Miro is right!

Reaction to the statement posted on www.opensourcematters.org
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Miro is right!

Postby benwk » Fri Aug 19, 2005 11:31 am

The community can benefit from a foundation (but not that foundation).

In another post, I briefly alluded to the benefits of more formalized organization. Creating a structure for managing the project and dealing with finances in a way that ensures fairness to everyone (or contributors?) in the community is a complex task. It demands a foundation or at least a foundation-like body to oversee how work is carried out and funds are distributed.

This doesn’t mean making radical changes to the way things have been done before, but formalizing the processes that govern all aspects of the project and the community. In my view, this is the best way to serve the community and project in the long term. The foundation (or foundation-like body) could provide important services such as certification, fund raising, event organization, and handling legal issues.

In this respect, Lamont is right: a foundation provides a framework for further growth of the CMS. Where did he go wrong, then? For me, the Mamb* Foundation (MF) nb: use this abbreviation to mean what you like) is circumspect because it looks like Lamont has consolidated the decision-making power and has inextricably linked the success of MF to personal or corporate financial gain. (A few things that I would like to know: how much Lamont is getting for sitting on the board; how much ‘consulting’ work will go to Miro; and what the exact daily tasks of employees of Mambo Communities will comprise?)

While the development team might have known about the foundation and subscribed to its ideals before the details were worked out, Lamont’s execution was poor. The foundation was a complete surprise for the community at large. Lamont should have involved the community from the very beginning.

I believe that the community should back a foundation (but not that foundation). The creation of such a body should come from within the community and shouldn’t covertly favor any commercial organizations. Naturally, there are many other issues to consider, as well.

Who else agrees with me about the foundation, at least in principle? How can we make collective, democratic decisions about the foundation, while avoiding the trap of endless discussion? What’s the next step?

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Re: Miro is right!

Postby joomlasolutions_JB » Fri Aug 19, 2005 11:39 am

well look at it like this:

the dev team presented the idea of a foundation to Peter, who then went ahead and formed it on his own.
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Re: Miro is right!

Postby benwk » Fri Aug 19, 2005 11:54 am

Are you sure that's how it happened?

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Re: Miro is right!

Postby tjay » Fri Aug 19, 2005 11:56 am

I think we leave it in the hands of the core team, If you want a foundation there is one available to you.
Unless the core team form one and explain it to us
we dont need no stinkin foundation
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Re: Miro is right!

Postby benwk » Fri Aug 19, 2005 11:59 am

TJay, can you not see the benefit of a foundation or something similar?

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Re: Miro is right!

Postby Ambient » Fri Aug 19, 2005 12:08 pm

Thing is that anyone can setup an foundation.
In this case it seems (not knowing all the facts though) that this particular foudation hasn't have anykind of respect for the large international community using $ambo.
And I agree why would we need a foundation ?
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Re: Miro is right!

Postby tjay » Fri Aug 19, 2005 12:15 pm

I see a community being destroyed
I see people beign banned and posts deleted
I see a group of dedicated people taking a great deal of hardship to keep this going as os
I see a community getting behind the devs


no we dont need no stinking foundation, if you want one they have one for ya
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Re: Miro is right!

Postby hazman » Fri Aug 19, 2005 12:22 pm

Why would Miro take such a big risk in loosing it all? This doesn't make sense to me.

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Re: Miro is right!

Postby joomlasolutions_JB » Fri Aug 19, 2005 12:28 pm

hazman wrote:Why would Miro take such a big risk in loosing it all? This doesn't make sense to me.


maybe they didnt see it as a risk? blind? arrogant? perhaps. just speculation
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Re: Miro is right!

Postby joomlasolutions_JB » Fri Aug 19, 2005 12:29 pm

benwk wrote:Are you sure that's how it happened?


pure speculation. i think
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Re: Miro is right!

Postby benwk » Fri Aug 19, 2005 12:31 pm

@ TJay

Right. You're either with us or you're against us. Why do you see formalizing the community's role as destroying the community? Why do you link this formalization as some kind of authoritarianism? Why do you think the dev team would leave?

The purpose of this organization (whether it's a foundation or something else) should be to look after the best interests of everybody.

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Re: Miro is right!

Postby joomlasolutions_JB » Fri Aug 19, 2005 12:34 pm

personally i can see benefits in some kinda of community organized  democratic foundation, but like others have expressed, not in the way that Mambo Foundation has positioned itself, with its self appointed Miro members and outrageous fees to join.
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Re: Miro is right!

Postby absalom » Fri Aug 19, 2005 12:35 pm

mambosolutions_JB wrote:well look at it like this:

the dev team presented the idea of a foundation to Peter, who then went ahead and formed it on his own.


