Lua Foundation?

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Re: Lua Foundation?

Russell Haley
On Thu, Apr 20, 2017 at 11:45 PM, Daurnimator <[hidden email]> wrote:

>  On 19 April 2017 at 02:53, Andrew Starks <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> Has something like the idea of a Lua Foundation ever come up?
>>
>> The reason that I ask is because there seem to be many opportunities to
>> explore, all of which require some kind of momentum to be formed or strict
>> adherence to Lua's specific mission. As a result, many efforts feels like
>> hearding cats or sounding like an unwanted extension to Lua itself.
>
> Such as?
>
> I'm curious what you think can be solved by a "Foundation" that can't
> be solved by us, the community.
>
> The main purpose for such a foundation might be as a legal entity and
> touch point for large organisations that don't know how to deal with
> individuals.
> It might be capable of
>   - applying for grants
>   - holding bank accounts for community funds
>   - being named as party to insurance (e.g. for conferences)
>   - being blessed by governments
> At the moment these are generally not done at all, by private parties,
> or sometimes via PUC-Rio and/or LabLua.
> I wouldn't be opposed to such an organisation, but I'm not entirely
> sure what problems you're solving for.
> I also have questions about where such a foundation should be
> founded/based to solve the legal issues it's designed to solve.
>
I think the FreeBSD Foundation serves as an excellent model for Lua.
FreeBSD is it's own entity. The FreeBSD Foundation is a separate
entity that manages the following sorts of things:
- collects donations for FreeBSD
- organizes community efforts and provides funding from donations
- provides advocacy such as special presentations at universities,
events and some publications (notably the FreeBSD Journal)
- provides resources for distribution (build servers, resources, bandwidth etc)
- helps direct and shape projects that the board recognizes as
valuable to the community

The board is made up of current and past commiters and other people
and has some full time staff.

A Lua foundation would be an excellent organization for providing
"with batteries" distributions and many of the other things people
feel the community isn't providing well enough.

On the flip side, companies like ActiveState can provide leadership in
the area of binaries and distribution if there really is any market
for it. But then again, where does a company go if they want to donate
resources to Lua? Is PUC-Rio capable of working with for profit
companies on that sort of thing? Maybe that is also where a Foundation
would help?

Russ

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Re: Lua Foundation?

Etiene Dalcol
Some thoughts on the topic:
A foundation does not have to be useful for everyone. If it's useful for someone, then it is already useful. And just because Lua has being doing fine without a foundation, it also doesn't mean a foundation isn't useful or needed. A foundation can still add value. Good things can improve. And there are many needed things that are out of the scope of LabLua. 

Below are just some of the things where I can see a foundation being very useful:

* Serve as a slot and point of contact for companies who wish to sponsor and support Lua related projects that are not necessarily Lua itself
* Develop things that are outside of LabLua's scope of implementation of the language, such as improving the ecosystem and developer experience. This could include things like maintaining critical modules, creating plugins for common text editors...
* Work with community leaders and maintainers of critical tools. E.g. See if the LuaRocks folks need help with anything.
* Advocate and sprinkle more Lua around the world with things like coordinating events, managing social media, writing blog posts, tutorials or other online resources...

This is not the first time a discussion around the possibility of a Lua Foundation came up. That I saw, there were discussions on this topic at least during the past two editions of the Lua dev room at FOSDEM. I've even brought this subject up with Roberto in the past, and others have done the same. Some folks are really keen on seeing something like this happen. I'd be one of them :)

Cheers,
Etiene


2017-04-21 9:31 GMT+01:00 Russell Haley <[hidden email]>:
On Thu, Apr 20, 2017 at 11:45 PM, Daurnimator <[hidden email]> wrote:
>  On 19 April 2017 at 02:53, Andrew Starks <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> Has something like the idea of a Lua Foundation ever come up?
>>
>> The reason that I ask is because there seem to be many opportunities to
>> explore, all of which require some kind of momentum to be formed or strict
>> adherence to Lua's specific mission. As a result, many efforts feels like
>> hearding cats or sounding like an unwanted extension to Lua itself.
>
> Such as?
>
> I'm curious what you think can be solved by a "Foundation" that can't
> be solved by us, the community.
>
> The main purpose for such a foundation might be as a legal entity and
> touch point for large organisations that don't know how to deal with
> individuals.
> It might be capable of
>   - applying for grants
>   - holding bank accounts for community funds
>   - being named as party to insurance (e.g. for conferences)
>   - being blessed by governments
> At the moment these are generally not done at all, by private parties,
> or sometimes via PUC-Rio and/or LabLua.
> I wouldn't be opposed to such an organisation, but I'm not entirely
> sure what problems you're solving for.
> I also have questions about where such a foundation should be
> founded/based to solve the legal issues it's designed to solve.
>
I think the FreeBSD Foundation serves as an excellent model for Lua.
FreeBSD is it's own entity. The FreeBSD Foundation is a separate
entity that manages the following sorts of things:
- collects donations for FreeBSD
- organizes community efforts and provides funding from donations
- provides advocacy such as special presentations at universities,
events and some publications (notably the FreeBSD Journal)
- provides resources for distribution (build servers, resources, bandwidth etc)
- helps direct and shape projects that the board recognizes as
valuable to the community

The board is made up of current and past commiters and other people
and has some full time staff.

