently willing to do these things. I 
just was asking whether it would be a waste of time to even discuss these 

I believe that such ability to "encourage and facilitate" does exist in 
the SC's today.  For example, I read stated in one Engineering Steering 
Committee member's blog: 

"I would strongly prefer to see either all of us as initial committers, or 
none at all, and that is a decision we need to make collectively; clearly 
I have a strong personal preference for the latter option."

So the ability to "encourage" and coordinate collaboration with Apache is 
certainly implied there.  As for facilitating, this could be done in many 
ways, even just at the level of coordinating which patches they might want 
to push upstream, thus avoiding the needed to re-merge in the future.  I'm 
not suggesting any unnatural acts here, just trying to figure out what is 
possible, what is not, so we can have a more productive discussion focused 
on what is actually possible. 

> Regarding 2) - Even if you suggest in a later mail that TDF is young, 
> small and should
> therefore be "flexible" in taking decisions - I feel not authorized to 
> give an answer. And
> I would veto if the SC would be pressed for such a statement (in any 

The TDF's "Community Bylaws" are on a wiki with the header "This page is 
work in progress".  Those two facts taken together suggested to me some 
flexibility.  But I could be in error.

In any case it sounds like Sam has redirected these questions over to the 
TDF list.  But I do thank you for your considered response.



> We curently count close to 100 project members according to our bylaws 
> (and we are
> verifying some more applications). Substantial questions on what TDF 
> should do (as
> an organization) should be discussed by those members at large. I would 
> even suggest
> to have a vote by our community members - but at the moment I do not 
> feel that it
> is the correct time to go this way.

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