Linux International and Openmoko

Werner Almesberger werner at
Tue Jun 9 16:49:36 CEST 2009

Jon 'maddog' Hall wrote:
> If the Openmoko community is interested in pursuing this, I would be
> happy to discuss LI's plans further with you, and how Openmoko could fit
> into this.

I think putting gta02-core and similar projects under the wings of
LI is a wonderful idea ! We already discussed some of this a few
days ago. Below are some hopefully not too random thoughts on the
things a project like gta02-core needs and how they fit with what I
think an organization like LI can provide.

For technical projects like gta02-core, one of the most important
roles of such an organization would be to enter contracts and to
maintain rights that exist beyond and across projects. For example,
if we need to enter an NDA for some purpose, also follow-on
projects should be able to use this NDA without having to
re-negotiate it (which can be very difficult if not impossible.)

I'm not familiar with the subtleties that distinguish the various
forms of organization, and their impact on commercial activities,
but I think we can identify a few types of such activities that are
likely to be necessary:

For projects like gta02-core and possible successors, it would be
important to purchase goods (e.g., components), contract services
(e.g., PCB making or an SMT run), sell products (e.g., boards or
complete phones), and to save some of the revenue for later
activities (e.g., purchase of material).

Furthermore, it should be possible to hire or contract people for
roles that are beyond the scope of mere volunteer activities.

The international chapters certainly resonate well with the global
interest in open phone development that we've experienced with
Openmoko. Regarding international members, is there any special
paperwork they need to do to join LI as members or to perform
tasks in which they represent LI (or a sub-group ?) to some extent,
e.g., negotiate a contract ?

If none of the items above raises a red flag, I'd say this should
be an excellent match. The experience of LI would help projects
like gta02-core to establish a solid organizational framework, and
the prominence of LI would help gain visibility, attract
participants, and open doors for industry contacts.

When these bustling projects are successful in bringing openness,
both for hard- and software, into new areas and to new users, this
would in turn be just what LI aims for.

So I'd like to thank you for the invitation, and I'm very excited
about the prospect of joining forces with LI.

- Werner

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