[openbeos] Re: Openness

  • From: Michael Phipps <mphipps1@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: openbeos@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 12 May 2007 12:43:09 -0400

The admin team is the group of people who have *earned* the right to direct Haiku. They have put in blood, sweat and tears to get us to where we are today. You don't join the admin team, you get invited. :-)

What goes on at the admin team meetings is, generally, closed to the public. Why? Because it allows the admins to discuss without public comment. We can have crazy ideas and shoot each other down. We use it as a forum for working out details on things like distro guidelines without having to do it in public over 10,000 posts.

Is closed bad? I don't think so. It keeps the signal:noise ratio very high (or at least it intends to). It means that the people who have the right to make those decisions can do so privately. Note, too, that EVERY OSS GROUP OUT THERE HAS THIS. BSD doesn't publish their minutes. Linus has a mailing list similar to our haiku-admin list. Look at the Red Cross, even - you can't get minutes of their board meetings. They are closed.

Having said that, Haiku tends to be more open then anyone else, IMHO. Generally, when a decision is made, it gets published.

As far as the updates to the donations pages... Yes, I made them a couple of days ago. I didn't announce them because I wanted to have a few people make their way through them by accident first to see if there were any problems before I announced them. It was *intentional* and *planned* that I would announce them when I was sure how they were working. There is one small issue (people who make 1 time donations are getting redirected to the t-shirt page, if you want to know) that I need to resolve.

As far as the t-shirts go... There is a very good reason for us to do this ourselves. Several, actually. 1) Printing t-shirts is generally cheaper by the case. 72 of them, in particular. When I did the shirts for WalterCon, I needed 15 or 20 of them. By printing 72, I saved a TON of money per shirt. So WalterCon was cheaper, and we got shirts to sell. 2) The revenue difference is a factor of 2. CafePress charges somewhere around $12 for the quality and printing of shirt that we do. The shirts that I have here are less than $6.

All of which sounds like I am a greedy slimeball. :-D Except:

3) There are rules about charities selling items. The goal of the rules is that you can't be a charity so that you can run a store - you have to be a real charity that, oh, by the way, happens to run a store. This is why Public TV stations (for those in the US) ask for a $60 donation to get a CD. Because the value of the CD is so low that almost the entire $60 can be counted as a donation. This all factors into some of the end of the year paperwork that I have to do to prove that we are still a public charity.

So, to sum it up, if we chose to go with something like Cafe Press, each sale would EITHER have to be a) a lot more expensive or b) we would need a lot of donations to keep the cost of goods:total revenue in the neighborhood that the IRS wants to see.

Speaking of donations... We have talked, on and off, about posting a list of donors. Every time I have asked actual donors what they wanted, it has been a split on the order of: 1/2 - I want to remain anonymous, 1/3 - I don't care, 17% - I want to be recognized. That's why we don't maintain a public list. It doesn't make sense for the low percentage of people who want it.

As far as bounties... This horse just won't die. :-/ All I will say is "look at the fruit". Not a single bounty came even close to completion except USB which was already underway. Some of them couldn't have even been done, legally (Java). I am not opposed to the CONCEPT, but it takes work to ensure that the bounty is possible, legal, and that the money matches the effort. I have asked many people, privately, to put together a list of the drivers that we need, the sources of specs/source code, etc. I haven't had a response yet that gets me what I would think would be wise/necessary to proceed. So we haven't. It is WORSE to do something halfway than to not do it at all, especially when you are asking for money.

I apologize if this post sounds angry. I am not - I actually smiled as I wrote it. :-) Could I use some help with some administrative tasks? Sure. WalterCon 2007 needs to be planned. I have survey results that I would like broken down in a number of ways. I have a pretty much unending list of tasks that need to be done. If we had millions in the bank, I would have an assistant who I could throw these things to. :-D If anyone wants to volunteer, mostly all you need to have is a lot of spare time and basic computer skills. :-D


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