[openbeos] Re: Openness

  • From: Ingo Weinhold <bonefish@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: openbeos@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 13 May 2007 13:42:36 +0200

On 2007-05-12 at 19:23:14 [+0200], "Jorge G. Mare (a.k.a. Koki)" 
<koki@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Ingo Weinhold wrote:
> > The current setup is supposed to work like this: The admin group makes
> > decisions and Haiku Inc. carries out the tasks related to it (e.g.
> > providing money). The Haiku Inc. BOD members are also members of the admin
> > group.
> BODs are usually there to give direction and oversee, not to execute
> what others decide. Haiku Inc., as a company (even if it is a
> non-profit), does have a fiduciary responsibility towards it's donors
> (the community and sponsors), so it is logical the company decide, say,
> how its funds are used. That the developers are the people most likely
> to benefit from the distribution of funds does not automatically make
> them the decision-makers unless, of course, they become a BOD member,
> with the responsibilities that that may entail. That's the way it works
> in real life.
> The current setup is quite unique and anomalous, most likely *by
> accident* as a result of Haiku Inc. being in the dysfunctional state
> that it is, and not *by design* for the benefit of Haiku.

You're wrong here. Haiku Inc. was founded because the project needed a 
corporate body particularly for handling things like donations, owning 
trademarks, etc. In this respect Haiku Inc. is as functional as it was when 
it was founded, even if some BOD members are no longer active and should be 

You may find the setup unique and anomalous, but it's nevertheless how it was 
intended. The admin group -- people who earned trust by contributing 
significantly over a long period of time -- makes the decisions, the 
corporation executes those that concern it (e.g. by providing funds).

> >> Haiku Inc. holds copyrights and trademarks, and it also has ownership of
> >> the funds donated to the project. So even if there was a project
> >> manager, given that most of the issues that need to be addressed
> >> (trademarks, funding, advocacy, marketing, etc.) would deal with Haiku
> >> Inc. in one way or another, Haiku Inc. would be, for all practical
> >> purposes, the logical place for such an individual.
> >
> > Moving the tasks that are not done to another entity doesn't solve the
> > actual problem, which is that the people doing those tasks are missing.
> I am not talking about "tasks" or moving them. In broad terms, what I'm
> pointing at is defining clear roles and goals, and assigning those to
> individuals that both have the *skill set*, the *mindset* and the *time*
> to act on them.

Perfect! Define the roles and goals, find the people for them, and let them 
join the admin group.

> In my paragraph that you quote, I was saying that for somebody to take
> care of the non-developmental issues that are one of the main topics of
> this discussion, Haiku Inc. is the natural place to be. For performing
> such a role, there is no real practical value being part of the admin group.

That's your opinion. IMO there's absolutely no reason why a project manager 
(and other people with skill sets needed) should not be part of the admin 

> You and some other developers admit not having the time, motivation or
> skill set to handle issues unrelated to development, and that as a
> result these issues are neglected and nobody feels responsible for them.
> If you go as far as to recognize that, what stops you from delegating to
> and empowering others with the skill set and time to fill in the gap?

Nothing at all. If those people step forward they will be welcomed with open 

> Is there a reluctance to relegate control of certain areas of the
> project? Because if there is, I think you are both denying potential
> contributors the opportunity be come engaged, and in a way also
> perpetuating the status quo of neglect that you yourself so well described.

There is indeed a reluctance to give up control completely. The people who 
mainly created Haiku naturally want to have a say in what happens with their 
work. I don't think there's anything wrong with a democratic approach (we had 
this discussion on the admin list and I know you think otherwise) and it 
certainly doesn't hinder potential contributors from becoming engaged.

CU, Ingo

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