[Ofa_boardplus] OFA and Open Source

Jason Gunthorpe jgg+lists at ziepe.ca
Thu Mar 15 12:51:55 PDT 2018

Control over license is routinely done in the open source world, there
are many, many examples of this.

It just not entirely accurate to say that OFA could have done nothing
in the past, and I agree with what Susan wrote.

The problem with pushing open source to some side project for the OFA
basically guarentees that OFA will not be stewarding open source
projects in future.

Users/Developers/Companies simply do not want to invest in a project
with bad or unclear governance. There are many historical examples of
projects leaving old toxic organizational structures behind and moving
to something cleaner.

It is already easy to see why, Saen's latest message suggests that OFA
should be OK with not doing open source development. That kind of
activity is totally incompatible with stewarding open source projects
and would eventually explode politically to try and do both at once.

So it is fine to transform the OFA into a trade association of some
kind, but don't have allusions OFA can successfully be both a trade
association and good open source project steward..


On Thu, Mar 15, 2018 at 06:50:32PM +0000, Paul Grun wrote:
>    I want to find closure on one open source/dual license item discussed
>    today.
>    It seems that there is broad agreement in the value of open source.
>    There is also some demand to continue to maintain dual licensing.
>      * In the early days, OFA code (called OFS) was maintained in an OFA
>        repo created per the bylaws.
>           + Hence the OFA could enforce the dual license provisions
>             because the OFA controlled the maintainer of that repo.
>      * But since OFS was open source, anybody could fork the repo and
>        effectively deprecate the OFA repo, which is what happened.
>           + Once the open source community made the choice to fork the
>             code and assign maintainers, the OFA could no longer
>             rigorously enforce dual license provisions, except by a
>             gentleman’s / gentlewoman’s agreement.
>      * The OFA could not have prevented that from happening.
>           + There are reasons why the community chose to do so (e.g.
>             dissatisfaction with an absentee maintainer or other reasons)
>             that perhaps the OFA could address
>           + But at the end of the day, there is no legal agreement that
>             would prevent that from happening if someone were motivated to
>             do so.
>      * Hence, in my view, the notion of losing control is illusory, since
>        no such control exists, because OFS was open source.
>    Please educate me if this isn’t accurate.
>    -Paul
>    Advanced Technology Group
>    Cray, Inc.
>    Office  – (503) 620 – 8757
>    Mobile – (503) 703 - 5382

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