Subject: Re: The NetBSD developers agreement
To: Charles Shannon Hendrix <>
From: S.P.Zeidler <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 09/05/2006 23:21:26
Thus wrote Charles Shannon Hendrix (

> I think the whole idea of walling off "the core" and keeping anything
> about this project a secret is just plain wrong.
> Why not just make it all public, all the time?

This project consists of a lot of people working on it in their free time.
You are not going to get to install full video surveillance in my flat
just because I have commit rights. Also you aren't going to get to monitor
all communication with friends of mine that also happen to be NetBSD
developers. If you expect it, you will be frustrated. :)

> > Heh. The company I work for has just been subsumed by a big,
> > three-letter IT-giant of a primary color. The new contract I
> > have received contains - as far as I can see - nothing that
> > even approaches the strong words of the NetBSD Developers'
> > Agreement. It should be abolished sooner rather than later.
> Maybe someone can explain the root justification for a few things to end
> users of NetBSD:
> 	- why do we need a corporate entity?

'corporate' does not mean 'company that makes money'. It's not.
'corporate' is 'organization that is a legal entity' and is the only way
to get tax returns on monetary donations to the Project (and there would
be no servers to run the project on if there weren't donations of money).

> 	- why does the core have to have privacy when discussion this public
> 	  project?

Because they want to be able to say something stupid in their discussions
and not be embarrassed ever after? Look at any parliament if you want to
see what too public 'discussions' are: people holding speeches at each other.

> 	- why can't sub-projects requiring things like NDAs be handled
> 	  quite apart from the NetBSD project?

You want to found a new legal entity (a new corporation) each time an NDA
needs signing? Who's to pay for the setup? that costs money!

> 	- why do meetings about NetBSD have to be private?

You are quite allowed to get three people of your choice and hold a
meeting about NetBSD on your local marketplace. :)

> It just seems that the users and the project as a whole would be better
> served without this stuff.

Maybe you are an exhibitionist and don't understand in the least; but
there are NetBSD developers doing good work that are too shy to speak up
in public. You would lose their input if you forced publicity.
And you're never ever going to be able to monitor everything that goes on
between members of this large a group, unless possibly you're the CIA.

-- (S.P.Zeidler)