[CAVO] A host for an open source election system project

Brent Turner turnerbrentm at gmail.com
Tue Feb 23 21:41:07 UTC 2016

Yes Patrick-

My reasoning for reaching out to yourself and Larry on this point is
obvious--  who can we trust ?

In my recent conversations with the White House and Congressional members
there is a bit of confusion as to best practices with regard to
repositories as well as concern regarding service company availability.  I
guess these are good problems to have as it shows forward movement.

I have noticed that when new champions come along there is a tendency for
group think to the extent the new found excitement might wish to replace
the old guard pioneers.  I persist we must keep our vetted core team in the
driver's seat as we can not afford to be derailed here.

Best and thanks-


On Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 12:55 PM, Patrick Masson <masson at opensource.org>

> I agree, care should be taken to ensure the autonomy, direction, ethos of
> the original developers/organizers is maintained.
> My suggestion would not be to relegate the project to some group, but
> rather find a place for--as we're quiting Simon Phipps--"a safe environment
> for the project to exist" or what he calls an "asset lock." <
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybAiTpqanDY>. I would offer that all of
> the operational and governance David rightly advocates for can be managed
> within the right foundation.
> As we ll know, there is a lot of work in developing both the code and
> community. Again, the right foundation can reduce the overhead of starting
> up and maintaining the project: key phrase, "right foundation" that does
> not threaten the project just as David fears/describes.
> My fear is that S.F. City generates an RFP that includes a requirement
> that the final result be distributed with an open source license. Then all
> the development goes off behind the closed doors of the winning contractor
> where only a final product is pushed over the wall. This is both a
> governance and operational/development catastrophe. I'd also be worried
> that that contractor retains the copyright (or even the city) versus a
> foundation where authority/governance is representative rather than
> appointed or sponsored (pay to play).
> All that said, David is spot on to raise these concerns as a foundation
> can very much take over, or put such a burden on the project that it
> constrains it.
> And again, quoting Simon from the above OSCON keynote, "If you're going to
> start a new activity, I beg you to join an existing organization if you
> possibly can--an existing proven organization." That video also has some
> other good advise that might be worth considering as your project moves
> forward.
> Patrick
> On Tue, 2016-02-23 at 13:29 -0700, David RR Webber (XML) wrote:
> My experience with all this is not at all positive I'm afraid.
> Whomever you assign it to then thinks they "own it" - and start down a
> slippery path to the dark side of control mania.
> Alternatively - all the original players leave there - and then the new
> folks ignore it - loose the domains - passwords et al.
> My preference is for the Github / Sourceforge model - where there is a
> team of technical folks managing the source base - and have a vested
> interest in that.  Plus - you have people assigned tasks - and are
> submitting updates - and all changes are tracked.
> If you want to have some way for organizations - such as States or Cities
> to be stewards - and request features - fund updates - then that is cool -
> building an engaged user commuity.
> *A great model for that is what LibreOffice is doing and see this posting
> from there:*
> *http://webmink.com/2016/02/19/joining-the-document-foundation-board
> <http://webmink.com/2016/02/19/joining-the-document-foundation-board>/*
> Please don't call it a Foundation though - as Simon Phipps notes!!!
> David
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