[Squeakfoundation]Principle proposal.

Cees de Groot squeakfoundation@lists.cdegroot.com
Thu, 10 May 2001 08:53:31 +0200

tim@sumeru.stanford.edu said:
> So come on folks, humour aside, let's get moving. At this rate we'll
> get a Squeak Foundation going in time to celebrate the centenary of
> Smalltalk. Several of you out there claimed great things for this
> chaordic stuff, so convince me.

Note that this chaordic stuff is coming out of Northern California, so judging 
by your mail address you're the expert here :-).

(if you have some time, drive to Half Moon Bay and have a chat with the guys 
behind the Chaordic Commons).

What we all (33 people on the list) need to do now is a) read the links I've 
provided (and maybe add some of your own), b) think about all these 
principles, and - just a suggestion - post your 2 most important principles 
here. 33 times 2 minus overlap should give us an initial set of at least a 
dozen items to talk about.

The NAMA and GDA principles list start with a list of overall chaordic 
organizational principles. I reproduce NAMA's list here for reference. 
Probably one of the more important questions is: do we subscribe to these 

Each and every part of NAMA shall:
- Be open to all individuals and institutions that fully subscribe to the 
purpose and principles.
- Have the right to organize in any manner, at any scale, in any area, and 
around any issue or activity, which is relevant to and consistent with the 
purpose and principles.
- Vest authority in and make decisions at the most local level that includes 
all relevant and affected parties.
- Surrender only such autonomy and resources as are essential to the pursuit 
of the purpose and principles.
- Have an equitable opportunity and responsibility to participate in 
discussions and deliberations.
- Deliberate and make decisions by methods and bodies that represent a full 
diversity of views and interests and are not controlled by any single view or 
- Deliberate and make decisions using current and objective knowledge and 
information derived from scientific methods and practical experience.
- Have an equitable obligation to provide knowledge and information that is 
relevant and essential to the realization of the purpose and principles and 
that is collected in a way that has minimal impact on confidentiality and 
competitive position.
- Maintain the highest standards of credibility and ethical conduct, fair and 
accurate dissemination of information and full disclosure and accountability 
for its affairs.

The NAMA principles then go on with practices. With a substition of "Northern 
Atlantic Marine life" for "Squeak", you'd probably have a decent outline for 
SqF as well (both NAMA and SqF are there to combine potentially conflicting 
interests in protecting a common good):

- Be a vehicle for those of diverse communities, professions, experience, 
knowledge, viewpoints, power and resources to join together with others in 
pursuit of the purpose.
- Encourage adaptability, diversity, flexibility, learning and innovation in 
all governance processes and practices.
- Encourage marine uses and practices that ensure the long-term productivity 
and diversity of the Northwest Atlantic marine system.
- Accept responsibility for the stewardship of the Northwest Atlantic marine 
ecosystem to ensure that succeeding generations will have an equal or better 
opportunity to benefit form its resources.
- Recognize that the marine ecosystem is a public resource and that access to 
this resource is a privilege, not a right.
- Engage in mutual learning to deepen respect and trust in one another and to 
improve our understanding and appreciation of the marine system.
- Resolve conflict constructively and cooperatively without resorting to 
social, ecological or physical violence.
- Encourage practices, behaviors and uses of technology that are consistent 
with the purpose and principles and control practices, behaviors and uses of 
technology that are inconsistent with the purpose and principles.
- Protect marine uses or interests consistent with the purpose and principles 
from being substantially sacrificed to, or eliminated by, any other uses or 

Personally, I think that this list adapted for the protection of Squeak is 
quite to the point - in a sense, both an ecosystem and a piece of open source 
software are some common good that deserve protection.

(ok, I am going a bit over the suggested length of 2 principles in your 
shortlist, but then as Chief Whip that's my privilege, OK?). Specifically for 
a software-based organization, we should think about whether we want something 
about sharing code here in the principles or not (I'm not sure - I tend to 
think not but I want to bring up the point nevertheless).

Ok, Tim, are you clear now on what's up?

Cees de Groot               http://www.cdegroot.com     <cg@cdegroot.com>
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