[forum] A Call For Open Governance Of X Development

Steve Swales forum@XFree86.Org
Mon, 24 Mar 2003 12:15:44 -0800

The weekly X.Org phone conference has just concluded, and I'm happy to 
be empowered by the membership to speak to this forum on their behalf.

These are interesting times for X.  This admittedly crusty technology is 
seeing a remarkable resurgence in community love/hate interest, which 
personally I find really exiting.  The last few months have brought some 
particular planets into alignment, some of which this alias has been 
discussing quite heatedly over the past few days, and some of which have 
been, for better or worse, happening on the sidelines.  Some of these 
things are really big picture forces, such as the current world economic 
crisis, others are smaller in scope, but just as interesting, such as 
the recent announcement by Apple that they are providing an X11 
implementation for there desktop systems.  Some are complex and 
long-festering conditions, such as the lack of broad and active 
community involvement in the stewardship of the X standard.

As a result of these forces, over the past two or three months, X.Org, 
along with XFree86.org, has been having specific internal discussions 
about a restructuring or re-casting of both organizations, focusing them 
on open and healthy stewardship of both the public standard and the 
public implementation.  We believe that these two entities can and 
should be able to reform themselves into appropriate and cooperative 
bodies which can carry out that stewardship under the free and active 
direction of the open community.

Although we have a number of ideas, many of which I've see echoed in the 
e-mail messages on this forum over the last several days, the most 
important conclusion we've come to is that the best approach we can take 
is to open this discussion up to the community, and work together to 
define the best form that these two organizations should take, so that 
they truly meet the needs of the X community, as stewards of the technology.

As the current Chairperson of X.Org, you have my personal invitation to 
participate, and my personal promise that X.Org is committed to 
reforming itself into whatever the community feels it should be, as the 
stewardship body for the X standard.  Having said that, I feel that this 
will not be an easy thing to do, but I am encouraged by the recent track 
record of other organizations which have successfully pursued the goals 
of free and open stewardship, while at the same time offering sufficient 
value for participation by a broad set of corporate (i.e. paying) sponsors.

I will leave it at that for now, and look forward to participating in 
the discussions to follow.



Steve Swales
Senior Manager, Platform Globalization Engineering
X.Org Chairperson
Sun Microsystems, Inc.
2515 North First Street, MS USJC07-201
San Jose, CA 95131
Direct 408 635-0623
Fax    408 635-0670
E-mail steve.swales@sun.com