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From Greg Stein <gst...@gmail.com>
Subject An intermediate foundation? (was: OpenOffice and the ASF)
Date Fri, 03 Jun 2011 21:13:33 GMT
On Fri, Jun 3, 2011 at 16:42, Kevin Lau <kevinlau@fas.harvard.edu> wrote:
> First time posting to this list and has been reading it for few days now.
>
> Permit my naive question, can both organizations (TDF and Apache) separate
> from their own licensing dependencies and establish an independent entity
> (or something that works) to develop some code that can benefit both
> parties?

Foundations are extremely time consuming, imposing a burden on an
ecosystem that sucks away a lot of potential. The Apache Software
Foundation has been able to pull it off *only* because we've been
working on it for a dozen years. We also have thousands of committers
and hundreds of Members to ask for volunteer time.

Starting a Foundation from scratch is a serious pain in the ass. Ask
Florian about trying to get TDF started :-)

The TDF has (actually) not even been completed. They're still going
through the paperwork. I don't think they're in a position to suggest
starting *another* foundation :-P (and I know that Apache would just
stare blankly and ask "why?")

And note that even after you get the paperwork completed, then you
have ongoing time commitments in terms of handling donations, filing
taxes, legal issues, member meetings, marketing and publicity,
conferences, trademark management, outreach, tons of infrastructure,
... etc etc etc. And I didn't even get to the "project governance"
part where the community is writing code!!

To be honest, I get a bit sad every time somebody says "let's create a
Foundation". I just shake my head, knowing the amount of pain they
just signed themselves up to. I've been involved with the ASF for over
a decade. I've seen it from the beginning. It is non-trivial, and I
don't wish that on anybody.

Cheers,
-g

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