Subject: Re: [OT] Noise filter, was: For Approval: GPLv3
From: "Luis Villa" <>
Date: Sat, 8 Sep 2007 13:45:52 -0400

On 9/4/07, Russ Nelson <> wrote:
> Luis Villa writes:
>  > If OSI really wants to become relevant again,
> Implications that the OSI is not relevant, made on OSI mailing lists,
> are not credible.

Sorry, I should have quoted Michael Tiemann directly:

"What we have not done, however, is to make the OSI representative of
that constituency [of people who have accepted the OSI definition.]"

Frankly, I have interpreted that as 'make OSI more relevant' (since
making OSI representative involves not only involving more people but
giving those people the incentive to participate) but you're right
that a more accurate paraphrase would have been 'make OSI more

Either way, I think my original statement stands- as currently
constituted, OSI appears to me to be representative primarily of only
a small fragment of the open source community, which thwarts Michael's
goal of a more representative OSI and (I think) significantly degrades
OSI's relevance by making many people whose time is valuable reluctant
to participate.

>  > maybe step 1 would be 'make license-discuss useful for/usable by
>  > those who don't have procmail installed.' If OSI is happy to have
>  > license-discuss be what one friend called a 'cesspool', then I
>  > agree wholeheartedly that passing around procmail recipes is a
>  > great way to do it.
> Well, there are several possibilities:
>   o Full moderation of the mailing list, wherein only the worthy are
>     allowed to post.  Who defines the worthy?

Most of us can trivially point out who the trolls are who, over the
past month, have been more interested in trolling than actually
constructively determining whether licenses are open source. Even the
most trivial list moderation based on that would go a long way towards
improving the list.

Don't think of it as 'no one who isn't worthy', think of it as 'no
assholes' and 'stay on topic'. Those two rules are mostly fairly
obvious, and pretty broadly inclusive. (See Chris's response in this
same thread for a much more in-depth discussion of what 'stay on
topic' might mean, and what leadership OSI might apply to the

>   o We can turn the list discussion inwards, and instead of talking
>     about licenses, we can talk about who can talk about licenses.

Or we could not discuss it on the list. Again, those two rules are
mostly pretty obvious, and they should be implementable by OSI's

>   o I'm a big fan of simply not replying to idiots...That way, even the idiots get
> have their idiotic say, and nobody feels left out of the process.

I feel left out this way, and I think most people who don't have the
stamina of horses also feel left out.

I don't have time to wade through 100+ post threads which are mostly
noise in order to find the few gems which are worth discussion. When
it is acceptable to shit all over the thread, and then expect everyone
else to hold their noses, the list is inclusive only of people who are
either insanely dedicated or have way too much time on their hands. I
think OSI should aim to be more inclusive (and hence more relevant)
than that.