The Overte Foundation for OpenSimulator

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The Overte Foundation for OpenSimulator

justincc
Dear all,

As I'm sure everybody on these lists is aware, OpenSimulator currently has some restrictions on who can contribute code
to the project (http://opensimulator.org/wiki/Contributions_Policy).

The most controversial of these is the one that prevents contributions from people who have studied the Linden Lab
viewer within the past 6 months.

This policy came about because the early core developers wanted to be very cautious when dealing with a project that was
intimately intertwined with OpenSimulator through a common virtual world protocol and concept, but which was licensed
under the copyleft GPL license rather than OpenSimulator's BSD license.  It was also inspired by bad, though unrelated,
early experiences of unwanted inclusion of GPL code within OpenSimulator.

However, this rule increasingly restricts progress and innovation.  To state the obvious, it effectively stops Linden
Lab viewer and third party viewer developers from contributing to OpenSimulator and it stops OpenSimulator developers
from contributing code to those viewers.

We do want to do something about this.  In very broad terms, there are two choices of action.  Either we simply drop the
6 month restriction or we establish a Contributor's License Agreement (CLA) to explicitly clarify that a developer has
the necessary rights to contribute the code that they're giving.

Simply dropping the restriction is tempting.  However, the conditions under which it was established have not changed -
the core of the Linden Lab viewer and derivatives is still under the copyleft LGPL license.  Some people think that in
general such restrictions are entirely unnecessary but others think that it's a reasonable precaution in the absence of
a CLA.

So the other alternative is to have that CLA.  This is the route that we've started going down.  The proposal is to have
a CLA by which a contributor explicitly grants a copyright license over their contributions.  Each contributor will
continue to own their own code (i.e. there is no transfer of copyright).

Again, there is considerable debate over CLAs, with some people seeing them as essential and others thinking that they
are entirely unnecessary.  However, many open-source projects have CLAs (Apache, Django, Python, the Linden Lab viewer)
so we would not be in bad company.  Having to submit a CLA might also reduce casual 'drive-by' patches, though we would
make CLA submitting as easy as possible - by accepting them electronically, for instance.

In order to grant a copyright license there needs to be a receiving entity.  To this end, we are in the process of
setting up an organisation known as the Overte Foundation.  The Overte Foundation will receive the copyright licenses
and become the official distributor of OpenSimulator rather than individual core developers.  This will put it in a good
position to deal with code origin or other issues, if any should ever arise.

Once the CLA is complete, the current contribution restrictions to OpenSimulator will be removed.  It will be down to
each developer (including core developers) to affirm via the CLA that they have the necessary rights over the code that
they are contributing.

One advantage of going down the foundation route is that it will also be able to promote and support OpenSimulator in
other ways, quite possibly incorporating members of the community other than just developers.  The foundation could also
extend to cover other open-source virtual-environment/virtual-world projects and components.  In the short term, though,
we will be concentrating on establishing the CLA.

At some point soon we would be very grateful for donations to the Overte Foundation in order to deal with some of the
costs involved in setting things up and for ongoing support and promotion of OpenSimulator.  Setup costs should not be
too high since Ben Esplin of Pillsbury Law is very kindly donating time and expertise (he also helped OSgrid establish
their organisation).

We're actually still in the process of setting up the foundation so we'll only be requesting donations once we have a
bank account for them.  However, we wanted to get this out in the open now so that people know what is being proposed
and so that we can get feedback.

For a much shorter public statement and FAQ about these topics shorn of the historical context, please see

http://opensimulator.org/wiki/Foundation
http://opensimulator.org/wiki/Foundation_FAQ

I will be acting as the first Overte Foundation president, with Diva as treasurer, Melanie as secretary and Nebadon and
Ben as initial board members.  The foundation itself will not directly control OpenSimulator development - this will
remain with the OpenSimulator team and community as it does now.

Discussion about this is very welcome, whether supporting or critical.  I'm logging off now so will likely answer any
points tomorrow.  Of course, other core developers are very welcome to chip in.

