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Re: [Fsfe-uk] Re: Proposed roadmap

From: Tom Chance
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] Re: Proposed roadmap
Date: Fri, 1 Jul 2005 11:46:00 +0100
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Hi Mark,

On Friday 01 Jul 2005 12:57, mark wrote:
> I think you are aiming for an "ideal" solution. From my (admittedly
> limited) experience of AFFS there is little possibility of a broad
> consensus amongst members on a large number of issues surrounding free
> software. There have obviously been recent problems amongst members of
> the AFFS committee. In practical terms, and based on my experience in
> other walks of life I would have to agree with John Seago's assessment,
> especially when he writes:-
> "However it does
> need the Committee to follow the usual proceedures and put up with the
> inconvenience of holding regular meetings, and keeping accurate and
> complete minutes of those meetings, available at the very latest one week
> after the meeting to both the members and the Committee, otherwise, at the
> very least, those at the meeting will be unable to remember what actualy
> happened. Only in really exceptional circumstances should those minutes
> not be freely available to the members, (as any business conducted by the
> Committee is conducted on behalf of the members)."

I'm mostly interested in the relationship between 'the AFFS', which is mostly 
its committee and to a lesser extent its members, and the wider free software 
community. IMO trying to expand the AFFS so that it represents the interests 
of the wider community, not just those of its members, is a worthy goal that 
can only be achieved by significantly widening participation. I believe in 
participation, and I don't believe that the "small club" I described can ever 
legitimately and effectively advocate free software, only its own interests.

Developing consensus is possible, it just needs to be done properly, as anyone 
who has sat in a pub with a large group of friends can tell you ;-)

Of course a more moderate, and one might say practical, proposal is to try and 
reform the AFFS to be more effective at what it does, and to try and expand 
the activities of the membership where it seems desirous. This is the sort of 
thing that can be well achieved at an AGM under the (flexible) guidelines of 
the constitution.

Basically, what I'm saying is: if people are interested in the former, more 
radical vision of the AFFS' future, a roadmap for consultation, outreach and 
so on is needed. Otherwise, a roadmap for reform is needed. Either way, 
everyone of course needs to think these things through properly so that the 
AGM doesn't end up with a few people arguing for their proposals, which few 
members have read and understood, and which therefore get nowhere fast.


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