A Lua foundation would be an excellent organization for providing
"with batteries" distributions and many of the other things people
feel the community isn't providing well enough.

On the flip side, companies like ActiveState can provide leadership in
the area of binaries and distribution if there really is any market
for it. But then again, where does a company go if they want to donate
resources to Lua? Is PUC-Rio capable of working with for profit
companies on that sort of thing? Maybe that is also where a Foundation
would help?

Russ




--
Etiene Dalcol

Software Engineer @ Red Badger 
Lua Space http://lua.space
LuaConf http://luaconf.com

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Re: Lua Foundation?

Dibyendu Majumdar
In reply to this post by Andrew Starks-2
Hi Andrew,

On 20 April 2017 at 20:08, Andrew Starks <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Thu, Apr 20, 2017 at 12:58 Dibyendu Majumdar <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>> On 18 April 2017 at 17:53, Andrew Starks <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> > Has something like the idea of a Lua Foundation ever come up?
>>
>> I think maybe Lua's success / or unique selling point is that it has
>> no foundation, that it is not managed in a big way, and that it lacks
>> a huge set of standard libraries? Because of this someone like me can
>> take it and modify it, and use as I wish. Something like what I am
>> doing with Lua would be out of the question with other 'bigger' and
>> more ambitious languages.
>>
> If the authors of Lua viewed it as a better Python, then they would have
> also seen fit to create or delegate the accoutrements that would be required
> to effectively replace those alternatives. They didn't and so none got made
> and no governance was offered. As a result, it would be ignored by the
> majority of people that currently use it.
>
> To accommodate a potential market that could easily be served by Lua as the
> kernel of an ecosystem, it requires a) someone to be bold enough to code
> whatever software might be required to put Lua in that spot, govern
> participation and evolve all of it as the market changes or b) a group of
> people to decide on a mission and a set of basic principles, prioritize a
> short list of required accomplishments and then divide the work.
>
> I think that would be a good thing for the world of software development
> because I believe that Lua elegantly solves a lot of thorny problems,
> especially in areas of concurrency. In my amateur opinion, Lua adds a great
> deal to computer science.  I wish that more people were exposed to it and
> that when they are exposed, that they wi chose it for their work.
>
> I'd like for that experience to be better for more people because I'm a bit
> of a fan.  :)
>

I think that unlike other languages Lua is unique as it is often
customised by folks using it. Other languages that have foundations
are as far as I know, all very centrally managed, with a single
definition of the language.

The problem as I see it is that with the concept of a foundation -
will this mean only some implementation(s) of Lua will be blessed?
What about LuaJIT or other derivatives?
Secondly - unlike other languages - Lua as a language is solely
controlled by the Lua team. So a foundation that isn't managed by them
doesn't make sense I think.

In my view, it is better to put all efforts behind LuaRocks to help
improve the experience of Lua users.

Regards
Dibyendu

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Re: Lua Foundation?

steve donovan
In reply to this post by Etiene Dalcol
On Fri, Apr 21, 2017 at 11:51 AM, Etiene Dalcol <[hidden email]> wrote:
> A foundation does not have to be useful for everyone. If it's useful for
> someone, then it is already useful. And just because Lua has being doing
> fine without a foundation, it also doesn't mean a foundation isn't useful or
> needed. A foundation can still add value. Good things can improve. And there
> are many needed things that are out of the scope of LabLua.

This is very sensible - it doesn't have to take away the freedom to
embed and extended (which is Dibyendu's anxiety).

I think the demise of the Kepler project left a void at the heart of
Lua-as-platform - it's most durable result is LuaRocks, but that's a
Hisham-plus-merry-band project now.

Kepler finished because there was no longer funding. Organization
needs funding - what might that mechanism be?

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Re: Lua Foundation?

Andrew Starks-2
In reply to this post by hz
On Fri, Apr 21, 2017 at 1:36 AM, fiosoftware <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Lua is small, beautiful, powerful. If it fits the needs, the developer will
> discover it in the end. Like lisp, has been re-discovered many times.

I agree with you completely and I would hate to anything jeopardize
this property of Lua.
>
> Stick a "foundation" tag on it make it better? Or just vote out a chairman
> for the foundation - I feel sick of this idea even when connect Lua with the
> word Foundation.

Me too. I would hate it if someone replaced PUC/Lua's work with some
sort of foundation.

Are you saying the existence of an independent project, which you are
free to ignore, would be something that you would feel compelled to
stop?

>
> The Lua authors have done great in the past. And they're making the language
> they like to use - and luckily a lot of others feel the same.

