I am posting the points I have written down during our live session regarding the role of the ERPNext foundation during the ERPNext Conference 2018 in Mumbai.
I am not claiming this is without bias or a 100% representation of what was said but I do believe I tried my best to include all relevant points here. This is not my personal opinion but these were points brought up during the discussion. If you disagree or believe something is missing please add to this. Edits have been made afterwards for clarity.
I would like this to be a starting point for our foundation reboot!
Role of the ERPNext Foundation
These are not easy things to fix!
What are the goals of the foundation?
The foundation survey results show that 65% of users gave the reason for joining the foundation as “to give back”
We should be a foundation for the end user rather than a platform for the service providers
Service providers can not be expected to do charity work
What should we not be doing?
Should not develop features
Should not be marketing ERPNext
What should be the role of the foundation?
Make sure that we have a sellable, stable product
Act as a moderator between users, developers and service providers
Making informed decisions of what should be included and left out
Counter argument: This should be done by the maintainers
Be responsible for quality checks because we don’t want the product to deteriorate
Protect Frappe Framework and ERPNext (including from commercial interest) for years to come
Hire developers to do
Marketing of ERPNext
Counter argument: foundation should not do marketing
Certification for Developers (some time down the road)
Make sure we have good documentation
Promote open source software
Help train developers
Real user testing, not just test cases
Organize code sprint events and meetups
Hire technical writers to improve documentation
Should the foundation hire more developers?
We need to define who manages the foundation developers
We need to define the goals of what the developers should do
Developers should be hired for cleanup, testing, documentation
How should the foundation be governed?
We should be careful to not have commercial interest completely control the foundation (reverse incentive)
There is currently no way to explicitly vote in the bylaws, we have 4 directors, Rushabh with 99% voting rights
We should consider a leadership council
Service providers are being alienated, they are also part of the community
Leadership of the foundation should be organized from the users
We should consider outsourcing development to service providers as the foundation
Nobody has time to volunteer
Nobody is taking responsibility
Again! This is not my personal opinion but these were points brought up during the discussion.
Dominik, thanks for bringing this executive summary up. I will catch up and watch all the videos next week. Meantime, your clarification is right on point.
I do agree that governance is a sticky subject but clarifying the roles is important so we get the ball rolling. Clear “property rights” is crucial. I agree Frappe Pvt. Ltd. is not a utility. If we want stuff, we need to contribute back.
As a foundation member, I believe that having a voting structure is important, to start moving with binary go/no go decisions to move forwards to the vision of what the foundation will ultimately do. This makes it right on point.
As a starting point for a reboot example, what does MariaDB do? who markets and who develops? What is Mariadb Inc. role? What is MariaDB foundation role. I believe that is a successful model to follow.
Again Dominik, thank you for this wonderful summary and your leadership. It will help immensely with all the goals desired and give the legal framework to enhance and perpetuate ERPNext and all of our contributions.
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