Subject: Re: Repairing the damage (was Re: History of the NetBSD Foundation)
To: Charles M. Hannum <>
From: Andy Ruhl <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 09/04/2006 10:17:24
On 9/4/06, Charles M. Hannum <> wrote:
> On Mon, Sep 04, 2006 at 01:24:13AM +0200, Peter I. Hansen wrote:
> > Please suggest a way to bring more democracy, and please give
> > suggestions on how to repair the damage that you tell us has been
> > done.
> Let me be clear on this.  We're talking about an organization that has:
> 1) come into existance through a coup d'etat, primarily by spreading
>    outright lies about the legal status of the Foundation and making
>    fraudulent filings with the State of Delaware.
> 2) repeatedly expanded the scope of its authority by grabbing power
>    where it previously had none, and kicking people out, perverting the
>    entire purpose and intent of the Foundation in the first place.
> 3) paid only lip service to being a "democracy," when in fact the entire
>    process is secret.
> 4) "forced" people to sign Draconian agreements in order to continue
>    contributing to the project.  (Did you read the bit about arbitrarily
>    changing the agreement at any time?)
> 5) failed to promote the project in any significant way, instead
>    allowing the user base to collapse.  (BTW, I have *many* pieces of
>    email from former users and developers agreeing with my original
>    epistle.)
> 6) developed significant architectural changes completely in secret,
>    the very antithesis of the open development process that is espoused.
> 7) decided to allow themselves to disband and take the code that all of
>    us contributed for the benefit of the public into their own personal
>    possession (which is both immoral and illegal).
> This is not something that can just be "repaired."  That's like saying
> you can fix Al Qeada from the inside.  It needs to be burned to the
> ground -- and maybe started over.

I can't agree with these arguments from the surface (I know nothing
about the inner workings of TNF, I have to admit).

But from the surface, I don't see how it can be as dramatic as this.
After all, we're talking about a rather small open source operating
system used mostly by hobbyists (I have no idea if this is actually
the truth, but it seems true).

I've had responses from core members on problems I've had, and neither
I nor they have any monetary stake in that from what I can tell.

What's at stake here that would cause you to make such comments?

I'm trying to be neutral here. But what you are saying implies that
somehow you became an outsider and you're not happy about it.

Reasons for this have been given on both sides, and it certainly
doesn't "feel" like some conspiracy to take the project. After all,
what REALLY is there to take? The code is out there. I've got many
iterations of it at home on my box, as do many others I'm guessing, so
it's not going anywhere.

I have to admit, I'm ignorant as to what the value of the "assets"
involved are, though.

So that's my question today. What actually is at stake?