I agree but this is orthogonal to the question. If I was proposing a
change to Lua, its organization or leadership then I would understand
the above statement.

I sincerely hope that Roberto and the PUC/Lua team keep up the
wonderful work that they have been doing and if they do change
anything, I hope that it is in service of the same mission and not a
broader, watered down one. That would be terrible.

>
> 发自我的 iPhone
>
> 在 2017年4月20日,下午12:08,Andrew Starks <[hidden email]> 写道:
>
>
> On Thu, Apr 20, 2017 at 12:58 Dibyendu Majumdar <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>>
>> Hi Andrew,
>>
>> On 18 April 2017 at 17:53, Andrew Starks <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> > Has something like the idea of a Lua Foundation ever come up?
>> >
>>
>> I think maybe Lua's success / or unique selling point is that it has
>> no foundation, that it is not managed in a big way, and that it lacks
>> a huge set of standard libraries? Because of this someone like me can
>> take it and modify it, and use as I wish. Something like what I am
>> doing with Lua would be out of the question with other 'bigger' and
>> more ambitious languages.
>>
>> Regards
>> Dibyendu
>
>
> If the authors of Lua viewed it as a better Python, then they would have
> also seen fit to create or delegate the accoutrements that would be required
> to effectively replace those alternatives. They didn't and so none got made
> and no governance was offered. As a result, it would be ignored by the
> majority of people that currently use it.
>
> To accommodate a potential market that could easily be served by Lua as the
> kernel of an ecosystem, it requires a) someone to be bold enough to code
> whatever software might be required to put Lua in that spot, govern
> participation and evolve all of it as the market changes or b) a group of
> people to decide on a mission and a set of basic principles, prioritize a
> short list of required accomplishments and then divide the work.
>
> I think that would be a good thing for the world of software development
> because I believe that Lua elegantly solves a lot of thorny problems,
> especially in areas of concurrency. In my amateur opinion, Lua adds a great
> deal to computer science.  I wish that more people were exposed to it and
> that when they are exposed, that they wi chose it for their work.
>
> I'd like for that experience to be better for more people because I'm a bit
> of a fan.  :)
>
> -Andrew
>>
>>
>>
>



--
Andrew Starks
612 840 2939
[hidden email]

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Re: Lua Foundation? (mechanics)

Jay Carlson
In reply to this post by steve donovan
I will stipulate for the purposes of this discussion that we want something like a foundation. I have no strong opinion yet. I am not a lawyer, and have not participated in the formation of a not-for-profit corporation. Other people on this list know a lot more than I do.

> On Apr 21, 2017, at 6:40 AM, steve donovan <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Kepler finished because there was no longer funding. Organization
> needs funding - what might that mechanism be?
>

Besides funding and naming, the foundation may need to be widely accepted as semi-(semi-)official. Right now, I see two people who could hypothetically fix this if they wanted to. Maybe a third person, if you like a Rockier choice?

The governance issue for an external organization is a big one. We already have two benevolent dictators, who may or may not have time or interest to deal with the Full Moon Foundation or whatever. But if I were lhf and Roberto, I wouldn't want to semi-bless something fully out of my control.

On the other hand, if you're going to receive and disburse money in the US over a period of time, my understanding is that your not-for-profit organization wants to incorporate. Then it needs a board of directors, and voting and paperwork and etc. Note that I'm making the mechanics of this sound harder than it really is; people tell me California law is decent for this.

Now, which kinds of people would you nominate to the board to represent Lua embedders and developers?

(That is a theoretical question. *Please* do *not* reply with a list of names on the mailing list. I've already started enough flamewars this year.)

--
Jay Carlson
[hidden email]

[I already rejected the name "Waxing Moon". "Moonrise Foundation"? We could call it "the Bikeshed Foundation" at this point. I wonder if that's registered in the US. Apparently not!]

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Re: Lua Foundation?

Andrew Starks-2
In reply to this post by Daurnimator
On Fri, Apr 21, 2017 at 1:45 AM, Daurnimator <[hidden email]> wrote:

>  On 19 April 2017 at 02:53, Andrew Starks <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> Has something like the idea of a Lua Foundation ever come up?
>>
>> The reason that I ask is because there seem to be many opportunities to
>> explore, all of which require some kind of momentum to be formed or strict
>> adherence to Lua's specific mission. As a result, many efforts feels like
>> hearding cats or sounding like an unwanted extension to Lua itself.
>
> Such as?
>
> I'm curious what you think can be solved by a "Foundation" that can't
> be solved by us, the community.

*I* believe that a "Foundation" serves three purposes:

1: To establish limitations and enforce them within its domain. This
is the most important purpose and is the most difficult to get done by
an unorganized community.
2: Create a space where projects and other efforts may be organized,
decisions made and specific work accomplished.
3: Promote the adoption of Lua and the work within the foundation by
making it more accessible.

Accessibility means many things:
 - Being able find what is there and to have some assurance of
quality, backed by the reputation of the foundation.
 - Providing some level of consistency in design, which creates a some
level of conceptual integrity. This applies to interface styles,
documentation and perhaps other aspects.
 - The overall ability to solve real problems in the real world for
real use cases.

