X.Org Foundation May Find A New Organization To Join

Written by Michael Larabel in X.Org on 21 January 2022 at 05:33 AM EST. 7 Comments
For the past several years the X.Org Foundation has been part of Software in the Public Interest (SPI) but are now considering other possible arrangements moving forward.

Going back nearly a decade the X.Org Foundation was looking to partner with SPI so they could have an organization to take care of their finances and other regulatory burden so the X.Org Foundation / Board of Directors could have less of those issues to deal with and instead focus on stewarding X.Org / Mesa / Wayland / etc. After lacking enough votes to reach quorum in 2015 among X.Org members, in 2016 going with SPI was approved. In the years since the X.Org Foundation has been part of the SPI non-profit organization. Other SPI projects have included the likes of Arch Linux, Debian, FFmpeg, LibreOffice, OpenMPI, OpenZFS, PostgreSQL, systemd, and many others.

Surprisingly though, the X.Org Foundation board is at least considering finding a different parent organization moving forward. At this stage the Board of Directors are just talking about it and any action on it would additionally need to be approved by the X.Org Foundation members, which likely wouldn't be voted on until 2023.

From yesterday's X.Org BoD meeting minutes for those that missed it:
ITEM: Treasurer report for 2021 and SPI
Currently because of continued issues with getting SPI to be responsive, which came up while discussing the treasurer report for last year (which is currently delayed as a result of this), the board is considering alternative organizations
to propose joining. We'll likely be targeting the election after this one (so, next year) for this to provide members with a chance to vote on such a decision.
ACTIONS: Lyude to start poking around with alternative organizations
STATUS: Pending

There is also the relevant portion from the IRC meeting itself:
[14:09:36] (anholt25) current treasurer status is that the year-late report should have gone out, waiting on next report for spi to catch up on 6 months of their reports.
[14:10:13] (Lyude) cool - did we already vote on it btw anholt25?
[14:10:14] (anholt25) and, for the record: I am quite dissatisfied with SPI.
[14:10:30] (anholt25) we voted on it, and it should have gone out.
[14:10:51] (Lyude) ah whoops, I see - misunderstood your original message
[14:11:09] (danvet) anholt25, so still not any more responsive than 1-2 years ago?
[14:11:14] (anholt25) not at all
[14:11:26] (mfilion) so what are we waiting for to move away from SPI?
[14:11:41] (danvet) yeah I wonder whether we need to reevaluate all that
[14:11:43] (Lyude) yeah - SPI hasn't been great at getting back to us with stuff, I was going to say I'm fine with us discussing alternatives
[14:11:46] (danvet) it's pain and lots of work
[14:11:57] (danvet) but it's also not improving
[14:12:03] (danvet) *pain to move I mean
[14:12:29] (Lyude) yeah - what would the alternatives for us to join be
[14:12:30] (anholt25) we're on track for 3 years of being unable to meet our bylaws requirements because they can't track the money on time.

Part of the problem appears to be that SPI is run by volunteers and thus time/commitment issues.

We'll see what new organizations they may have their eye on (the Software Freedom Conservancy seems to be a lead contender based on the IRC meeting) or if they decide to stick with SPI assuming they are able to work out their process issues.
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