[Fsfe-ie] Broad or Narrow?

Malcolm Tyrrell malcohol at eircom.net
Thu Nov 13 18:43:13 CET 2003

Hi there.
Loic Dachary, in his recent post to this list, suggested
that we "allow any kind of activity as long as it has a
clear relationship with Free Software".
I responded, somewhat hastily, that an IFSO should be 
focused on free software only. It subsequently occurred to
me that this is a very important issue in the framing of 
our organisation and perhaps it deserves a little more
Here are a few arguments.

* Most of us probably agree about a range of similar issues
  which have we see as having "a clear relationship with 
  free software".
* More flexibility
* More visibility
* Focussed activities
* Some people, who believe in free software, are likely to
  disagree about issues which have "a clear relationship
  with free software". (Leads to the danger of a split)
* A contentious but important point: at times, we may find
  that we need to make arguments based on different 
  considerations (e.g. our anti-e-patent letters took a
  pragmatic approach). If we involve ourselves in too many
  diverse issues, it may lead to our arguments becoming
  inconsistent. Being a one-issue group gives us a 
  consistent base from which to argument.
                                                                                A compromise between the two may be possible. Personally, I
still favour a narrow, but not too restrictive, focus. This
may not be the consensus of the list members, so please
contribute to this discussion!
Good luck,


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