Here's how I think it went:
  • The dev team presented an idea for foundation to Peter (both sides confirm this)
  • They lost their independent lawyer for the foundation before it started (insider knowledge from my discussion with Peter)
  • Peter then set down two 'independent' appointments for the board - Jim Begley and Robert Castley - without consultation. (again, insider)
  • The core team wish to change the make up of the foundation so it isn't so Miro-centric, without the NDAs and so it guarantees all IP rights to the foundation (part conjecture, but it could be qualified in the way Peter expressed numerous personality clashes with the core in the discussion I had with him, and the fact a core dev PMed me asking if I'd recieved confirmation Robert Castley had signed the NDA)
  • Peter rejects their offer, and also their pending press release about the foundation and what Miro is potentially doing. (insider knowledge again - Peter talked at length about one press release being wrong and another press release being right, which gave the impression there were two press releases in the mix)
  • Peter then contacts Robert Castley and the rest of the foundation board to get the press release (in the version they want) out. He gets his version of the press release confirmed by the board.
Here's the public statement by Peter Lamont that confirms this: http://forum.mamboserver.com/showpost.p ... tcount=172
  • The announcement of the Foundation is made by Peter Lamont, followed up by supporting documentation in the relevant thread on the Mamboserver forum by Robert Castley.(Mamboserver confirms this)
  • As the core team had a significantly different idea about the make up, structure and ideals of the foundation, they hold off their press release, seeking legal assistance. (this site)
  • The community doesn't get answers for a week, until the day I am to see Peter himself, 18th August 2005, when OSM goes live, followed by the Mambo Foundation site.
  • Banning, censorship and other nasty tactics start on the Mamboserver forum

This is a possible time line of events based on what I can piece together.. Mileage will vary, caveat emptor and all that..
Last edited by absalom on Mon Aug 22, 2005 12:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Miro is right!

Postby joomlasolutions_JB » Fri Aug 19, 2005 12:40 pm

there you have it. Until either the dev team or Miro decide to speak further about the 'why's and the whats and whos and whens' this is about as much info as we are going to know IMO.
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Re: Miro is right!

Postby idigital » Fri Aug 19, 2005 12:46 pm

Uh... August 11th was the Miro announcement, and on the 17th the core came forward with (some) answers, with the Miro Foundation site launching with (some) more answers...

How is that two weeks Lawrence?
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Re: Miro is right!

Postby benwk » Fri Aug 19, 2005 12:48 pm

Absalom: Thanks for the summary.

I put it to the dev team to explain the benefits of a formalized OSS approach.

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Re: Miro is right!

Postby absalom » Fri Aug 19, 2005 12:49 pm

Mea culpa..

It sure feels like two weeks.. :-[
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Re: Miro is right!

Postby ex-mamber » Fri Aug 19, 2005 12:51 pm

I'd like to get rid of that bitter taste still in my mouth, so I'll ask a few questions -again.

Why did the core team have to walk away from Mambo, instead of using all of the community support and the combined threat to do so, to make Miro change the Foundation setup?
It can't be normal 3PD have to pay ($1000 or whatever) to provide code to the users?! It can't be Miro sets up the board and the rules? This is what everybody is going against, but why not try to change this, instead of walking away without providing all the background to everybody (transparency and openess!), leaving unknowing users or newly interested potential users, after the latest award announcement, all by themselves..
Yeah, I know, "legal issues" etc, wait wait wait..
All of us are equal in this ideal Open Source World, but some are more equal than others...
There's always been stuff going on behind the scenes; everybody is now shouting at the new(?) forum.ms admins/mods for censoring, but this has always been done, even by the previous admins or dev team.
Anyone remembers Peter Koch? (think "FacileForms")... Why did he leave, deleting all his posts? Why did Peter Taylor leave? And Robert? Nothing was ever made public to the mighty community.
What about the people asking how to become involved in (core) dev, or former 3PD like akede, Rey etc getting integrated into core, was this ever discussed with the community? NO.
The core has always taken decisions as they saw fit to reach unclear goals (mission statement, target audience and such might be good things to start defining, might help to find the right name..), Miro is doing the same to reach one clear goal: cash.
I'm sorry I can't share everybodys enthusiasm about this new forum here, much has been said, nothing really explained, no future plans (dates etc) made public (legal legal legal..), so at the moment, there is just ... nothing! Mambo will be no more if Core doesn't take the name, the "official" forums are not trustworthy with all this censorship and banning, the new entity does not exist, it's all just one big mess, no matter what the conclusion will be. Imagine someone is looking for a CMS TODAY, what will he choose..?

