[License-discuss] Evolving the License Review process for OSI

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Sun May 26 07:30:29 UTC 2019

Quoting Russell McOrmond (russellmcormond at gmail.com):

> The OSI as an organisation is free to determine its own objectives.
> Whether they are in-line with what other people consider to be the
> real-world objectives of software freedom can and does change over time.

[scratches head]

I'm honestly a little unclear on your meaning.  (I hope you won't 
take offense.  I'm honestly not trying to play annoying Socratic
rhetorical games, here.  Promise.)  

Upthread, you said the sticking point was shared political values.
Assuming we're using words the same way (something I try not to take for
granted), values differ from objectives.  They're in different
categories entirely.

Backing up, I replied suggesting that maybe clashing values could be 
disregarded -- sidestepped -- by concentrating on shared objectives in
the _absence_ of shared values.  E.g., Alice loves jazz and hates
classical.  Bob hates classical and hate jazz.  So, instead of trying to
listen to music together, they both go fishing on the same ocean boat
because, happily, they both love sea bass.

Analogously, maybe you like free software because of caring about
freedom.  In this example, you have a conviction that OSI doesn't give a
damn about software freedom (as some people do, and I think they're
profoundly mistaken but that's not at issue, here) but OTOH is effective
at advocating for open source, which happily turns out to be at least
approximately the same as what you call free software.  In sum, your
perception is that OSI supports free software (calling it open source)
for what you regard as the wrong reasons.  You (hypothetical you) could
either obsesses over OSI having wrong values or concentrate on your
shared objectives (promotion of what you call free software and OSI
calls open source).

What I was suggesting is that, if promoting free software is important
to you, maybe OSI's functional role in promoting it is what _ought_ to
matter, to you.

Which is to say, alliances of convenience are a thing, and it's
unfortunate that far too many people use that term sneeringly when it's
an excellent means of getting done real things that matter.

And why obsess over (supposed) gaps of ideology when you actually want
the exact same outcomes as the other guys?  Aren't outcomes what matter?

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