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Re: [Koha-devel] Koha Foundation

From: MJ Ray
Subject: Re: [Koha-devel] Koha Foundation
Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2006 15:14:02 +0000

This is a combined reply to four related emails. Hope that's OK.

Joshua Ferraro <address@hidden>
> Well, opting to join another group would be one way to go but
> for the kinds of things I'd like the Koha Foundation to do it
> probably wouldn't be ideal. For instance, it'd be neat if we
> had a collaborative record-sharing system for Koha libraries
> that they could subscribe too (nominal fee just to keep it going),
> submit records to and use records from other libraries. That would
> be much easier to set up with an organization that _we_ were 
> running so that _we_ could make purchase decisions, etc.

I don't see joining a host foundation as a reason to stop
running the koha project. Project management and foundation
administration are different things. IIRC SPI lets the project
manager(s) remain in charge and they're appointed as advisor(s)
to the board. In the Apache Foundation, the project management
committee and the Apache board are two different groups with
a liaison.

If anything, using a host foundation rather than setting up
a new one should reduce the admin overhead and give us access
to experienced people who have done lots of this before, but
I encourage all koha developers (KDs) who care to check the
rules closely before we agree to anything.

> Also, I'd really like to go after some grant money -- [...]

How would being part of a larger non-profit hinder this?

> How easy would it be to hire someone to work for 'the foundation' and do
> original cataloging or to maintain the infrastructure if Koha developers
> and Koha libraries weren't actually the ones running the non-profit? (I
> ask out of ignorance).

It depends how much money koha has, either in donations/grants
for koha, or in grants/transfers from the host foundation's
general funds.

Russel Garlick <address@hidden>
> Has anyone had any experience in this environment? Certainly worth 
> looking into. Can you do both?

I am a contributing member of Software in the Public Interest,
a Debian developer and a GNUstep project member (both SPI
projects).  I helped set up AFFS, the UK associate organisation
of FSF Europe.  I have also been involved with some other
organisations and was unhappily involved in the creation of the
Debian-UK Society which is actually a retail business venture.

Do both what? Join a host and set up your own? Yes, but why?

> but there are some other goals that we at Katipo are interested in that 
> may not be addressed.

You know your audience better than me. I think "koha, a
project of the non-profit Software in the Public Interest"
sounds as good as "koha, a project of the non-profit koha

I think SPI doesn't just provide hosting and so on, but also
could help handle money and regulations for us.

"Kyle Hall" <address@hidden>
> Just wondering, does anyone on the last have any idea how to set up a
> foundation? I was thinking maybe the mozilla foundation might be one to
> pattern after (of course, they happen to have some big money from Google and
> such).

I've been involved in set-up before. It is absolutely no fun
and I strongly advise against wasting our time. I did it then
because of a need (being registered in the UK, with UK banking)
which no other group seemed to serve then.

I can't see any detailed description of how the Mozilla Foundation
works on http://www.mozilla.org/ so I can't comment if their
pattern is any good. If they hide information, that's not good.
(I know SPI's web site is currently out-of-date, but that's just
a volunteer gone missing. The info is in the mailing list archives
or on pages like http://www.spi-inc.org/secretary/ )

Hope that helps,
MJ Ray - personal email, see http://mjr.towers.org.uk/email.html
Work: http://www.ttllp.co.uk/  irc.oftc.net/slef  Jabber/SIP ask

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