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GPLv3 Drafting Process

Benj. Mako Hill <mako@debian.org>
> <quote who="MJ Ray" date="Wed, Feb 08, 2006 at 11:57:21AM +0000">
> > The current draft and BROKEN drafting process are getting a lot of
> > criticism.
> The draft is certainly getting critism. Nobody thought that *any* new
> version of the GPL would be easy. That's why there is a public
> discussion process in the first place.
> Can you point me to other criticism of the process?

It's been in several places, but I remember best those where
I was involved, so listing them will give my view too strongly.
Of the others, I remember that it appeared on slashdot from
a Busybox maintainer.

> > (The process should be changed to be
> >  * open/accessible to all, but especially software creators
> In what ways is it not open to all? *Anyone* can make comments on the
> draft.

Not anyone. It seems to be limited to a few versions of Gecko
browsers and particular weak security/privacy settings. So much
for the FSF's "Any Browser" claims: they designed for one which
isn't wholly free software by default and is strongly trademarked.

The email interface seems to barf at the smallest things, doesn't
allow commentary on the process (which the process description
directs to the comment system!) and reportedly takes ages to 
post comments it does accept. Also, you need to use one of the
limited browser/settings combinations which let you register
on the gplv3 site first. You have to guess at which webmaster to
contact (no address on the page) and the "Ä?i tiu retejo
sekvas la jenajn normojn" banner seems wildly inaccurate.

How many hoop-jumps must it have before we can agree that
the process has accessibility problems?

> There are sets of committees whose job it is to collect, summarize,
> comment on and present these comments to the FSF with recommendations
> of how to proceed. When these people want to track comments made or or
> make them theirselves, they use the publicly available mechanisms to
> do so.

There were still a lot of open questions about how that will
work when I last tried to find out.

> AFAIK, the Debian project is more fully represented on these
> committees than any single other project, company, or organization
> other than the FSF.

The Debian project can make a big contribution to opening the
process. I thank you for making committee D's proceedings
public, but I'm disappointed that Don and yourself are on the
same committee.

> >  * transparent and public with full audit trails
> The conference was public. Minutes from the meetings of at least some
> of the committees are public. The results of all committee works are
> public. The comments are all public. What do you want?

* Conference proceedings public
* Minutes of all committees, not just one
* Comments process opened to any browser/email client
* Full public audit trail

A tin pot town council can manage that. Why hasn't FSF?

> >  * more international
> The FSF/SFLC is, AFAIK, planning a set of follow-up conferences on the
> GPL around the world including at least one in Europe and more in
> South America and the East Asia. They have spoken openly about
> this.

I have only heard about these recently and few specifics yet.
It's a welcome development, but please keep encouraging it.

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