[fosscomm] DEADLINE for FOSSCOM position on Draft Policy: 10.00 AM July July 9th.

Anivar Aravind anivar.aravind at gmail.com
Wed Jul 8 12:15:32 PDT 2009

On Wed, Jul 8, 2009 at 11:06 PM, prabir <prabirp at gmail.com> wrote:
> Dear All,
> I must say the flurry of emails and responses on the issue of open standards is impressive. It does show that there is a real interest in working together, whatever the views people may have about the form. I am flagging three issues below:

Dear Prabir,

Before Responding to your argument as a list-moderator I request you
to avoid top posting & follow list etiquette
http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc1855.txt  on further mails

> 1) Consensus on the position on Open standards policy. I really think this is where everybody seems to have agreed and can distill out a common position from with what Jaijit has put up in the wiki. I suggest that Guru takes the initiative to derive a common position. This can then be circulated for organisations to sign on, pending a consensus on organisational forms. Guru can then send it to the three parties -- MIT, NASSCOM, MAIT.

Lets finish Drafting in wiki before 9th 10 pm. And if there is a a
conflict of interest, we can take care of this in parallel. Also we
can look at various concerns put forward by CIS , Ilugd , ITfC and
various individuals and reach at a common position. Praveen, can you
take care of drafting / bringing main points in FOSSCOMM wiki, (since
Guru is not familiar with wiki's ). Guru can take care of conflicts in
draft if it arises .  We decide on the mode of sending after that. We
need to finalise  FOSSCOMM letter pad within this time, with a network
like design. Hiran, please finish the  logo you are working before
that. Niyam, can you also do a logo which represents the

> 2) There is a partial consesensus that we can be a loose network (not legal and without any defined structure) at present. However, this should work only on issues that we have a consensus on within  the network.

We are in an evolving stage. Our structure will evolve from the work
we initiate. Even in the delhi meeting, that  was the general feeling
that emerged.

> In this case, if we agree via wiki above on open standards, then that is one issue on which
> the network has a consensus and we can -- if people agree -- call this a FOSSCOMM
> position. This does not mean that the network or any body on behalf of the network can
> speak on any other matter or represent herself/himself as speaking on behalf of FOSSCOMM.

Agreeing with you totally here. Lets add one more point. If anyone
would like to take positions let this person from her/his
organisational affliniation talking on behalf of fosscomm on this
issue .   The letter from FOSSCOMM, endorsed by various Organisations
must recommend a person with organizational affiliation as FOSSCOMM
representative for further communication. We can have Raju from ilugd
for open standards , Krishnakanth Mane from glug-mumbai/ Sunil from
CIS on accessibility (if fosscomm decides) Nagarjuna from FSFIndia on
education etc. (If fosscomm decides) . We also need to draft clear
working rules/principles  for such a position collectively on another
wikipage. Various working groups on issues must involve
representations by people who contributed to the growth of free
software movement which is an ethical practice which we can follow.

> 3) The even thornier matter of representation. Let us be clear that nobody or organisation can represent FOSSCOMM as a whole. There is no agreement on this. Only if there is a specific agreement on the issue within the body as in 2 above (Consensus) can we -- again through consensus -- agree that somebody or organisation represents us if this is required. This should be done on an issue to issue and occasion to occasion basis. At present, as we have a consensus on open standards, and it is required to talk to the Government on our behalf. we can have somebody represent us (of course subject to limits stated here).

Already raised my point above as a response to point 2

> On the names for representing us on this issue of open standards. I have an observation to
> make first on Jaijit's proposal suggesting that I represent FOSSCOMM on this issue.  Must
> confess that I do not think I know enough on this and am quite happy to propose the
> alternative as Prof. Andrew Lynn from JNU on this.

Thanks Prabir for making point clear. Contribution/working with FOSS
community(Knowledge on the issue is as a part of that) must be a norm
for this representation. Are you aware of any work which Andrew is
involved in this domain?

> However, the argument of my being with CPIM and therefore not "eligible", as Arun puts it, is
> completely extranneous -- political affliation should neither be a  criterion for nor against in

I feel the point arun raised is valid. Since we are a new network
trying to prove its presence, it is important to keep its independent
identity. If there is a BJP/Congress associate, i think this concerns
valid .

>The only test in FOSSCOMM should be what is the stand of the organisation or the individual
> on specific FOSSCOMM issues. Politics, caste, religion, language, ethnicity, etc., are not the
> basis of FOSSCOMM -- these are all exclusionary or divisive principles. By the way, I do not
> know Andrew's political affliation, if any!

I think this is a strategic question for the time being than a general
rule. Once FOSSCOMM establishes  its identity and presence in the
public sphere this may not/ may be an issue. But till that point close
political party affiliations will be an issue for strategic reasons. I
hope many other fosscomm members may be sharing the similar concerns.
If we are tainted , the wonderful initiatives like manifesto
interventions will not be possible later considering the current
political scenario (agreeing and truely acknowledging that people with
party affiliations did put in their wholehearted efforts and did a
great job)

> By the way Sunil, the World Social Forum is a much better example then Al Quaeda for organisational form!

Yes Off course. But not in the case of India. We have seen the Rise &
Fall of Asian Social Forum to Indian Social Forum  via WSF Mumbai . It
went through  same kind of "representation",  "consensus" debate in
surviving and certain progressive hegemony.

> Best,
> Prabir

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