Possible routes to kernel on GPLv3
Posted Jan 28, 2007 19:11 UTC (Sun) by b3timmons
In reply to: Possible routes to kernel on GPLv3
Parent article: GPL 3: An Open-Source Earthquake? (CRN)
That process definition shows how far behind schedule the GPLv3
is. It's now basically February 2007 and the third discussion draft is
4 months late. The "latest possible release date" is less than 8 weeks
away. Even if they got draft 3 out today, that's hardly enough time to
have any meaningful discussion.
Please read carefully: the third draft was only listed as possible,
not certain. Given how long ago the process was announced and how
easy it was for me to find ways to participate, I just do not buy any
excuses of not being able to have meaningful discussion about it.
Except that never happened. Maybe Eben didn't realize that they _were_
participating using their preferred means of work? Their position
statement was quite clear. Why didn't he just reply to it in his blog
entry? In fact, I can't find a clear, authoritative reply
anywhere. Just the clarification page which is so dismissive that it's
not clear the author even read the kernel position
You are leaving out this part from Moglen:
I appreciate the positions taken publicly by the kernel
developers. To be clear, the process of deliberation in which FSF and
everyone else has been engaged since January is not only a process of
taking positions. It also involves listening to the positions others
have taken: it's the effect of listening as well as talking that gives
deliberative democracy its effectiveness as well as its
I think you misunderstand what it means to participate. Participating
means agreeing to minimum standards expected of everyone. In this
case it meant a process of not only speaking but listening -- even to
others who may not entirely agree with them. Yes, they could have
participated using their preferred means of work, as long as that involves listening at some level. Moglen tried to give them special treatment
here, but even this was not good enough.
You must admit that they were in effect asking to be treated with more
favor than other participants. Again, a warning sign was Torvalds
expecting to see an early draft before other participants. How can
issuing the position statement publicly at a relatively late date to
put Moglen on the spot not be seen as a political move? A clearly
unproductive thing is exchanges of position statements and critiques
which are simply at too large of a granularity to make any sense here.
Even the deliberation on lkml does not function in any way like this.
Moreover, I think all of us should appreciate that deliberative
processes have many challenges, such as maintaining a high S/N ratio,
and that there must be inevitable tradeoffs, such as representation.
So I am glad Moglen did not respond too much in his blog, since I
think that would have threatened the process itself in any number of
ways. Think about it.
You suggested I google for the mailing list, "which you will find
shows a lot more activity for Committee D than you suggested." So how
am I supposed to know that Committee D mailing list archives even
exist? I can't read minds. Lessee... 4 messages in November and none
since then? Doesn't that demonstrates exactly the sort of inaction
that I was talking about?
The D resources page notes the mailing list, hence the guess that
there must be archives. The only demonstration is just a matter of
degree of activity. I think you wrote earlier that the last activity
was March, but now it is November. However, I fail to see your point
about activity. Different activity levels occur in many different
projects for many different reasons. Claiming a certain standard here
requires far more substantiation than you have given.
I agree that some discussion must be private. But almost all of it?
You've got to be kidding me. That's an absurd claim to make. Sure,
have one private mailing list/committee, but why not try to have at
least *some* important discussion in the open?
No one entity claimed or prescribed any level of privacy for the process as a whole, of course; the
participants themselves set their own terms. In at least one of the
committees with some privacy, Committee B, we can see minutes of their
meetings. Moreover, you should give more credit to the great effort
put into the public draft commenting system.
Even so, much discussion did turn out to be private. Is it
unreasonable to guess at why that might be: FSF being stretched to the
max to encourage public participation, non-paid public
participation in Committee D, relatively large stakes for
I am sure the process could have been improved. The web site should
have done more handholding, for example, and there is never enough
publicity. As an ordinary user, I should have done more earlier to
make suggestions for the site, for example. In a sense, I have come
around to agreeing with you about non-free aspects of the process. In
particular, I think money talks, as usual, even here. One could argue
that it boils down to the four freedoms versus money. Moreover, the
process has involved tradeoffs. However, in no way does there seem to
be some overarching covert plan.
bronson, I can see that you are trying to make your points more carefully; improving even more would get you better attention than my meager attempts.
to post comments)