Xfce Foundation status

Jannis Pohlmann jannis at xfce.org
Thu Oct 14 14:22:19 CEST 2010

On Thu, 14 Oct 2010 00:30:41 -0700
Auke Kok <auke at foo-projects.org> wrote:

> > I've been in contact with the president of the KDE e.V., Cornelius
> > Schumacher, and have been granted permission to re-use their
> > articles of association (German: Satzung) for Xfce. You can read
> > the KDE version on
> >
> >    http://ev.kde.org/corporate/statutes.php
> >
> > Based on this I created a draft for Xfce. So far I only have a
> > German version ready, but I basically replaced "KDE" with "Xfce" (or
> > "Xfce Foundation" where appropriate) and fixed a few typos. I also
> > changed the time board members are elected for from 3 to 2 years as
> > I think 3 years is a bit too much. We could even say 1 year here.
> can we read the draft you created?

Sure, here it is:


> >    * Does a German e.V. (which is a non-profit organization
> > registered in Germany) sound like a reasonable type of organization
> > for Xfce?
> any country can fit, as long as Xfce has a reasonable presence (IOW, 
> there's people to take care of stuff).

I'm pretty sure there will always be someone in Germany to take care
of the paperwork and stuff. The only serious entry barrier is the
initial paperwork and notary stuff.

> >    * For how many years do you think the board should be elected?
> >      3, 2 or 1?
> 3, unless there's all of a sudden an unmanageable amount of money
> going through here. In the start of a foundation, consistency for the
> first period helps. After that, it's less important.

I'm considering 2 the best choice personally. I've seen that, within
3 years, half of the developer team (if not more) has been replaced with
new blood. I'm not worried about huge amounts of money and instability
so much actually. BTW, while KDE only elects the board every 3 years,
GNOME has decided to do this every single year. Frequent board elections
may help in keeping the board alive and refreshen it with new ideas
from time to time (and 3 years may be a bit too much in that regard).

> >    * There is one clause about where the raised money should go in
> > case the e.V. is abandoned. The KDE people have decided to forward
> > all their money to UNESCO. I have come up with a few alternatives.
> >      Which of the following organizations would you prefer the
> > money to be handed over to in case the e.V. is closed?
> >
> >        UNESCO, Amnesty International, Greenpeace, WWF or OLPC?
> >
> >      You can of course make your own suggestions if you want to.
> UNICEF, by far, the best choice imo. If you have kids you understand.
> I strongly suggest a UN-affiliated organization or an international 
> focussed non-provocative organization (so no greenpeace). Please pick 
> something noncontroversial that everyone agrees on is a good cause.
> I would rephrase this and allow people to select multiple choices,
> and we pick one that the most people would agree on. Or rather, turn
> it around: ask people to pick from a list which entries they think
> are inappropriate or they do not wish to donate to, then pick all the 
> entries that nobody (or the least) amount of people pick.

I think you're right, a noncontroversial organization should be picked.
However, let's not exaggerate the importance of this point. The e.V. is
not supposed to be shut down in the near future, so we don't have to
find the perfect choice yet. There will never be a perfect choice
anyway since there will always be someone who thinks he has a better
idea on what to use the rest of the money for.

> I suggest picking a conference and planning something on the side, 
> perhaps in line with 1-2 talks on Xfce, such as FOSDEM. Isn't FOSDEM 
> coming up early next year again?

It is. But I think we can have it way cheaper than sending out a number
of developers and community members to a conference. (And speaking
for myself here, I'm not planning any trips that involve several
hundred bucks at the moment.)

To be honest, I wouldn't want to wait another 4-6 months with this. 
Other than for egoistical reasons, it doesn't matter at all who is
present at the kick-off meeting where the papers are signed (friends,
girlfriends, parents, the local priest or famous pop singers...
everyone is fine, really). 

This idea has been floating around in our heads for several years now.
I think now might be the time where we stop hesitating and waiting and
instead just do it. ;)

  - Jannis
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