Best,

--
Justin Clark-Casey (justincc)
http://justincc.org/blog
http://twitter.com/justincc
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Re: The Overte Foundation for OpenSimulator

Fleep Tuque
From my perspective, this announcement sounds like extremely welcome and exciting news!  

It's always seemed very unfortunate that communities that should be able to collaborate and benefit from each others' knowledge and experience haven't been able to because of these kinds of legal concerns, so anything that helps reduce those barriers sounds like a positive to me.  In the grand scheme of things, virtual worlds and the metaverse are still pretty niche interests/technologies, and Second Life and OpenSim niches with that niche - better to combine the talents, skills, and passions of those involved in both platforms if it can be done safely and reasonably without jeopardizing OpenSim's future.

It's also good to hear you're pursuing a non-profit foundation model and separating the functions of the board and the community based contribution model.  That kind of setup has worked very well for some of the most successful opensource projects and I think those of you on the founding board have shown good instincts for the kinds of stewardship the foundation will need.

Congratulations and I look forward to seeing how this develops.  :)


- Chris/Fleep



Chris M. Collins (SL: Fleep Tuque)
Project Manager, UC Second Life 
Second Life Ambassador, Ohio Learning Network 
UCit Instructional & Research Computing
University of Cincinnati 
406E Zimmer Hall
PO Box 210088
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0088
(513)556-3018









On Wed, Jun 29, 2011 at 9:21 PM, Justin Clark-Casey <[hidden email]> wrote:
Dear all,

As I'm sure everybody on these lists is aware, OpenSimulator currently has some restrictions on who can contribute code to the project (http://opensimulator.org/wiki/Contributions_Policy).

The most controversial of these is the one that prevents contributions from people who have studied the Linden Lab viewer within the past 6 months.

This policy came about because the early core developers wanted to be very cautious when dealing with a project that was intimately intertwined with OpenSimulator through a common virtual world protocol and concept, but which was licensed under the copyleft GPL license rather than OpenSimulator's BSD license.  It was also inspired by bad, though unrelated, early experiences of unwanted inclusion of GPL code within OpenSimulator.

However, this rule increasingly restricts progress and innovation.  To state the obvious, it effectively stops Linden Lab viewer and third party viewer developers from contributing to OpenSimulator and it stops OpenSimulator developers from contributing code to those viewers.

We do want to do something about this.  In very broad terms, there are two choices of action.  Either we simply drop the 6 month restriction or we establish a Contributor's License Agreement (CLA) to explicitly clarify that a developer has the necessary rights to contribute the code that they're giving.

Simply dropping the restriction is tempting.  However, the conditions under which it was established have not changed - the core of the Linden Lab viewer and derivatives is still under the copyleft LGPL license.  Some people think that in general such restrictions are entirely unnecessary but others think that it's a reasonable precaution in the absence of a CLA.

So the other alternative is to have that CLA.  This is the route that we've started going down.  The proposal is to have a CLA by which a contributor explicitly grants a copyright license over their contributions.  Each contributor will continue to own their own code (i.e. there is no transfer of copyright).

Again, there is considerable debate over CLAs, with some people seeing them as essential and others thinking that they are entirely unnecessary.  However, many open-source projects have CLAs (Apache, Django, Python, the Linden Lab viewer) so we would not be in bad company.  Having to submit a CLA might also reduce casual 'drive-by' patches, though we would make CLA submitting as easy as possible - by accepting them electronically, for instance.

In order to grant a copyright license there needs to be a receiving entity.  To this end, we are in the process of setting up an organisation known as the Overte Foundation.  The Overte Foundation will receive the copyright licenses and become the official distributor of OpenSimulator rather than individual core developers.  This will put it in a good position to deal with code origin or other issues, if any should ever arise.

Once the CLA is complete, the current contribution restrictions to OpenSimulator will be removed.  It will be down to each developer (including core developers) to affirm via the CLA that they have the necessary rights over the code that they are contributing.

One advantage of going down the foundation route is that it will also be able to promote and support OpenSimulator in other ways, quite possibly incorporating members of the community other than just developers.  The foundation could also extend to cover other open-source virtual-environment/virtual-world projects and components.  In the short term, though, we will be concentrating on establishing the CLA.

