Subject: Re: the GCC steering committee
From: Tom Lord <>
Date: Fri, 15 Mar 2002 12:31:42 -0800 (PST)

   From: "Brian J. Fox" <>
   Date: Fri, 15 Mar 2002 11:56:41 -0800
      Date: Fri, 15 Mar 2002 11:49:01 -0800 (PST)
      From: Tom Lord <>

      Formalizing the maintainership of various open source projects, which
      includes both process improvements to the technical work and political
      improvements to the governance, is a large step in the direction of
      performing such projects with best practical practices.  Wouldn't
      that, in turn, be a good liability shield for companies that provide
      this software to their customers?

   That sounds a lot like Cygnus Support's original business.

Yup.  At least arguably (glossing over the exact meaning of
"maintainership" in the context of the FSF).

I think an updated notion of maintainership-for-pay (in the FSF sense,
but better) is a viable business, especially now that you've got
companies like the big unix hardware vendors all using open source.
I've been trying to sell people on this list and elsewhere on that
idea for months now -- perhaps I've been focusing too much on the
process issues such a business ought to address, though.

It doesn't have to be a business.  It could be done with NPOs.  A
business can do it better, though, in my opinion.  Perhaps a mixture:
fairly lightweight NPOs with most of the work being done by
maintainership businesses: GNOME is starting to look that way, now
that Sun is hiring 3rd party companies to address some of its issues.


p.s.: Hurrah.  After *3* attempts, my system clock finally seems to
agree with the rest of the world.  What day is it, anyway?