>
> The main purpose for such a foundation might be as a legal entity and
> touch point for large organisations that don't know how to deal with
> individuals.
> It might be capable of
>   - applying for grants
>   - holding bank accounts for community funds
>   - being named as party to insurance (e.g. for conferences)
>   - being blessed by governments
> At the moment these are generally not done at all, by private parties,
> or sometimes via PUC-Rio and/or LabLua.
> I wouldn't be opposed to such an organisation, but I'm not entirely
> sure what problems you're solving for.
> I also have questions about where such a foundation should be
> founded/based to solve the legal issues it's designed to solve.

Yes. I also think that viability would depend upon starting small and
doing something useful early.  The rest can happen, or not happen, as
things evolve.



--
Andrew Starks

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Re: Lua Foundation?

Andrew Starks-2
In reply to this post by steve donovan
On Fri, Apr 21, 2017 at 2:50 AM, steve donovan
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Thu, Apr 20, 2017 at 6:37 PM, Andrew Starks <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> layers: some kind of foundation uses whatever the authors of Lua
>> publish as the language that is the basis for an ecosystem, which
>> includes everything needed to build software systems and applications
>> with Lua and a host of curated libraries in the middle.
>
> It would be nice, but does it need organization? As Dirk says, any
> person with strong opinions and some reputation can post a set of
> recommendations. No blessing required! (It's not a bad idea actually,
> but who is going to bell the cat?)
>
> Part of the problem is the concept of 'nice'.  We have had some very
> heated discussions on lua-l, but *no-one* criticizes another's work.
> That's just not done, and that's cool. We value niceness.
> With a plethora of solutions, a kind of natural selection happens, but
> the painful process of discovery (as Dirk has gone through) is not
> sufficiently public. We need to learn from others' experience more.
> Look, *every* software ecosystem has this problem - there are nearly
> 9,000 'crates' for Rust, and finding your particular needle in that
> haystack isn't easy (even though actually using crates is a pleasure).
> So the 'discoverability' word comes up often. It works like this: you
> hang around with the people from a community, listen to their chatter,
> and find what's the canonical way of doing things. This is not
> particularly efficient, although very social.
>
> As for quality - oy, where to start? Documentation is an issue dear to
> me, but even if the standard toolkit provides easy doc solutions (as
> it is with Go or Rust) where you just have to throw some comments
> before your functions, then people will not take the hint. But as lhf
> says, documentation is hard, it isn't just about the tools.  Most
> module authors would far rather write code than documentation -
> open-source software is about maximizing fun, not work. (If something
> is fun, it is not work)
>
> We actually had a sweet spot with Lua for Windows, but it had a big
> problem: it was hand-curated, not build-from-scratch. Peter Drahos'
> LuaDist tackled that problem in an ambitious way, and provides
> 'Batteries'.  Which could become the base distribution, with LuaRocks
> for the rest, but (as Andrew and Ryan) know, it's a lot of work.
>
> So, the solution is not more structure, nor blessings from high - it
> comes from the community, which is to say, the efforts of those who
> think it is worthwhile.
>
> steve d.
>


Steve,

I think that you're making a great case for the need for an
organizational structure and then concluding the opposite.

"Nice" or "polite" is the way things get done because it keeps our
emotions in check. I believe that nobody feels qualified to make
decisions because nobody wants to claim to have any authority. Peter
Drahos doesn't want to decide that luaPosix makes it in but cqueues
does not. Most people with the talent for software development don't
want to stand in judgement over other developer's decisions, even when
doing so would provide benefits.

A polite organization can do those things on the authority of the
people that vote the decision makers in.

Also, such an organizing body does not need to exclude any modules. It
could for example say, "These modules are tested and built by the
organization, conform to its highest standard, do not overlap each
other, work well together, reasonably follow a specific style and are
thus a part of a core set. Other modules are not built by the
organization and may choose to follow these standards or not and here
is a handy search mechanism for you to use to find them."

Also, I believe that LuaRocks and LuaDist are a part of the solution.



--
Andrew Starks

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Re: Lua Foundation?

Dirk Laurie-2
In reply to this post by Andrew Starks-2
2017-04-21 18:04 GMT+02:00 Andrew Starks <[hidden email]>:

> *I* believe that a "Foundation" serves three purposes:
>
> 1: To establish limitations and enforce them within its domain. This
> is the most important purpose and is the most difficult to get done by
> an unorganized community.
> 2: Create a space where projects and other efforts may be organized,
> decisions made and specific work accomplished.
> 3: Promote the adoption of Lua and the work within the foundation by
> making it more accessible.

>From a very old Reader's Digest, approximately:

Two men sitting next to each other on a plane from New York to Chicago
were having a casual conversation.

"What's bringing you to Chicago?" asked the first. The other replied:
"Foundation meeting."

