>Hi Ibsen,
>Ibsen S Ripsbusker wrote on Sun, Jul 21, 2019 at 05:51:21PM +0000:
>> benevolent dictatorship
>I'm aware you did not call OpenBSD a "benevolent dictatorship",
>and i totally see how the term can be used both to shut down
>or to incite controversy.
>Yet, i heard the term used several times in the past in relation
>to OpenBSD, and merely wanted to mention that i think is misses the
>point.  Words of the "...cracy" field can be used for systems of
>making, adjudicating, and executing laws, laws that limit or expand
>what people can and cannot have or do, that directly impact people's
>Nothing of the kind is at stake here or at the very most, the right
>of using the name "OpenBSD".
>OpenBSD cannot make any laws that bind me or cannot tell me what
>to do or what not to do, not even in programming, so the question
>what kind of a "...cracy" it is is already a moot question to ask.
>I'm 100% free to walk away at any time if i'm unhappy with the
>colour of the servers in Theo's basement and publish my software
>elsewhere.  That isn't just a theoretical possibility, it's quite
>easy in practice if needed; in fact, mandoc.bsd.lv is already up
>and running, and so is bsd.plumbing and other similar places - not
>because developers are unhappy with Theo providing free servers in
>his basement and fostering a very fertile development community
>around them, but simply because having your own site and name with
>global visibility is not such a big deal in this day and age.  Also,
>walking away does not necessarily even uproot you from a development
>community - i doubt that people like bapt@ at FreeBSD or wiz@ at
>NetBSD or stapelberg@ at Debian or Leah at Void greatly care whether
>or not i contribute to OpenBSD this week.
>So, yes, OpenBSD developers form a social group, but not in a way
>that (formally or effectively) assigns rights or duties or opportunities
>such that describing it as a "...cracy" would make much sense.
>People walking away and doing their work elsewhere under a new name
>happens all the time for very diverse reasons and often enough for
>good reasons: pf(4), OpenSSH, LibreSSL, heck, OpenBSD itself, and
>even NetBSD before that...  When it happens, the parent projects
>sometimes fade into oblivion - consider pf(4), OpenSSH - and sometimes
>live on - consider (so far) the parents of LibreSSL and of OpenBSD
>itself as examples.
>See, if you dislike the way Andorran politics is currently being
>run, you cannot simply renounce citizenship and set up your own
>state in some corner of the country.  So in some contexts, asking
>about "...cracy" is indeed highly meaningful.  For a completely
>free software project, no so much.
>Even in a commercial enterprise, the question of governance is more
>relevant than in OpenBSD - while in most countries, employees are
>formally free to quit, for some employees, that may be a somewhat
>theoretical option because some may have few practical chances to
>make their living in some other way.  And besides, employers *do*
>almost invariably tell employees what to work on and how, which
>isn't the case here either.
>  Ingo

Nice rant.  Now get back to work.


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