[fosscomm] Proposal to add to Principles

jtd jtd at mtnl.net.in
Mon Jul 20 23:35:22 PDT 2009

On Monday 20 July 2009, Mohit Singh wrote:
> >Forcing someone to find a replacement is rude and it is not part of the
> > licensing conditions. When you allow anyone to join the contribution
> > party, you have to allow anyone to walk away too. What you can do at most
> > is to address the concerns (if the concerns are fair enough) of the
> > person who plans to go.
> I still say that we can do this in better harmony. Provisions may be
> made considering the possible scenarios. License can have such clauses
> and its better that these issues are addressed there fairly early
> enough.
> Lets consider an example. Suppose I write a VideoConferencing software

Firstly any useful project usually is quite big. Most unlikely to be completed 
in it's entirety in a year. So you break it up into small completeable 
modules and farm it out to more than one team, over a period of time, fully 
aware that the whole project will take  a few years. 
This is (one of ) the job of the project manager / mentor.
It is a given that there is going to be high churn as people come in and go 
out for various reasons. Quite often the project leaders themselves abandon 
the projects. Unless one is under a contractual obligation, stamping it with 
incomprehensible numbers hardly makes a difference.
Contract can be fiduciary or certification (signing off on the final year 

Afaik there was such an experiment done a few years ago in Sarai (afair).

> This shows the responsibility and respect for the customer. If the
> customer can choose between ten products for video conferencing, the
> Association and Project Management IDs can help him decide his choice.
> IMHO, If FOSS or any philosophy cant empower the customer, it is
> meaningless. We have to take the responsibility of our customers and
> establish the fact that we do care for them.
> Mr. Khurana is pointing to the facts nicely and I want to add that we
> MUST also make provisions in our system for a better relationship with
> our customers. If they see FOSS as mere charity and not serious
> business, 

Please keep the business aspect (as in building a business with FOSS software) 
completely out of FOSSCOM. There are enough complications without trying to 
teach sharks to hunt.

> they can opt back for non-free systems they have been 
> entrapped in.

So be it. A business that cant keep it's customers should not be in business, 
and it's not our job to teach a business it's business.

> I also want to add that it is evident that all we want to do in
> FOSSCOMM and beyond is not mere charity 

Not having a business case != charity.

> but also serious business with 
> FOSS ethics.

I am sure that i dont want to be in that pontification boat.


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