At some point soon we would be very grateful for donations to the Overte Foundation in order to deal with some of the costs involved in setting things up and for ongoing support and promotion of OpenSimulator.  Setup costs should not be too high since Ben Esplin of Pillsbury Law is very kindly donating time and expertise (he also helped OSgrid establish their organisation).

We're actually still in the process of setting up the foundation so we'll only be requesting donations once we have a bank account for them.  However, we wanted to get this out in the open now so that people know what is being proposed and so that we can get feedback.

For a much shorter public statement and FAQ about these topics shorn of the historical context, please see

http://opensimulator.org/wiki/Foundation
http://opensimulator.org/wiki/Foundation_FAQ

I will be acting as the first Overte Foundation president, with Diva as treasurer, Melanie as secretary and Nebadon and Ben as initial board members.  The foundation itself will not directly control OpenSimulator development - this will remain with the OpenSimulator team and community as it does now.

Discussion about this is very welcome, whether supporting or critical.  I'm logging off now so will likely answer any points tomorrow.  Of course, other core developers are very welcome to chip in.

Best,

--
Justin Clark-Casey (justincc)
http://justincc.org/blog
http://twitter.com/justincc
_______________________________________________
Opensim-users mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.berlios.de/mailman/listinfo/opensim-users


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Re: The Overte Foundation for OpenSimulator

Neil Canham
I also see this as great news for the future of OpenSim.  Thanks to everyone involved in organising this - doing nasty bureaucratic stuff when you'd much rather be coding!
 
Neil Canham
CTO vComm Solutions

On Thu, Jun 30, 2011 at 4:49 AM, Fleep Tuque <[hidden email]> wrote:
From my perspective, this announcement sounds like extremely welcome and exciting news!  

It's always seemed very unfortunate that communities that should be able to collaborate and benefit from each others' knowledge and experience haven't been able to because of these kinds of legal concerns, so anything that helps reduce those barriers sounds like a positive to me.  In the grand scheme of things, virtual worlds and the metaverse are still pretty niche interests/technologies, and Second Life and OpenSim niches with that niche - better to combine the talents, skills, and passions of those involved in both platforms if it can be done safely and reasonably without jeopardizing OpenSim's future.

It's also good to hear you're pursuing a non-profit foundation model and separating the functions of the board and the community based contribution model.  That kind of setup has worked very well for some of the most successful opensource projects and I think those of you on the founding board have shown good instincts for the kinds of stewardship the foundation will need.

Congratulations and I look forward to seeing how this develops.  :)


- Chris/Fleep



Chris M. Collins (SL: Fleep Tuque)
Project Manager, UC Second Life 
Second Life Ambassador, Ohio Learning Network 
UCit Instructional & Research Computing
University of Cincinnati 
406E Zimmer Hall
PO Box 210088
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0088
(513)556-3018









On Wed, Jun 29, 2011 at 9:21 PM, Justin Clark-Casey <[hidden email]> wrote:
Dear all,

As I'm sure everybody on these lists is aware, OpenSimulator currently has some restrictions on who can contribute code to the project (http://opensimulator.org/wiki/Contributions_Policy).

The most controversial of these is the one that prevents contributions from people who have studied the Linden Lab viewer within the past 6 months.

This policy came about because the early core developers wanted to be very cautious when dealing with a project that was intimately intertwined with OpenSimulator through a common virtual world protocol and concept, but which was licensed under the copyleft GPL license rather than OpenSimulator's BSD license.  It was also inspired by bad, though unrelated, early experiences of unwanted inclusion of GPL code within OpenSimulator.

However, this rule increasingly restricts progress and innovation.  To state the obvious, it effectively stops Linden Lab viewer and third party viewer developers from contributing to OpenSimulator and it stops OpenSimulator developers from contributing code to those viewers.

We do want to do something about this.  In very broad terms, there are two choices of action.  Either we simply drop the 6 month restriction or we establish a Contributor's License Agreement (CLA) to explicitly clarify that a developer has the necessary rights to contribute the code that they're giving.

