Subject: Re: The NetBSD developers agreement
To: Timo Schoeler <>
From: S.P.Zeidler <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 09/06/2006 01:18:07
Thus wrote Timo Schoeler (
> thus S.P.Zeidler spake:
> >    
> >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.
> nobody demanded this. nobody wants to see Homer Simpson scratching his
> butt, or anyone else forgetting to feed his cat or listening to bad music.

Oh, but he did. Look up the meaning of the word 'anything' occasionally.
Of course that's probably not what Mr Hendrix wanted, but sometimes to
make a point clear you do have to take it to the full extent (doing boundary
value analysis shows you where you're going to drop off a cliff).

So, if you want 'most things' but not 'anything' about the project in the
public, where's the boundary? Do you want to know that developer X won't
be finishing his project as planned because his bread job is asking overtime
of him (wooo! evil company influence!) or that another will deliver sooner
because he's got the flu and is sitting at home sneezing and hacking?
(beware of germs :). Or are they going to be allowed their privacy?

How much disclosure will be needed before a patch in a PR can get
accepted? will the submitter have to also attach minutes of all
conversations they had (including those going 'you silicon piece of
crap!') between the discovery of the bug and the completion of the
patch? :) For me, just getting the code and the affirmation of the
submitter that they are qualified to give the code away is quite enough,
but you don't seem to agree, so state your exact requirements?

> >'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).
> it's about the (doubtful) need of an entity (TNF) that can establish 
> contracts as representative of it's members (developers) and the 

As buying servers to run the project on, and as getting agreements to host
these servers, and get them network connectivity? Whoa, dubious activity

> _danger_ of stealthy activities that may happen because the possibility 
> _that_ they can happen was created due to the fact of the existence of 
> the (created) entity (TNF).

The danger of 'stealthy activities' exists as soon as you get more than
one person doing anything, and not having a legal entity makes the problem
worse, not less. As far as I'm informed you have been involved in founding
a Verein in Germany, so why is founding the direct US equivalent a crime?

> >>	- 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?
> you may be aware that every mailing list app in use is able to create 
> lists with read-only accounts (subscribers from the public), so posting 
> to the list would only be possible for developers. this way, 
> introduction of the new scheduler (ABI) can be discussed in public 
> _without_ being molested by people who only want to raise their google 
> page rank.

You seem to have problems with your English. In German: Bei einer
öffentlichen Diskussion können sie (die Mitglieder von core) nichts dummes
sagen ohne sich zu blamieren. That has nothing whatsomever to do with
what non-members of core may or may not say, and is totally orthogonal to
setting a list readonly or moderated.

> i don't think there's any need to explain the internet to NetBSD developers.
> >Look at any parliament if you want to
> >see what too public 'discussions' are: people holding speeches at each 
> >other.
> err, what? you can attend to _any_ event that is held by a legal party 
> in germany as long as it's not an inner-party event. as soon as public 
> things are discussed you can go there and _at least_ listen.

And exactly that is the PROBLEM for our case. I do not need a core that
discusses two or three persons at a time privately over dinner
whatever they don't have enough background or opinion about (like our
dear parliament delegates do) and then hold a staged show discussion
for the benefit of the daft public. If you think that anything gets
actually decided in these public parliament discussions, you know a
lot less about politics than a grown person should.

> >>	- 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!
> blobs -> pkgsrc.
> furthermore: why sign NDAs? does OpenBSD on a regular basis?

I know that you consider 'compromise' a taint. I don't.

> >>	- 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. :)
> you miss the point. again. try harder.

You going to make me? and if yes, how? Comic Relief ahead :)

> >>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;
> and maybe he demands democracy in an _open source_ project and you don't 
> understand what he discusses (or you are not willing to understand :).

Open Source means that the -source- is open. It does not mean that people
taking part in it sign away their privacy. Nor their right to discuss
-anything- in private, with whomever they choose. It is not a concern of
yours if somebody had a three day discussion if they should paint the shed
green or white with their pal if the shed keeps the tools dry.

> >but
> >there are NetBSD developers doing good work that are too shy to speak up
> >in public.
> then they really need a psychiatrist. if they're that shy, there's still 
> the mailing lists.

'mailing lists' as in public mailing lists? I seem to remember that you
did not like private lists. Note the little word 'public'? How would that

> >You would lose their input if you forced publicity.
> then it may be. would you trust your doctor (attention: real life) when 
> he's always watching and observing and checking whether anyone sees or 
> recognizes him? :D

If I can check anything they produce, it doesn't matter what their mental
state is. BTW, shyness isn't on my list of mental illnesses, but paranoia

> >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.
> blablabla. come on, even if this was the case (which it isn't), germans 
> do have lots of experience with that (third reich, the regime today...).

Is that supposed to be a refutal of my statement that you will not get
'full disclosure' because it doesn't exist barring extreme means, or not?

-- (S.P.Zeidler)