Well, I've been watching this discussion and I would like to put in my two
Just to get the facts out of the way, I am one of the founders of the Open
and Free Technology Community and am currently the project's Chair. I also
actively served on OpenProjects.net's staff from the spring of 2000 to the
end of 2001, and have been a Debian user since Debian 1.3 (bo).
To me, whether the Debian project moves to OFTC, Dal, Gimpnet, or not at
all is absolutely none of my business. Debian is a mature, independent
project guided by its own principals and structure, and I appreciate the
work that Debian does every day as I continue to use its flavour of Linux.
OpenProjects.net, for its part, is also a mature, independent project
guided by its own principals and structure, and I appreciate the work that
lilo and many of my other former colleagues on OPN's staff do as I
continue to meet interesting people and carry about my life on that
OFTC, on the other hand, is a new project. We're a startup. We feel
there's an untapped market in the Open Source and Free Software community
and we're here to open it up. The void that we're attempting fill is to
provide for projects that need mailing lists, news servers, web space,
IRC, or other services that are suggested to us.
Many projects provide some or all of these services for themselves, and
others, especially smaller ones, do not have the resources to provide them
at all, and could use a central place to communicate across as many media
To achieve this lofty goal, the Open and Free Technology Community has
teamed up with an established and reputable non-profit organisation called
Software in the Public Interest. It happens that this organisation is the
parent for the Debian project, as well as the Open Source Initiative, the
Linux Standard Base, and at least three other projects.
We appreciate SPI's involvement in our project. Being a member of a
registered organisation ensures that our mandate, as stated in the Mission
Statement of our constitution, is backed up by a legal entity and that we
can not deviate from these goals without seeking the approval of SPI.
OFTC's pseudo-democratic structure also exists to ensure the project does
not deviate from its goals. If the leadership is not leading, the staff
will select new leadership from among themselves and the project will be
able to continue on its original course, always ensuring a panel of active
members of the community are taking care of day to day operations and
Ultimately, OFTC is seeking projects looking for resources that they
cannot easily provide for themselves, and attempting to keep an open
medium of communication between the project and its users, and for
projects among themselves and each other.
Debian is an organisation whose needs are its and its alone to determine
and as a long-time Debian user I will encourage the Debian project to
choose its own course, where ever that may take it.
Thanks for listening.
David Graham, Chair
Network Operations Committee
The Open and Free Technology Community