Simply dropping the restriction is tempting.  However, the conditions under which it was established have not changed - the core of the Linden Lab viewer and derivatives is still under the copyleft LGPL license.  Some people think that in general such restrictions are entirely unnecessary but others think that it's a reasonable precaution in the absence of a CLA.

So the other alternative is to have that CLA.  This is the route that we've started going down.  The proposal is to have a CLA by which a contributor explicitly grants a copyright license over their contributions.  Each contributor will continue to own their own code (i.e. there is no transfer of copyright).

Again, there is considerable debate over CLAs, with some people seeing them as essential and others thinking that they are entirely unnecessary.  However, many open-source projects have CLAs (Apache, Django, Python, the Linden Lab viewer) so we would not be in bad company.  Having to submit a CLA might also reduce casual 'drive-by' patches, though we would make CLA submitting as easy as possible - by accepting them electronically, for instance.

In order to grant a copyright license there needs to be a receiving entity.  To this end, we are in the process of setting up an organisation known as the Overte Foundation.  The Overte Foundation will receive the copyright licenses and become the official distributor of OpenSimulator rather than individual core developers.  This will put it in a good position to deal with code origin or other issues, if any should ever arise.

Once the CLA is complete, the current contribution restrictions to OpenSimulator will be removed.  It will be down to each developer (including core developers) to affirm via the CLA that they have the necessary rights over the code that they are contributing.

One advantage of going down the foundation route is that it will also be able to promote and support OpenSimulator in other ways, quite possibly incorporating members of the community other than just developers.  The foundation could also extend to cover other open-source virtual-environment/virtual-world projects and components.  In the short term, though, we will be concentrating on establishing the CLA.

At some point soon we would be very grateful for donations to the Overte Foundation in order to deal with some of the costs involved in setting things up and for ongoing support and promotion of OpenSimulator.  Setup costs should not be too high since Ben Esplin of Pillsbury Law is very kindly donating time and expertise (he also helped OSgrid establish their organisation).

We're actually still in the process of setting up the foundation so we'll only be requesting donations once we have a bank account for them.  However, we wanted to get this out in the open now so that people know what is being proposed and so that we can get feedback.

For a much shorter public statement and FAQ about these topics shorn of the historical context, please see

http://opensimulator.org/wiki/Foundation
http://opensimulator.org/wiki/Foundation_FAQ

I will be acting as the first Overte Foundation president, with Diva as treasurer, Melanie as secretary and Nebadon and Ben as initial board members.  The foundation itself will not directly control OpenSimulator development - this will remain with the OpenSimulator team and community as it does now.

Discussion about this is very welcome, whether supporting or critical.  I'm logging off now so will likely answer any points tomorrow.  Of course, other core developers are very welcome to chip in.

Best,

--
Justin Clark-Casey (justincc)
http://justincc.org/blog
http://twitter.com/justincc
_______________________________________________
Opensim-users mailing list
[hidden email]
https://lists.berlios.de/mailman/listinfo/opensim-users


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[hidden email]
https://lists.berlios.de/mailman/listinfo/opensim-users



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Re: The Overte Foundation for OpenSimulator

Marcus Alexander Link
In reply to this post by Fleep Tuque
Hi guys

I want to congratulate for the courageous move, establishing the
"Overte Foundation".
If you think I can do something for the OpenSimulator Project, don't
hesitate to contact me.

Regards,

Marcus

P.S. I am presenting OpenSimulator at the next AUGE e.V. club meeting
in Frankfurt am Main. If you have someone who should know more about
OpenSimulator, please send em my way. If someone would like to have
their project presented as an OpenSimulator use case, suggestions are
much appreciated.

