Subject: Re: History of the NetBSD Foundation
To: None <>
From: Thor Lancelot Simon <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 09/01/2006 21:38:22
On Fri, Sep 01, 2006 at 10:10:44PM +0000, Christos Zoulas wrote:
> This is again untrue. Unfortunately the only proof I have about this
> is that I never disappear in the middle of a discussion or refuse to
> answer an inquiry. I wish I could say the same about you.

I don't want to touch much of the rest of this with a 10^10 foot
pole.  But I do feel obliged to say that I was present during several
of Christos' attempts to contact Charles about the status of the
Foundation in the late 90's and early 00's.  Unless some kind of
significant and very strange effort to deceive bystanders was carried
out (e.g. writing letters, bringing them to public gatherings, putting
them in addressed envelopes, but secretly never mailing them; faking
phone calls and email such that they would appear to have been made
or been sent but never actually occurred, I can say that, at least,
Christos made prolonged, frequent, and earnest attempts to engage
Charles in the process of paying the corporation's back taxes,
actually filing bylaws, actually appointing the required additional
member so that the corporation would have a legal board of directors
(2 is not sufficient), and so forth.  I know this because much of
this stuff took place at or around the weekly NetBSD eat/drink/hack (and
be merry!) events in New York at a time when I attended them much more
often than I can today (more's the shame!)

I, at least, was never told about any response to these endeavors -- perhaps
there was some -- but it's just not the case that they didn't take place.

I will note again that simply on the basis of the actual paperwork filed
by the corporation before and after the reorganization, the best lawyer I
could quickly find in the area advised me many years ago when Charles first
complained about what he considered fraud", that the reorganization of the
Foundation was in fact proper.  I took this on because I had the money to
spend, I _hoped_ I might be able to act as a neutral party, and I hoped
that advice from an expert might help us fix any concrete problem or,
elsewise, let sleeping dogs lie.  But clearly that effort went all of
nowhere to smooth anyone's ruffled (or singed?) feathers.

What is frustrating here is that we have a number of people who clearly
all think they did, and are doing, their best to reasonably deal with a
difficult situation.  The attrition of members from the original Board
plainly made the old structure of the Foundation ineffective even
before it made it legally insufficient.  People's well-intended efforts
to clean this up conflicted and there seems to be a remarkable amount of
bad feeling about it now.

Personally, I will admit to being a little miffed at having had to fill out
and send in my developer agreement three times, though, due to incessant
carelessness and squabbling on many parts.  At least the first time I filled
the darned thing out, I had a reasonable expectation that the board member I
handed it to (no party to the present nice conversation) might misplace it,
since it took him three efforts to actually locate and provide the form I
was to fill out in the first place. ;-)

It is a shame that we may not all like each other as much as we used to (and
for what seem to me to be reasons we ought to be able to get beyond) but I
cannot seriously think that most people with experience of NetBSD's
"organization" then and now, and its relative ability to get things done
(much less democratically and without sustained battle) would prefer the
former to the latter.