Subject: Re: improving project maintainership
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <>
Date: 13 Feb 2002 13:55:38 +0900

>>>>> "Nick" == Nick Jennings <> writes:

    Nick>  We are one community with different backgrounds and
    Nick> goals.

We are not _one_ community.  We are _many_.  That doesn't mean they
are all disjoint.  In fact, with the exception of The Great Divide
between the open source movement and the free software movement, they
overlap a lot.

    Nick> The simple fact that we are all sharing this list to
    Nick> voice our opinions on is reflective of our undeniable
    Nick> connection.

This is truth.  There is a single community that we are all members
of.  It is very important, and I certainly wish that we could
concentrate on the commonality.

But we are all members of subcommunities; most of us in this thread
are members of the FSB community (and the more narrowly defined community!), most of us are members of either the
(narrowly defined) open source or free software communities.  These
subcommunities do have more or less varying interests, although they
mostly share many things.

Because of the moral flavor of the definition of the free software
community, it's not really useful (IMO) to try to allow for joint
membership in the open source community.  It simply is paradoxical to
try to reconcile membership in the free software movement with
acceptance of proprietary licensing for business convenience.  I'm
afraid we simply have to accept that.  And I think that, like it or
not, the open source community must accept the burden of coexistence.
Our moral principles require tolerance, and allow compromise on many
points where the free software community's, or Richard's at least, do

I'm not proposing we try to find a new name for the whole shebang.

Rather, we should all have a little more compassion for each others'
speech impediments, as we all stutter over "the larger community that
promotes sharing of source code and mostly includes the free software
and open source communities", inevitably abbreviating it to "free
software community" or "open source community".  (Which is natural,
since we're all wishing that our brotherly enemies would repent their
heresies and join the real[sic] community.  Still, confusing.)

I don't know if I can do it, but what I'm going to try is to stop
bridling when Richard uses "free software community" in the broader
sense, and just deal with the ambiguity if necessary.  Usually it's
really easy to tell which is which (just check for stiffening hackles,
tensing neck, clutching hands, and the desire to scream---if present,
he means the broader community ;-).[1]

[1]  I'm making fun of _me_, OK?  I'm not proud of that reaction.

Institute of Policy and Planning Sciences
University of Tsukuba                    Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
              Don't ask how you can "do" free software business;
              ask what your business can "do for" free software.