OpenSimulator, Anwendungsbeispiele
16. Juli 2011 - 14:00 - 16:00
http://goo.gl/Ml1KE

Three D Services | Marcus A. Link
http://ddd.threedservices.com
http://www.manupool.de

On 6/30/11, Fleep Tuque <[hidden email]> wrote:

> From my perspective, this announcement sounds like extremely welcome and
> exciting news!
>
> It's always seemed very unfortunate that communities that should be able to
> collaborate and benefit from each others' knowledge and experience haven't
> been able to because of these kinds of legal concerns, so anything that
> helps reduce those barriers sounds like a positive to me.  In the grand
> scheme of things, virtual worlds and the metaverse are still pretty niche
> interests/technologies, and Second Life and OpenSim niches with that niche -
> better to combine the talents, skills, and passions of those involved in
> both platforms if it can be done safely and reasonably without jeopardizing
> OpenSim's future.
>
> It's also good to hear you're pursuing a non-profit foundation model and
> separating the functions of the board and the community based contribution
> model.  That kind of setup has worked very well for some of the most
> successful opensource projects and I think those of you on the founding
> board have shown good instincts for the kinds of stewardship the foundation
> will need.
>
> Congratulations and I look forward to seeing how this develops.  :)
>
>
> - Chris/Fleep
>
>
>
> Chris M. Collins (SL: Fleep Tuque)
> Project Manager, UC Second Life
> Second Life Ambassador, Ohio Learning Network
> UCit Instructional & Research Computing
> University of Cincinnati
> 406E Zimmer Hall
> PO Box 210088
> Cincinnati, OH 45221-0088
> (513)556-3018
> [hidden email]
>
> UC Second Life:   http://homepages.uc.edu/secondlife
> OLN Second Life: http://www.oln.org/emerging_technologies/emtech.php
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> On Wed, Jun 29, 2011 at 9:21 PM, Justin Clark-Casey <
> [hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> Dear all,
>>
>> As I'm sure everybody on these lists is aware, OpenSimulator currently has
>> some restrictions on who can contribute code to the project (
>> http://opensimulator.org/**wiki/Contributions_Policy<http://opensimulator.org/wiki/Contributions_Policy>
>> ).
>>
>> The most controversial of these is the one that prevents contributions
>> from
>> people who have studied the Linden Lab viewer within the past 6 months.
>>
>> This policy came about because the early core developers wanted to be very
>> cautious when dealing with a project that was intimately intertwined with
>> OpenSimulator through a common virtual world protocol and concept, but
>> which
>> was licensed under the copyleft GPL license rather than OpenSimulator's
>> BSD
>> license.  It was also inspired by bad, though unrelated, early experiences
>> of unwanted inclusion of GPL code within OpenSimulator.
>>
>> However, this rule increasingly restricts progress and innovation.  To
>> state the obvious, it effectively stops Linden Lab viewer and third party
>> viewer developers from contributing to OpenSimulator and it stops
>> OpenSimulator developers from contributing code to those viewers.
>>
>> We do want to do something about this.  In very broad terms, there are two
>> choices of action.  Either we simply drop the 6 month restriction or we
>> establish a Contributor's License Agreement (CLA) to explicitly clarify
>> that
>> a developer has the necessary rights to contribute the code that they're
>> giving.
>>
>> Simply dropping the restriction is tempting.  However, the conditions
>> under
>> which it was established have not changed - the core of the Linden Lab
>> viewer and derivatives is still under the copyleft LGPL license.  Some
>> people think that in general such restrictions are entirely unnecessary
>> but
>> others think that it's a reasonable precaution in the absence of a CLA.
>>
>> So the other alternative is to have that CLA.  This is the route that
>> we've
>> started going down.  The proposal is to have a CLA by which a contributor
>> explicitly grants a copyright license over their contributions.  Each
>> contributor will continue to own their own code (i.e. there is no transfer
>> of copyright).
>>
>> Again, there is considerable debate over CLAs, with some people seeing
>> them
>> as essential and others thinking that they are entirely unnecessary.
>>  However, many open-source projects have CLAs (Apache, Django, Python, the
>> Linden Lab viewer) so we would not be in bad company.  Having to submit a
>> CLA might also reduce casual 'drive-by' patches, though we would make CLA
>> submitting as easy as possible - by accepting them electronically, for
>> instance.
>>
>> In order to grant a copyright license there needs to be a receiving
>> entity.
>>  To this end, we are in the process of setting up an organisation known as
>> the Overte Foundation.  The Overte Foundation will receive the copyright
>> licenses and become the official distributor of OpenSimulator rather than
>> individual core developers.  This will put it in a good position to deal
>> with code origin or other issues, if any should ever arise.
>>
>> Once the CLA is complete, the current contribution restrictions to
>> OpenSimulator will be removed.  It will be down to each developer
>> (including
>> core developers) to affirm via the CLA that they have the necessary rights
>> over the code that they are contributing.
>>
>> One advantage of going down the foundation route is that it will also be
>> able to promote and support OpenSimulator in other ways, quite possibly
>> incorporating members of the community other than just developers.  The
>> foundation could also extend to cover other open-source
>> virtual-environment/virtual-**world projects and components.  In the short
>> term, though, we will be concentrating on establishing the CLA.
>>
>> At some point soon we would be very grateful for donations to the Overte
>> Foundation in order to deal with some of the costs involved in setting
>> things up and for ongoing support and promotion of OpenSimulator.  Setup
>> costs should not be too high since Ben Esplin of Pillsbury Law is very
>> kindly donating time and expertise (he also helped OSgrid establish their
>> organisation).
>>
>> We're actually still in the process of setting up the foundation so we'll
>> only be requesting donations once we have a bank account for them.
>> However,
>> we wanted to get this out in the open now so that people know what is
>> being
>> proposed and so that we can get feedback.
>>
>> For a much shorter public statement and FAQ about these topics shorn of
>> the
>> historical context, please see
>>
>> http://opensimulator.org/wiki/**Foundation<http://opensimulator.org/wiki/Foundation>
>> http://opensimulator.org/wiki/**Foundation_FAQ<http://opensimulator.org/wiki/Foundation_FAQ>
>>
>> I will be acting as the first Overte Foundation president, with Diva as
>> treasurer, Melanie as secretary and Nebadon and Ben as initial board
>> members.  The foundation itself will not directly control OpenSimulator
>> development - this will remain with the OpenSimulator team and community
>> as
>> it does now.
>>
>> Discussion about this is very welcome, whether supporting or critical.
>> I'm
>> logging off now so will likely answer any points tomorrow.  Of course,
>> other
>> core developers are very welcome to chip in.
>>
>> Best,
>>
>> --
>> Justin Clark-Casey (justincc)
>> http://justincc.org/blog
>> http://twitter.com/justincc
>> ______________________________**_________________
>> Opensim-users mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> https://lists.berlios.de/**mailman/listinfo/opensim-users<https://lists.berlios.de/mailman/listinfo/opensim-users>
>>
>


