Foundation - next practical steps

Continuing the discussion from Summary of the first ERPNext Foundation members call:

the Foundation Meeting was great in terms of seeing the spirit and enthusiasm about the project and getting an idea where things could move going forward.

On the practical side of things I’d say there are some steps to take at the moment

  1. get get more Community Members to make the move and become Foundation members
  2. produce bylaws (last time I checked the idea was to lean them on existing bylaws of OpenStack or the Linux Foundation)
  3. elect members of the board

assuming that erpnext.org is running with ERPNext on the backend … would it be an idea to use “Projects” to organize these things within erpnext.org?

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@tmatteson, @strixaluco thanks for liking … are you on board yet ? :slight_smile:

Not yet, as you probably know. But I’m considering this.

Also I would like to raise that we should have a group chat for the members.

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I was wondering whether Wire could be utilized for that? It’s Open Source and as secure as it get’s (at least that’s what it looks like on first sight)

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I expect to join within the next month or so. Not sure if it’ll be individually or as a business, there are lots of pieces in flux.

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@johnskywalker, @vrms as for the chat system, I’d suggest Matrix, which is fully federated, has bridges to other protocols (e.g. IRC, Gitter, Slack etc.) and both client part and server part are FOSS.
Wire has only recently started opening sources of their server part and federation is not in the place yet.

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We can use this: https://gitter.im/erpnext

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@vrms

Thanks for the suggestions, I think before bylaws we need to be a bit more clear about the goals. Last week was a great discussion on the fact that our goals should be

  1. Marketing / Evangelism
  2. Events (trainings and code sprints)
  3. Member Support

So maybe appoint one member to lead each effort? And maybe let the CEO drive this. We also need to define @JayRam’s role as the CEO

Should we finalize the goals first?

I think we can work on an OKR (objectives and key results) system. Set measurable goals for the first 6 months and assign resources and then see how we are doing

Measurable goal examples are:

  1. Organize 3 code sprints
  2. Increase traffic on erpnext.org by 50%
  3. Get 3 ERPNext articles published
  4. Implement in-app member listing
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I’d say yes, sure! … and those goals can go into the bylaws 1:1 (so they should be written in a way that suits bylaws form factor

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Maybe the bylaws should only define processes not goals, because our goals can change with time as our needs will evolve.

So maybe we can say in the bylaws, every 3 or 6 months we will define goals and we will allocate resources to these goals. Also we can define how will be measure and execute these goals.

Lets also discuss this in our next call on Thursday.

Edit: My process is still evolving as you can see, if you have a draft bylaws to propose, please go ahead!

Being recently acquired by Gitlab and scheduled to become FOSS by June 2017¹, Gitter is also a decent choice from now on.

¹ — https://about.gitlab.com/2017/03/15/gitter-acquisition/

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since this discussion has started (a year ago, or so) the bylaws of OpenStack Foundation or the Linux Foundation have been constantly mentioned as good blueprints.

It looks to me we may need a system about how to document and plan the progress for this procedures as #1 priority. I feel many things are being talked over again and again due to not having a feasible documentation system for this yet. I also feel this should utilize the tools coming with a standard ERPNext (and likewise showcasing it’s features)

For example the Knowledge Base could serve as a documentation system on erpnext.org, also we may want to use the Projects to organize the work. Ideally this should be publicly visible so anybody can follow along (not only the members). Does that sound reasonable?

EDIT:

that’s actually a good example for the point I was trying to make …

Safeguarding of the Open Source Nature of ERPNext (&frappe/bench) was a prominent point as well. Just in your today’s listing it has slipped and all of a sudden does not exist anymore (to anybody who might not have attended that meeting) … ergo, we need a good documentation of what’s happening

Haha - its not on the list since we did not discuss any actionable items against it. Its in the summary thought - hopefully you can volunteer to write the next meeting summary :slight_smile:

Either ways, protecting open source nature is an outcome rather than the cause. If the foundation succeeds in being vibrant and sustainable (like Mozilla etc) then we will maintain the open source nature, otherwise anyone can fork the project and do what they want with it.

Edit: Successful open source projects require a lot of commitment (time and otherwise) from a large enough community over time, so if you say community engagement + contributions are the way to “secure” the open source status well and good. If we do this as a group (foundation) even better. So the very fact the foundation exists and thrives guarantees the open source nature of the project. If you are expecting anything else, then please educate.

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seems things become interesting now

from the point of view of the Community it’s the other way around. But I totally understand that you may not necessarily have the same point of view

so, it remains an option for Frappe Pvt to close down the code at any later point in time then (at least that’s what can be concluded from that statement if you follow through the line of thought)?

The one reason for such an action (closing the source code) you give now would be that the Foundation was not “vibrant and sustainable”. To be very clear (and I think that doesn’t hurt) this could also be any other reason (like you would not like what the Community does, just change your mind, …) at any later point in time.

that is true but such a fork would have much less momentum (i.e. the name/branding, which has a huge impact) on it’s side. I think that’s exactly what happened (or didn’t) with Odoo (and why some of us are here now)

I don’t know that I agree with your point about momentum, the Fedora/CentOS dynamic comes to mind as a counter example. I say this to generate further discussion on your point; I’m not trying to troll and furthermore, I don’t know the Odoo story, but I believe that it is an adjacent example.

if you don’t know the story, how do you know the example is adjacent? :wink:
The example may be a bit provocative I admit that though.

The Story was that the company behind Odoo went a partial proprietary path for the product after being fed with code and intelligence from it’s community for a long time. Even though many Community members where opposing that move (which was against their best interest) drastically no one forked the project and (my assumption) that was because the momentum was just on the other side. And I think the brand name is weighing very heavily in such a situation. (And that was what my example actually was about, not that anybody may have bad intentions).

@rmehta you get that, right? I am not questioning anybody’s intentions. My point is that whenever your (personal or Frappe as a company) intentions may change at whatever point in time this should not put the Open Source character of the project in question.

@vrms we can keep arguing till the cows come home (as they say!) but the truth is that to “protect” open source is a cultural thing rather than something you can force on someone. We have the GPL license to start with, but that as you rightly pointed out did not stop Odoo – one difference is though that the EPRNext copyright is shared by all contributors.

If you really care about the culture. Then you (or anyone who wants to keep things open) would exhort all service providers, not only us, to contribute to the core. I keep doing that all the time and get a lot of flak for that. Why should service providers not do their bit to add to the community while only “taking”.

If there is a silver bullet then it is that -> There need to be more contributors from the community - right now Frappe does 90% of the heavy lifting. Time to share the spread a bit. We dearly want that - hence the foundation, but is the community coming forth?

Either ways good to have this discussion :sweat_smile:

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I couldn’t agree more to that! That’s why I’m all for ‘enabling’ rather then ‘coding’ as a task for the Foundation. If you see what sort of contributions are coming from the Odoo Community (again) maybe we’d need to try figuring out how that mechanics works.

One thing in this regard is that legal certainty about the the code being Open Source (forever) is a strong argument for putting some sweat into such a project. And one of my hopes for the Foundation would be to be a safeguard in this.

It’s the same with investments in countries. If a government is able to guarantee legal certainty in its country Investors from abroad are much more likely to invest then whether it’s a Wild West legal system where nothing is ‘secure’

The legal certainty is in the GPL license!

Offtopic, but me thinks its the strength of an economy + military that makes something a favourable investment destination or not. Countries are more likely to adopt a stable legal system after they achieve baseline prosperity and not before, so its kind of chicken and egg :slight_smile: