Freerunner's Future

Jeremy McNaughton jeremy.mcnaughton at
Mon Jun 8 06:58:31 CEST 2009

On Sun, Jun 7, 2009 at 1:49 PM, swap38<swap38 at> wrote:
> good news :-)
> Like jeremy I'm not enough skilled to contribute in code and I'm
> probably less skilled than him in management.
> But I want to help as much as I can.
> There's 2 solutions for a foundation :
> 1 - create a brand new Openmoko foundation
> 2 - join an a foundation that already exists an create a sub-group
> The solution 2 is easier to start (and can be moved in solution 1 later).
> We can ask to :
> - Linux International (see this mail from maddog :
> - Mozilla (they planned to build a mozilla phone :
> - LiMo ? (
> - other ?
> My 2 cents
> Swap38

These are good suggestions (though I don't know about LiMo, not really
a community organization).

After thinking about it for a bit, I don't know if we really need to
find an umbrella organization right away.  It seems that for now
Openmoko is still willing to foot the bills for hosting infrastructure
and helping out in other small ways.  That's basically what an
umbrella or incubator would be doing for us anyways.  Maybe I'm
mistaken, but it doesn't seem like Openmoko Inc. has any sort of
urgency to hand the phone over to another incorporated body.  If I'm
wrong about that then maybe we should take up Jon's offer with Linux
International.  But if there's no rush, let's take our time to look at
all the options.

After all, transitions like this one are difficult and resource
consuming.  We should try to go through as few organizational
transformations as possible.

There are some other questions that I think we need to talk about for
a foundation:

Name:  Openmoko Inc. has been kind enough to allow the community to
use its branding and trademarks.  Would that include allowing us to
use "Openmoko" in the name of the foundation?  There are obvious
advantages to keeping the same branding, but that could become
confusing.  Steve said "Postmoko" above.  Freerunner Foundation?  Or
maybe even a name that could include other phones?

Scope:   What will our mission statement be?  Is the foundation just
to support the gta02-core project, or will it also
supervise/contribute to/support  Paroli, OM2009, FSO etc?  Does the
foundation attempt to finance a future phone, does it work mostly on
software, does focus on porting "real" Linux to all the Android phones
that will be on the market?

Location:  The Openmoko community is international, so where do we
want the foundation to be headquartered?  It might make the most sense
to put the foundation where there are the most members.  Different
countries have different rules and categories for non-profits, are
there places we should avoid or that may be advantageous?   Are we
safer in a country that does not recognize software patents?

As for Jon's offer, maybe an LI sub-group for Openmoko end users could
exist in parallel to the foundation.  The foundation could still also
be open to end users in this scenario.  This could work well if the
two groups have different mission statements.

There are a lot of options to consider.  It's important that we choose
carefully to ensure a productive future for our community.

Before we're ready to start a foundation, there are some things that
we can sort out during our incubation period.  I've only just started
reading the gta02-core list and haven't been on IRC at all yet so I
don't know... maybe some of these things are already started on:

Decision making process:   I think that a clear, accessible process
for making decisions is best.  We need a balanced process that is fair
to those doing the hard work and to end users.  We also need to avoid
deadlocks and conflicts.

Paroli and OM2009:   Do these projects need new leaders?

Online resources:   who will handle admin tasks on the *
  Do we need a team for that?

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