--
http://www.marbleisle.com
Mobile: +49 1577 422 0000
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Re: [Opensim-dev] The Overte Foundation for OpenSimulator

Mike Chase
In reply to this post by justincc
On 06/29/2011 09:21 PM, Justin Clark-Casey wrote:
> Dear all,
>
> As I'm sure everybody on these lists is aware, OpenSimulator currently
> has some restrictions on who can contribute code to the project
> (http://opensimulator.org/wiki/Contributions_Policy).
>

>
> In order to grant a copyright license there needs to be a receiving
> entity.  To this end, we are in the process of setting up an
> organisation known as the Overte Foundation.  The Overte Foundation
> will receive the copyright licenses and become the official
> distributor of OpenSimulator rather than individual core developers.  
> This will put it in a good position to deal with code origin or other
> issues, if any should ever arise.
>
> Once the CLA is complete, the current contribution restrictions to
> OpenSimulator will be removed.  It will be down to each developer
> (including core developers) to affirm via the CLA that they have the
> necessary rights over the code that they are contributing.
>
> One advantage of going down the foundation route is that it will also
> be able to promote and support OpenSimulator in other ways, quite
> possibly incorporating members of the community other than just
> developers.  The foundation could also extend to cover other
> open-source virtual-environment/virtual-world projects and
> components.  In the short term, though, we will be concentrating on
> establishing the CLA.
>

>
> I will be acting as the first Overte Foundation president, with Diva
> as treasurer, Melanie as secretary and Nebadon and Ben as initial
> board members.  The foundation itself will not directly control
> OpenSimulator development - this will remain with the OpenSimulator
> team and community as it does now.
>
> Discussion about this is very welcome, whether supporting or
> critical.  I'm logging off now so will likely answer any points
> tomorrow.  Of course, other core developers are very welcome to chip in.
>
> Best,
>
Justin and team, I think this is a great move and a good start.  There
are a number of people who have been unable to contribute to the project
and hopefully this will address this abiliity.