"Really? I'm a foundation man myself! What's the name of yours?"

"The Lucretius B. DeVore Foundation for Desititute Musicians. And
yours?"

The first man's face fell. "Mine's Playtex Girdles."

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Re: Lua Foundation?

Andrew Starks-2
In reply to this post by Dibyendu Majumdar
On Fri, Apr 21, 2017 at 5:12 AM, Dibyendu Majumdar
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi Andrew,
>
> On 20 April 2017 at 20:08, Andrew Starks <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> On Thu, Apr 20, 2017 at 12:58 Dibyendu Majumdar <[hidden email]>
>> wrote:
>>> On 18 April 2017 at 17:53, Andrew Starks <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>> > Has something like the idea of a Lua Foundation ever come up?
>>>
>>> I think maybe Lua's success / or unique selling point is that it has
>>> no foundation, that it is not managed in a big way, and that it lacks
>>> a huge set of standard libraries? Because of this someone like me can
>>> take it and modify it, and use as I wish. Something like what I am
>>> doing with Lua would be out of the question with other 'bigger' and
>>> more ambitious languages.
>>>
>> If the authors of Lua viewed it as a better Python, then they would have
>> also seen fit to create or delegate the accoutrements that would be required
>> to effectively replace those alternatives. They didn't and so none got made
>> and no governance was offered. As a result, it would be ignored by the
>> majority of people that currently use it.
>>
>> To accommodate a potential market that could easily be served by Lua as the
>> kernel of an ecosystem, it requires a) someone to be bold enough to code
>> whatever software might be required to put Lua in that spot, govern
>> participation and evolve all of it as the market changes or b) a group of
>> people to decide on a mission and a set of basic principles, prioritize a
>> short list of required accomplishments and then divide the work.
>>
>> I think that would be a good thing for the world of software development
>> because I believe that Lua elegantly solves a lot of thorny problems,
>> especially in areas of concurrency. In my amateur opinion, Lua adds a great
>> deal to computer science.  I wish that more people were exposed to it and
>> that when they are exposed, that they wi chose it for their work.
>>
>> I'd like for that experience to be better for more people because I'm a bit
>> of a fan.  :)
>>
>
> I think that unlike other languages Lua is unique as it is often
> customised by folks using it. Other languages that have foundations
> are as far as I know, all very centrally managed, with a single
> definition of the language.

Yes! I agree. This is what makes Lua so much more useful than other
alternatives. The authors focused on only the language (including the
CAPI) and their implementation. They chose to leave an ecosystem out
of their concerns. This may be one of the most important distinctions
of Lua and I too would hate to see that change.

>
> The problem as I see it is that with the concept of a foundation -
> will this mean only some implementation(s) of Lua will be blessed?
> What about LuaJIT or other derivatives?

These are important questions and they are thorny. I have opinions,
but my perspective is limited. It's why I would not want to, on my
own, make those calls. I would rather have the benefit of a broader
range of perspectives, a method for processing them and a way to
refine and debate proposed solutions that results in actual action.

> Secondly - unlike other languages - Lua as a language is solely
> controlled by the Lua team. So a foundation that isn't managed by them
> doesn't make sense I think.

I see this as a strength. Like a good API, this is a layered approach.
PUC/Rio will hopefully continue to develop the language and its
implementation. The foundation would concern itself with the
organizing efforts of the non-embedded world
(application/web/desktop).

In this way, the foundation would have no role in designing the
language and the authors of Lua do not need to be concerned with
picking winners and losers and thus implicitly limit how people may
use or even conceive of their work.


>
> In my view, it is better to put all efforts behind LuaRocks to help
> improve the experience of Lua users.

In my view, LuaRocks is an important (and deservedly celebrated)
component of the solution, now and going forward.

>
> Regards
> Dibyendu
>



--
Andrew Starks

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Re: Lua Foundation?

Dibyendu Majumdar
Hi Andrew,


On 21 April 2017 at 17:32, Andrew Starks <[hidden email]> wrote:

>> Secondly - unlike other languages - Lua as a language is solely
>> controlled by the Lua team. So a foundation that isn't managed by them
>> doesn't make sense I think.
>
> I see this as a strength. Like a good API, this is a layered approach.
> PUC/Rio will hopefully continue to develop the language and its
> implementation. The foundation would concern itself with the
> organizing efforts of the non-embedded world
> (application/web/desktop).
>
> In this way, the foundation would have no role in designing the
> language and the authors of Lua do not need to be concerned with
> picking winners and losers and thus implicitly limit how people may
> use or even conceive of their work.
>
>

To be honest, if a Lua Foundation was to be be setup in my opinion it
can only be a success if it is founded by the Lua team. Otherwise it
is no different from other initiatives such as LuaRocks.

