MJR: Software in the Public Interest

photo I'm currently a contributing member of Software in the Public Interest, Inc (SPI) and I try to take an active interest in it. SPI is the US tax-exempt not-for-profit holding organisation for a number of free software projects, including debian, and it's one of the most open and democratic free software organisations in the world.

Forgive me world, for I have sinned

Posted by mjr 2008-03-13 (permalink)

Before I start on this, note that SPI's next board meeting is next Wednesday at 1900 UTC on irc.oftc.net #spi and logs should appear here and on spi-general less than a day after. I expect the agenda will appear here.

Last Tuesday morning, someone asked about SPI holding copyrights. On Tuesday afternoon, I answered with the policy and the only practice example I found. SPI's policy is fine. SPI's practice seemed unclear.

On Wednesday morning, I clarified that reply to one board member and made a suggestion to one who seemed to want to ask a lawyer.

On Sunday afternoon, after a staggering number of posts which weren't really getting anywhere, I tried to drag it back to the practice example a bit rudely, but that's the level the discussion had fallen to by then. It didn't go down well. It seems rude is fine from other people, but not me. Damn baggage. There was a sequence of posts telling me that SPI members weren't even allowed to ask about this task. I replied to one on Tuesday morning and took the useful bits off to debian vote.

Yesterday, I lost my cool, really, and posted too much, replying to all the stupid posts suggesting that you can only ask if you wear the right hat, and one or two particularly ugly personal attacks. Sorry about that.

Meanwhile, over on IRC, a draft solution to the problem has been developed/found. So all's well in the end. I give big thanks to Jimmy, Sam and Lucas in particular and a big apology for responding to the mailing list abuse.

Comments are moderated (damn spammers) but almost anything sensible gets approved (albeit eventually). If you give a web address, I'll link it. I won't publish your email address unless you ask me to, but I'll email you a link when the comment is posted, or the reason why it's not posted.

SPI Meeting Wed 27 Feb 1900Z irc.oftc.net/#spi

Posted by mjr 2008-02-28 (permalink)

The SPI meeting mentioned took place on Wed 27 Feb 2008 1900Z. I've posted the highlights and log to spi-general. I wasn't there because I was moderating the local cycle forum's meeting.

It's a little disappointing that the announcement was so late, but at least it happened. It seems very disappointing that correspondence isn't being reported by the secretary, but maybe there's some innocent explanation that will come out now I've asked the question on-list.

Posted by mjr 2008-02-21 (permalink)

The meeting mentioned below has been postponed until Wed 27 Feb 2008 1900Z due to lack of directors online at the required time. D'oh!

SPI Meeting Wed 20 Feb 1900Z irc.oftc.net/#spi

Posted by mjr 2008-02-20 (permalink)

The notice for the February meeting was posted on Monday. Late again - it's meant to be a week's notice, according to this. I'm disappointed that the current SPI board still hasn't got basic member communications working, even as the year end approaches. Is a default cron-job mail (like we use at TTLLP ) so difficult to set up?

Anyway, one of the few interesting items on the agenda is

"Decision on new board member"

but I've not applied for the post for three reasons. Firstly, on reflection, enough SPI members placed me as last choice (which I think is mostly based on old mud-slinging, but it still happened) in its last election that I don't think being appointed would give me a strong enough mandate for the changes I want (more transparency, consultation and work towards meeting the Better Business Bureau standards). Secondly, I'm finding that my Cooperatives-SW board post is taking more time this year. Finally, I hope to be appointed to a representative post in another organisation soon and it's nearly always better to work where I'm obviously wanted.

I've asked if the applications of any candidates for the SPI board post will be posted for member review somewhere (because members are supposed to oversee the board, but how can that happen if we don't see basic info on them?) and for there to be a members Q+A during the meeting, but I don't know whether there's more than one candidate or whether the Q+A will happen. Members are a bit in the dark on this one. Again.

I hope to see some other SPI members online about 1900Z tonight (20 Feb). I should actually be online during this one, for a change.

This is copyright 2008 MJ Ray. See fuller notice on front page.