Subject: Re: Do We Need a New Evangelist
From: Russell Nelson <>
Date: 1 Apr 1999 22:51:29 -0000

Ian Lance Taylor writes:
 >    It depends on the venue.  If it's a political one, then yes, you're
 >    right, because you'll be forced to accept the majority opinion.  Given 
 >    the presence of two anarchists on the OSI board, I SERIOUSLY doubt
 >    that OSI would ever pursue a political final solution.
 >    If it's a free market (and I hope you agree that everyone is free to
 >    seek or avoid Open Source certification for their license), then you
 >    can trust that someone will come up with an alternative, if enough
 >    people share your opinion of OSI.
 > I'm not comfortable with these assumptions.
 > If I think that some sort of free software branding scheme is
 > desirable, then it seems natural to prefer that there be only one.  If
 > there are several, then people have to examine each one to understand
 > it, and that misses the whole point of having a branding scheme in the
 > first place.  We might as well go back to just looking at the
 > licenses.
 > Therefore, since there already is a branding scheme, my first choice
 > would be to influence that one.  Only if that fails would I consider
 > starting another one, and I would be aware that starting another one
 > would be a heavy cost to the community as a whole.

The cost of entry is much lower than you're suggesting.

 > Unfortunately, since as far as I am aware the OSI does not act in a
 > particularly public fashion, the OSI is hard to influence.  For
 > example, judging by the web site, there is no mailing list I can join
 > to see what the OSI is considering next.

Hmmm....  You're quite right.  We're having a board meeting tomorrow.
I'll see if I can slip your concern onto the agenda.

 > So, the OSI appears to be a relatively small group of self appointed
 > people, who deliberate in secret, and have no documented way to
 > replace members.  Yet they claim to act for good of the community, and
 > Eric Raymond, the president, refers to himself as ``public advocate
 > for the hacker tribe.''  And, in fact, people outside the community
 > appear to accept these claims to one degree or another.

Advocate, yes.  Leader, no.  I don't see anybody following him; who
could possibly mistake him for a leader?

-russ nelson <>
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