Regards
Dibyendu

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Re: Lua Foundation? (mechanics)

Andrew Starks-2
In reply to this post by Jay Carlson
On Fri, Apr 21, 2017 at 10:59 AM, Jay Carlson <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I will stipulate for the purposes of this discussion that we want something like a foundation. I have no strong opinion yet. I am not a lawyer, and have not participated in the formation of a not-for-profit corporation. Other people on this list know a lot more than I do.
>
>> On Apr 21, 2017, at 6:40 AM, steve donovan <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> Kepler finished because there was no longer funding. Organization
>> needs funding - what might that mechanism be?
>>
>
> Besides funding and naming, the foundation may need to be widely accepted as semi-(semi-)official. Right now, I see two people who could hypothetically fix this if they wanted to. Maybe a third person, if you like a Rockier choice?
>
> The governance issue for an external organization is a big one. We already have two benevolent dictators, who may or may not have time or interest to deal with the Full Moon Foundation or whatever. But if I were lhf and Roberto, I wouldn't want to semi-bless something fully out of my control.

Perhaps it's actually better if they do not. They could chose to have
a formal or informal advisory role, but no blessing is required.

>
> On the other hand, if you're going to receive and disburse money in the US over a period of time, my understanding is that your not-for-profit organization wants to incorporate. Then it needs a board of directors, and voting and paperwork and etc. Note that I'm making the mechanics of this sound harder than it really is; people tell me California law is decent for this.
>
> Now, which kinds of people would you nominate to the board to represent Lua embedders and developers?

My answer would be: people that probably don't want to the attention
but whose opinion is too important not to have.

>
> (That is a theoretical question. *Please* do *not* reply with a list of names on the mailing list. I've already started enough flamewars this year.)
>
> --
> Jay Carlson
> [hidden email]
>
> [I already rejected the name "Waxing Moon". "Moonrise Foundation"? We could call it "the Bikeshed Foundation" at this point. I wonder if that's registered in the US. Apparently not!]


Also, I believe that some of the discomfort comes from the name "Lua"
sitting next to the word "Foundation". Shifting the name away from a
direct association with Lua has benefits, even if it risks making it
more obfuscated.



--
Andrew Starks

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Re: Lua Foundation?

steve donovan
In reply to this post by Andrew Starks-2
On Fri, Apr 21, 2017 at 6:18 PM, Andrew Starks <[hidden email]> wrote:
> I think that you're making a great case for the need for an
> organizational structure and then concluding the opposite.

Blame it on stream-of-consciousness thinking ;) Dirk's difficulties
were much in my mind - too many choices, and hard to make those
choices. Documentation remains a problem.

> Also, such an organizing body doBues not need to exclude any modules. It
> could for example say, "These modules are tested and built by the
> organization, conform to its highest standard, do not overlap each
> other, work well together, reasonably follow a specific style and are
> thus a part of a core set.

That's pretty much how Lua for Windows worked, and it did work well.
Just didn't age well, and for largely technical reasons (my favourite
reasons.)

But, an opinionated bunch of people could do this tomorrow. The concern here is,
"how representative are these people?".  "Are they Blessed?". But it
is not LabLua's mission to bless community initiatives.  I did
appreciate Etiene's contribution because she focused on initiatives
that only a foundation could do - organize events, maybe raise
funding, fly the flag.

> Also, I believe that LuaRocks and LuaDist are a part of the solution.

Of course. Very important work, and in an ideal world Hisham and Peter
should get a grant ;)

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Re: Lua Foundation?

Martin
In reply to this post by Andrew Starks-2
I think the most valuable information for user is personal opinion.

For example I am Lua novice (but has experience in programming) and
I need JSON codec library. How many them are? 7, 70? Where can I see
list of them? What recommendations for their usage from experienced
guys?

>From user's point I prefer opinion like

  There about half dozen JSON codecs in LuaRocks. Package 'lua-cjson'
  is fastest but depends on C and have problems with decoding integers
  (they returned as floats). 'dkjson' is OK (but has spooky code).

over

  There are several JSON codecs. Some of them mentioned in work of
  Sun [<link to paper>]. You may find them via LuaRocks or in GitHub
  or via mentions in Lua mailing list or from Internet search engine.
  Each codec has specific features. Please consult their documentation.

It would be fine is there will be some voting for "best answer" as
in StackOverflow.

-- Side thoughts:

We're sick of buzzwords, bureaucracy and corporation ethics. So we're
aggroed by "foundation" word. We like implement things by ourselves.
Any of us has custom table pretty-printer. We do not want standards
here. Formatting styles, variable naming, programming idioms, OOP - we
do not want standards, we do not need them.

Qualified bare-bones community, this differs Lua from another
language ecosystems, can't say is it "good" or "bad".

Lua does not enforce you to any good or bad programming habits.
Can't say is it "good" or "bad" for novice that later starts
publishing untypical modules with exploiting table metamethods.

-- Martin

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Re: Lua Foundation?

steve donovan
On Sat, Apr 22, 2017 at 8:41 PM, Martin <[hidden email]> wrote:
>   There about half dozen JSON codecs in LuaRocks. Package 'lua-cjson'
>   is fastest but depends on C and have problems with decoding integers
>   (they returned as floats). 'dkjson' is OK (but has spooky code).

