Charter ideas

Justin Sampson
Mon, 01 Apr 1996 15:48:00 -0800

The Tunes Project may serve as an example for free-membership open
development endeavours. As such, it is important to have a well-defined
organization. The Charter, as it is now stands, is a good start, but a
few points might benefit from a more careful inspection of the goals and
intentions of the project.

It must be recognized that membership in this sort of project has a
tendency to be somewhat transient. This is a result of both desirable
and undesirable causes: someone who has something to contribute to the
discussion should be encouraged to do so, even if he or she has no
intention of further involvement; and someone may express interest but
then fade away without notice. Because of this transient nature, direct
voting on decisions may not be practical. The actual current membership
is difficult to tally, and the coordinator must be given discretionary
power to force a decision in the interest of continuity.

Furthermore, it seems that quality and consistency of design require a
process oriented more toward concensus than majority rule. The
environment in which we work--a world-wide, document-oriented network--
would also seem to be conducive to clear, in-depth communication; a
cooperative system based on discussion, proposal, and revision with would
be more appropriate than the divisive parliamentary style of motion,
debate, and amendment.

Therefore, I propose a new Charter subproject to create a document which
will more precisely define subprojects, the powers and responsibilities
of coordinators, the status of official documents, and the rights of
participants. The subproject should also explore various alternatives
regarding copyrights and licensing, including but not limited to the GNU
General Public License.

- Justin Sampson - -