Subject: Re: Editorial Board
From: "Zak Greant" <>
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2007 17:36:25 -0800

Hi Larry, Greetings All,

On 11/28/07, Lawrence Rosen <> wrote:
> ... Are there any volunteers?

Please step up (or just hold your position when others step back. ;)

> 2. There is a mostly quiet group of experts who lurk on this list (I won't
> name you now but you know who you are!). They often avoid speaking up
> because it generally results in even more noise. Those people should
> volunteer (or be appointed?) to participate on an Editorial Board. They can
> read the summarized issues in the tracking system and respond in writing as
> their time and expertise permit. I assume responses will be deemed to be
> individual and not representative of that Editorial Board member's company,
> firm or affiliation, and NOT LEGAL ADVICE. Any interested in serving on such
> an Editorial Board should please respond to this email, privately or
> publicly, so we can determine if there would be enough talented
> participation to make such an effort worthwhile.

I am in support of this (or at least, what I currently understand it to be. :)

The Free Software Foundation has offered a service like this for years
through the license compliance lab. I've volunteered with the service
for several years and believe that it offers a tremendous amount of
value to the community at large.

With the FSF there are well-defined positions that make answering many
of the questions posed an easier task. Additionally, the service is
exactly that - a service. We aim to help Free Software developers
understand and resolve licensing issues so that they can get on with
the work of writing Free Software.

I would very much like to see the OSI equivalent of this service adopt
the same service ethic. Too often novices post questions on the
license-discuss list and receive little or no useful advice - I fear
that they may leave more confused than when they arrived. By focusing
on helping working developers solve real issues, we can help avoid

> 3. The collective responses of the Editorial Board can be used to create an
> OSI FAQ, or perhaps one will automatically evolve out of the comments posted
> in the issue tracking system through the wonders of Web 2.0 technology. In
> any event, the result of the efforts by 1 and 2 should be a compendium of
> expert comments about specific open source issues, with a high
> signal-to-noise ratio.


> 4. For issues relating to license approval and the like, the public comments
> of the Editorial Board to issues collected by the triage agents from
> license-discuss can serve as input to the Board of Directors when they vote.

This concerns me a bit. Why can't the experts use the same channels as
the rest of the community?

Once we start managing the license approval discussions more
effectively, the process should not be that painful.

I don't wish to formally create several classes of license approval citizen.