Exactly. Your new user wants to get an overview from someone who has
experience with JSON and (as the English say) have no horse in the
race. JSON is a little tricky because the original spec is probably
too restrictive (No comments?) and carries too many Javascript
assumptions (all numbers are floats!). So there are extended parsers
all over the place. Plus, it _appears_ to be a simple problem and it's
fun doing the first 80%.

> It would be fine is there will be some voting for "best answer" as
> in StackOverflow.

That makes sense. I hope Leaf implements something like this for the
LuaRocks website (was part of original LuaTookit site) so that our new
user can get a list sorted by points and downloads. It only gets worse
the more packages are available, e.g. Rust has nearly 9000 crates
already and finding the needle in the hackstack gets hard.

> Lua does not enforce you to any good or bad programming habits.

And that is what a good tool should do, stay out of the way and let
you be a grown-up. But that new user would like some guidance and some
pointers to 'good' code out there in the wild.

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Re: Lua Foundation?

Dirk Laurie-2
In reply to this post by Martin
2017-04-22 20:41 GMT+02:00 Martin <[hidden email]>:

> -- Side thoughts:
>
> We're sick of buzzwords, bureaucracy and corporation ethics. So we're
> aggroed by "foundation" word.

+1. (My post about the Reader's Digest was intended to convey that, but
putting it bluntly like this is probably necessary with so many Sheldons
on lua-l.)

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Re: Lua Foundation?

Andrew Starks-2

On Sat, Apr 22, 2017 at 04:59 Dirk Laurie <[hidden email]> wrote:
2017-04-22 20:41 GMT+02:00 Martin <[hidden email]>:

> -- Side thoughts:
>
> We're sick of buzzwords, bureaucracy and corporation ethics. So we're
> aggroed by "foundation" word.

+1. (My post about the Reader's Digest was intended to convey that, but
putting it bluntly like this is probably necessary with so many Sheldons
on lua-l.)


Yeah, I missed the meaning of that one.

The image of all institutions has taken a large beating in my mind and I think that establishing something that is valuable and lasting is a large obstacle. 

1: are there any examples of good foundations that have endured?
2: what makes them good?
3: Can that be copied?

My suspicion is that success begins with a well defined mission and a set of core principles. I would like to see something that includes a permanent commitment to:

1: polite behavior.
2: humility. 
3: transparency
4: a regular rotation of elected board members
5: maintaining as much of the overall spirit of LabLua as possible, especially its simplicity and engineering quality.

In the end, any organization/foundation/whateveryoucallit has to be useful to a sufficiently large number of people to make it worth while. It becomes so by solving real problems and making new and desirable things happen. That sounds "duh?", but there are many things that a foundation could do (and many have done) that have little to do with those outcomes. Avoiding that trap and establishing a good foundation (pun intended) to build upon is the immediate work.
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Re: Lua Foundation?

Martin
On 04/22/2017 05:27 AM, Andrew Starks wrote:

> The image of all institutions has taken a large beating in my mind and I
> think that establishing something that is valuable and lasting is a
> large obstacle.
>
> 1: are there any examples of good foundations that have endured?
> 2: what makes them good?
> 3: Can that be copied?
>
> My suspicion is that success begins with a well defined mission and a
> set of core principles. I would like to see something that includes a
> permanent commitment to:
>
> 1: polite behavior.
> 2: humility.
> 3: transparency
> 4: a regular rotation of elected board members
> 5: maintaining as much of the overall spirit of LabLua as possible,
> especially its simplicity and engineering quality.
>
> In the end, any organization/foundation/whateveryoucallit has to be
> useful to a sufficiently large number of people to make it worth while.
> It becomes so by solving real problems and making new and desirable
> things happen. That sounds "duh?", but there are many things that a
> foundation could do (and many have done) that have little to do with
> those outcomes. Avoiding that trap and establishing a good foundation
> (pun intended) to build upon is the immediate work.

Again, from potential users point of view: I/he/she just wants
to get tools for specific jobs. Something like imaginary computer
hardware store with dynamically building options layers:
  1. Select motherboard.
  2. Select suitable processor, memory and video card.
  3. Select peripherals.
  4. Purchase.

Same (but a more complex) for software. For example I wish some
GUI system for (Ubuntu14, RaspberryPI, lua5.3). tek-ui? OK. It uses
'lfs' package? Include it automatically. Then I add to cart some
proven OOP and sandboxing packages. Some uses LPEG? Include it
automatically. Then I'd wish to click "download" and get all that
package suite with installation script and documentation. I'm even
ready to pay $1 for using this service.

But user don't care how this implemented technically and whether
people provided such service organized in "foundation" or not.
At first time he don't care about organization mission, board
members roster and cool T-shirts.

I think it is what Lua community needed - easy starting point for
new users. Window where we can observe universe of possibilities.

