[CentOS] Open Letter to Lance Davis

Fri Jul 31 02:15:29 UTC 2009
Johnny Hughes <johnny at centos.org>

Akemi Yagi wrote:
> On Thu, Jul 30, 2009 at 5:36 PM, Jim Perrin<jperrin at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Thu, Jul 30, 2009 at 6:47 PM, Johnny Hughes<johnny at centos.org> wrote:
>>> Why ... we are under no obligation to tell people how how we spend
>>> monies.  There are costs that are incurred for any organization.  We are
>>> probably going to disclose how monies are spent in the future because we
>>> choose to.  If you run a private organization, must you tell me how you
>>> spend your money?  You get an OS and can chose to donate monies or not.
>> We're not under any obligation to tell people how the money gets
>> spent, but doing so certainly goes a long way building good will. In
>> my opinion, a simple 'We got X monies in donations which were used to
>> purchase dedicated hosting, bandwidth, and various novelties for booth
>> and show kit' once in a while would do worlds of good for showing
>> people how we use the money they choose to give us.
>> I don't have any legal obligation to help old ladies cross the street,
>> or rescue cats from trees. It's what you do because you're a good
>> person. Doing this in a community sense is what makes you a good
>> neighbor, and what helps build community reputation.
> I have to agree with Jim here.  It is not legal obligation or
> anything. IF I am running a project and ask the community for help and
> I receive donations (monetary or in the form of thousands of donated
> hours), I would feel obliged to return back to the community.  And in
> doing so, I would want to disclose everything.  Once again, this is
> not due to any legal requirements but because I would feel the project
> is no longer my private toy and I owe the community.
>>> We are hiding nothing ... why exactly does CentOS need to provide that
>>> information to you?
>> Thinking that this is entirely an internal manner is a bit
>> short-sighted. Keeping all the problems internal doesn't solve them.
>> Not to speak for Dag, but judging by his blog reaction to the news,
>> the finance issue and lack of openness is part of what drove his
>> departure. If we move to adopt a slightly more open approach and
>> include more community efforts, I believe that we'll see a great deal
>> of good from it.
>> It's not that we OWE the community anything. It's that we should do it
>> because it's how we want to be treated, and how we SHOULD deal with
>> them while we participate in the project.
> I mostly agree with Jim.  As I wrote above, if this was my project, I
> would feel I *owe* the community.  But that is strictly my personal
> feelings.  I cannot imagine how I can ever pay back if those who
> donated their time ask for refund. :)

Actually, I agree with Jim too :)

We will likely do all or most of these things because we want to do so,
but not because we have too.

My point was that we wanted to give someone the benefit of the doubt
because we were trying to do right by him too ... now we (as a group)
think we need to do something differently, and we will.  Regardless of
what else we do, we still have to acknowledge that without Lance, there
would have been no CentOS at all ... and because of that we probably
waited to long to push this issue.  However, we did it because of good
intentions and hopes of someone doing the right thing, not to hide

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