So just one question:
why walk away, instead of speaking openly to all of us? The reaction and support would IMHO have been the same, and with enough pressure on Miro, things could've gone differently.. or not? We just don't have any details, and that sux, sorry.

idigital, where have core provided answers?

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Re: Miro is right!

Postby ratlaw » Fri Aug 19, 2005 12:54 pm

From a practical point of view there will need to be a non-profit ‘something’ to look after the finances. There might not be any at the moment but once things are cleared up and the awards keep piling in ;) there will have to be a formal body to organise and distribute things for shows, ads travel, etc. I know the last thing anyone wants is to pay TAX on anything that the community gets.

IMHO the Foundation was a good idea, I think it was twisted into a tool for a certain software company to take control of $ambo and they showed there unprofessional face by stamping there feet when it didn’t go there way. The community had a lucky escape, now its time to repair the damage and do a proper job.

Hi tjay, how’ve you been?

You’re doing/did? a great job on Facile Forms, makes me wish I’d had more time for mosReporter.
Last edited by ratlaw on Fri Aug 19, 2005 12:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Miro is right!

Postby stingrey » Fri Aug 19, 2005 12:55 pm

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Re: Miro is right!

Postby stingrey » Fri Aug 19, 2005 12:56 pm

ex-mamber wrote:Anyone remembers Peter Koch? (think "FacileForms")... Why did he leave, deleting all his posts?

http://forum.opensourcematters.org/inde ... 229.0.html
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Re: Miro is right!

Postby unity » Fri Aug 19, 2005 1:05 pm

I agree with Ben - there are a number of very good reasons for forming a foundation.

To name but one, by placing the 'ownership' of the this project in the hands of an incorporated foundation, the Core Dev's would have some legal protection should anything ever go wrong.

As things stand the Core Team would have a personal liability should someone ever successful sue over a patent or copyright infringement - as an incorporated foundation that liability would be legally limited. If something went wrong, you simply fold the foundation, killing the liability with it, and move on - the software being open source can simply be picked up and taken forward, by the same development team, under a new name - and a new foundation if necessary.

Miro's got it wrong because of the way they structured their foundation to:

a) take back complete control of Mambo

and

b) try to ream money out of the community for their 'official sanction' - $1,000 membership fee for a 3PD is a total piss-take.

I've worked in the field of non-profit organisations for the last 6 years and know my way around governing documents very well - I write the damn things - and the construction of Miro's 'Mambo foundation' is an utter joke.

People have rightly picked up on the cash aspects of it, the membership fees and the $500 for breaking the foundation's rule.

What no one has noticed as yet - the Core Team will have but have most likely been told to keep schtum for legal reasons - is the manner in which voting rights are set out in the Foundation which, to say the least, are rather unusual by normal standards.

The simplest form of non-profit organisations uses simple one-member, one-vote for decision making - each full member having a vote.

More complex organisations may, as the Mambo Foundation does, have more than one class of member with each having different voting rights - so an ordinary member might have one vote, but a 3PD would count for, say five votes; or, alternatively, it would have block voting structure, so however many ordinary members there are, each with one vote, their votes count as 15% of the voting rights; 3PD's, of which there will be fewer, might still only have one vote each, but their votes count for 20% of the total voting rights, and so on...

... the point being that the various cmembership classes voting rights are clearly set out in the Foundation;s constitution, so you know where you stand, which membership classes have which voting rights and what proportion of the total votes belong to each class.

Under the Mambo Foundation's rules, your 'voting points' as a member are assigned to you by the Board on assessment of your membership application - it's up to Miro's 'Board of Regents' to decide who gets what votes and how many based solely on their own judgement - one thing you can bet on from that is Miro and its representatives will never see their personal voting rights fall below 51% of the total.

This creates, for example, a situation where 2 3PD's sign up and pay their $1,000 - per year - fee. One of them, who produces, say, a few small, simple but useful and totally free modules, could be alloted 5 voting points, while another who produces a single full-on commercial component - something fairly complex like an intergrated forum, could be allocated 100 voting points because the foundation's Board, see it as being more in their interests to keep the latter 3PD sweet.

Contrast that with the Mozilla foundation which, from what I can tell, has 30-40 members at most - all appointed by the foundation, and no membership fees. Because of its endowment from Netscape it doesn't need to build a mass membership to make money of its members, its simply has enough people involved in it do drive the development of the project, no membership fees and no particular contraints or restrictions on its community. You can be a member of its community and contribute to its development without being a member of the foundation and having to stump up any cash for the privilege.

A foundation for this project would not push the community to one side or make unreasonable demands, as the Mambo foundation does, nor would it need the community to become members - the community is so large, anyway, that such a structure would become completely unwieldy and unworkable.

