Hello Sage Developers & Friends!
Last week I started to work on creating a "Sage Foundation". There
were some issues in the recent past and this is also something which
is sitting in the back of my head for some time now. I'm certain Sage
will benefit from that and will get on the next level, if there is a
legal nonprofit entity representing Sage in the world. In the spirit
of release early & often I want to start this thread here, outline
some basics, discuss this and get some feedback.
The main motivation is to have a legal nonprofit entity for acquiring
funding, getting donations; an internal process about what to fund and
organizing Sage related projects; auditing and controlling; everything
is covered by law and finally, also establishing an "official voice"
for representing Sage.
Over here in Austria, there are only small hurdles to get this set up.
Establishing such entities has a long history in Austria and the
federal government sees this as a good way to help its citizens to
organize themselves in volunteer groups for various purposes.
Also, I want to point to an successful example. The "R Foundation" for
the "R" software is sitting here in Austria, too:
These are some questions I had with myself about this new endeavor.
* Is this some kind of (hostile) takeover of Sage?
Hell no, it's not :-)
The code and development process is left untouched. There are also no
intentions to suddenly "own" the Sage software, the website,
copyrighted material or anything else. The main purpose is to create
an international nonprofit legal entity for Sage and advance it's
future development in general.
* Is this an "official voice"?
First of all, as far as I understand it there is no "official voice"
until now. Hence yes, I want to claim that this is the official voice
of Sage. Of course, William is probably our "most official voice"
right now - which is fine - but in many cases it is helpful to have a
legal entity rather than just one individual. Needless to say, William
is invited to have some saying, too :-)
* How does this relate to UW's "sage foundation"?
Honestly, I don't know much about it and I don't want to criticize it.
Besides a possibility to donate, there is also an "ad" for the UW
alumni program. For me, it looks like you are donating to the "UW
Foundation" which is passing on the money to William.
The foundation I envision shouldn't be directly related to this at all
-- although it should be possible to cooperate with other entities
worldwide if they support Sage. Hence, this UW/Sage "foundation" is
left untouched. If you want to donate, you can choose where as you
(Of course, I have to mention that the benefit of the foundation I'm
talking about is, that it's financials must be reported to the members
and there need to be (by law) individuals in charge to check the books
and report errors.)
* Is this just for Austria, the EU or worldwide?
Worldwide. Everyone can be a member, regardless of nationality or
residency. Digital communication is no problem, too.
The only limitation is that the headquarter must be on Austrian soil.
* work on the statutes. For now, they are in German and I've invited
some German speaking people, with some experience in doing this, to
help me. Once we have settled on them, we translate them to English.
They are directly modeled after the rules of the law over here and
define the necessary parts for setting everything up. Also, they
outline the basic purpose and its operations (advancing sage, types of
membership, ...). There is also a 4-eyes principle, i.e. no single
person from the core executive team can act on its own on behalf of
the foundation in an official matter.
All non-essential rules and decisions what to do (those are the things
which are actually interesting) are not defined there and we can make
them up inside the foundation as part of our normal operations.
* get together a core team to do all the bootstrapping: i.e. initial
registration, the paperwork and filing. Please contact me if you want
* once it is established, everyone is invited to get on board, of course :)