I would like to add that an excellent additional goal for the foundation
would be to produce and maintain a roadmap for the elements under its
care.  Perhaps even a process for how a project is included, how it
moves between stages, etc.

For OpenSim itself I think the project has suffered a bit with the
"perpetual alpha" status and discussion towards and the publishing of a
roadmap that moves it out of that state and into some more mature state
would be welcome personally by me.   Of course the work is still done by
volunteers but if this move increases contribution level and the
foundation leadership shares vision in the form of a roadmap you may
find these new contributors willing to pitch in to make that vision a
reality.

Those kinds of things of course take time.   But I'd hope they could be
considered.  In the meantime congratulations on what I see personally as
an excellent first step!

Mike

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Re: [Opensim-dev] The Overte Foundation for OpenSimulator

justincc
On 30/06/11 14:19, Mike Chase wrote:

> On 06/29/2011 09:21 PM, Justin Clark-Casey wrote:
>> Dear all,
>>
>> As I'm sure everybody on these lists is aware, OpenSimulator currently has some restrictions on who can contribute
>> code to the project (http://opensimulator.org/wiki/Contributions_Policy).
>>
>
>>
>> In order to grant a copyright license there needs to be a receiving entity. To this end, we are in the process of
>> setting up an organisation known as the Overte Foundation. The Overte Foundation will receive the copyright licenses
>> and become the official distributor of OpenSimulator rather than individual core developers. This will put it in a
>> good position to deal with code origin or other issues, if any should ever arise.
>>
>> Once the CLA is complete, the current contribution restrictions to OpenSimulator will be removed. It will be down to
>> each developer (including core developers) to affirm via the CLA that they have the necessary rights over the code
>> that they are contributing.
>>
>> One advantage of going down the foundation route is that it will also be able to promote and support OpenSimulator in
>> other ways, quite possibly incorporating members of the community other than just developers. The foundation could
>> also extend to cover other open-source virtual-environment/virtual-world projects and components. In the short term,
>> though, we will be concentrating on establishing the CLA.
>>
>
>>
>> I will be acting as the first Overte Foundation president, with Diva as treasurer, Melanie as secretary and Nebadon
>> and Ben as initial board members. The foundation itself will not directly control OpenSimulator development - this
>> will remain with the OpenSimulator team and community as it does now.
>>
>> Discussion about this is very welcome, whether supporting or critical. I'm logging off now so will likely answer any
>> points tomorrow. Of course, other core developers are very welcome to chip in.
>>
>> Best,
>>
> Justin and team, I think this is a great move and a good start. There are a number of people who have been unable to
> contribute to the project and hopefully this will address this abiliity.

Thanks for the encouragement from you and other folks.  Organizing this kind of thing isn't easy but hopefully it will
pay off.

>
> I would like to add that an excellent additional goal for the foundation would be to produce and maintain a roadmap for
> the elements under its care. Perhaps even a process for how a project is included, how it moves between stages, etc.
>
> For OpenSim itself I think the project has suffered a bit with the "perpetual alpha" status and discussion towards and
> the publishing of a roadmap that moves it out of that state and into some more mature state would be welcome personally
> by me. Of course the work is still done by volunteers but if this move increases contribution level and the foundation
> leadership shares vision in the form of a roadmap you may find these new contributors willing to pitch in to make that
> vision a reality.

Historically, I haven't been keen on a roadmap because there's nobody who can enforce that its goals will be met.
Everybody's interests are quite different and there's no single company employing developers.  I think it's tricky to
set targets in that kind of environment, unless they're completely 'aspirational'.

>
> Those kinds of things of course take time. But I'd hope they could be considered. In the meantime congratulations on
> what I see personally as an excellent first step!
>
> Mike
>
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--
Justin Clark-Casey (justincc)
http://justincc.org/blog
http://twitter.com/justincc
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