All it would need to be is a small body, comprising the Dev Team and maybe a few others who bring useful skills to the table or represent useful interests, which exists to keep the project on track, serves as a place to collect voluntary donations - and if set up right, get the tax breaks for it - hold the copyrights and provide the core team with a few useful legal protections - like Mozilla it need be only 25-30 people, given the size of he current Dev Team, in whom the community places its trust to keep the project on track.

As community members we don't need to be members of the foundation or have voting rights to have imput into the future development of the project, all we need is for the Dev Team to keep right on doing what they've always done, talking to us, listening to our views, ideas and opinions and taking anything worthwhile on board.

The fact is that while Miro may have put up the cash backing for Mambo, and I'd dispute that it came to $200,000 a year, the contributed little or nothing to the development of the software over the last couple of years - all that was the work of the Core Team. That's why so many of us are, or should be, pissed off with Miro's foundation, because the way it was set up meant that the people who were doing all the work and carrying the project were being pushed out of the decision-making loop.

A foundation which is controlled and run by the Core Team is not something we could reasonably object to as all it would do is formalise things as they exist already and give them a bit of legal cover they wouldn't otherwise have.

There's nothing wrong with taking this project into a foundation in principle, its what Miro did in practice that's at issue.

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Re: Miro is right!

Postby joomlasolutions_JB » Fri Aug 19, 2005 1:17 pm

insightful. thanks
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Re: Miro is right!

Postby ex-mamber » Fri Aug 19, 2005 1:18 pm

Rey, sorry but that link doesn't answer anything, again. By left, I meant as in "from the core team".
Never mind, that was just a detail anyway..

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Re: Miro is right!

Postby benwk » Fri Aug 19, 2005 1:23 pm

@ Ambient

Anyone can create a foundation, but not everybody can get the support of a large and active community.

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Re: Miro is right!

Postby enjoy777 » Fri Aug 19, 2005 1:25 pm

ex-mamber wrote:Why did the core team have to walk away from Mambo, instead of using all of the community support and the combined threat to do so, to make Miro change the Foundation setup?


Because Miro foundation and show that they have community in some nice place where light doesn't come in.
The idea about foundation I think is a nice as I think but it should be prepared by community, from community and for community and for new version of old Mam...bach.
If Miro want to prepare Mamb...ach as opensource they should do something like sugar the company works, develops and use theire community to get feedback about their soft. And here was something strange Miro start then put it for free and opensource but when soft is very good - some awards shows that is the true - they want to grab it back.
In my opinion it was a little unfair I know bussiness is business, that's why I support dev team not Miro.
If the time come and we as community decide to start with foundation as a body to coordinate this hugh project I will probably agree with it because I hope it will be the best solution for new CMS and community. I am not sure if 3PD should pay I think better way is to pay for use oficial logo of new CMS like New CMS bussiness partner or Premium partner, Sponsor of Project etc.

I belive that will time when dev team will tell all of us what was happened and why they exactly go to this direction. I think it is a little big dev team 15-20 people as I remeber and all of them agree to change Miro on community-self project with them as leaders.

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Re: Miro is right!

Postby yerg » Fri Aug 19, 2005 1:34 pm

I think it's time for some trust here ... dev teams on mass don't walk out using the streakers defence (it seemed like a good idea at the time)

There needs to be a realisation that the hours of work and personal sacrifice don't get tossed away on a whim.

I know a bit and that's about 2/3 of stuff all and the bit I know in hind sight is rather prophetic.
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Re: Miro is right!

Postby benwk » Fri Aug 19, 2005 1:43 pm

Yerg: I don't quite follow. Please don't misinterpret where my faith lies. I trust this dev team implicitly.

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Re: Miro is right!

Postby tjay » Fri Aug 19, 2005 2:25 pm

ratlaw wrote:

Hi tjay, how’ve you been?

You’re doing/did? a great job on Facile Forms, makes me wish I’d had more time for mosReporter.



Been great my friend, I loved reporter and enjoyed the time that we worked together on that project. Peter deserves all the credit for Facile Forms (still hands down the must have comp for this app) I just did the support thing with him much like what you and I did. I am a coding midget. That is why I get so riled at all the politics that impede the core from doing what they do best, so I can do what I love most.

The community at some point has to understand, these folks have lives too and if they need us to trust and be patient well then we need to decide.
Have they earned that trust?
In my opinion, yes the current dev team has earned my trust.
Has miro earned my trust?
NOT
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Re: Miro is right!

Postby enjoy777 » Fri Aug 19, 2005 6:18 pm

tjay wrote:In my opinion, yes the current dev team has earned my trust.
Has miro earned my trust?
NOT


I agree with you Tjay


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