--

Idea is crucial. Foundation is just a one of implementations of
people-ware-side of that idea. And to be truly needed it must solve
problems that no-one cannot solve solely (just because of their
scale (thousands of code pieces) or due complexity (maintaining
options tree, implementing suite build system, implementing site
front-end)).

Real problem is to judge available modules. Just stating that
"Lua is great. 'penlight', 'lpeg', 'luasocket', 'lfs', 'dkjson'
are nice and proven." is not enough. (And I think it is NOT "mission"
of this organization. It should provide mechanics for _community_ to
value lua modules.)

There are many specific modules that are too specific to test.
I'd prefer to flag them gray as "untested" or white - "tested by
<username>". And red flag - "<username> reported some issues".
(But this is just unneeded details on current level.)

--

> 1: are there any examples of good foundations that have endured?

Wikimedia? ThePirateBay (due mark of "trusted uploader" in torrent
description)?

-- Martin

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Re: Lua Foundation?

Marc Balmer
In reply to this post by Etiene Dalcol

I think Etiene has a very valid point here.  Just because _I_ don't need it, does not mean that it is generally a bad idea.  That said, if such a group/whatever will be created, I am willing to help.

As for a name, I'd suggest "Lua Users Association", however.


Am 21.04.17 um 11:51 schrieb Etiene Dalcol:
Some thoughts on the topic:
A foundation does not have to be useful for everyone. If it's useful for someone, then it is already useful. And just because Lua has being doing fine without a foundation, it also doesn't mean a foundation isn't useful or needed. A foundation can still add value. Good things can improve. And there are many needed things that are out of the scope of LabLua. 

Below are just some of the things where I can see a foundation being very useful:

* Serve as a slot and point of contact for companies who wish to sponsor and support Lua related projects that are not necessarily Lua itself
* Develop things that are outside of LabLua's scope of implementation of the language, such as improving the ecosystem and developer experience. This could include things like maintaining critical modules, creating plugins for common text editors...
* Work with community leaders and maintainers of critical tools. E.g. See if the LuaRocks folks need help with anything.
* Advocate and sprinkle more Lua around the world with things like coordinating events, managing social media, writing blog posts, tutorials or other online resources...

This is not the first time a discussion around the possibility of a Lua Foundation came up. That I saw, there were discussions on this topic at least during the past two editions of the Lua dev room at FOSDEM. I've even brought this subject up with Roberto in the past, and others have done the same. Some folks are really keen on seeing something like this happen. I'd be one of them :)

Cheers,
Etiene


2017-04-21 9:31 GMT+01:00 Russell Haley <[hidden email]>:
On Thu, Apr 20, 2017 at 11:45 PM, Daurnimator <[hidden email]> wrote:
>  On 19 April 2017 at 02:53, Andrew Starks <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> Has something like the idea of a Lua Foundation ever come up?
>>
>> The reason that I ask is because there seem to be many opportunities to
>> explore, all of which require some kind of momentum to be formed or strict
>> adherence to Lua's specific mission. As a result, many efforts feels like
>> hearding cats or sounding like an unwanted extension to Lua itself.
>
> Such as?
>
> I'm curious what you think can be solved by a "Foundation" that can't
> be solved by us, the community.
>
> The main purpose for such a foundation might be as a legal entity and
> touch point for large organisations that don't know how to deal with
> individuals.
> It might be capable of
>   - applying for grants
>   - holding bank accounts for community funds
>   - being named as party to insurance (e.g. for conferences)
>   - being blessed by governments
> At the moment these are generally not done at all, by private parties,
> or sometimes via PUC-Rio and/or LabLua.
> I wouldn't be opposed to such an organisation, but I'm not entirely
> sure what problems you're solving for.
> I also have questions about where such a foundation should be
> founded/based to solve the legal issues it's designed to solve.
>
I think the FreeBSD Foundation serves as an excellent model for Lua.
FreeBSD is it's own entity. The FreeBSD Foundation is a separate
entity that manages the following sorts of things:
- collects donations for FreeBSD
- organizes community efforts and provides funding from donations
- provides advocacy such as special presentations at universities,
events and some publications (notably the FreeBSD Journal)
- provides resources for distribution (build servers, resources, bandwidth etc)
- helps direct and shape projects that the board recognizes as
valuable to the community

The board is made up of current and past commiters and other people
and has some full time staff.

A Lua foundation would be an excellent organization for providing
"with batteries" distributions and many of the other things people
feel the community isn't providing well enough.

On the flip side, companies like ActiveState can provide leadership in
the area of binaries and distribution if there really is any market
for it. But then again, where does a company go if they want to donate
resources to Lua? Is PUC-Rio capable of working with for profit
companies on that sort of thing? Maybe that is also where a Foundation
would help?

Russ




--
Etiene Dalcol

Software Engineer @ Red Badger 
Lua Space http://lua.space
LuaConf http://luaconf.com


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Re: Lua Foundation?

Russell Haley
In reply to this post by steve donovan
On Sat, Apr 22, 2017 at 12:58 AM, steve donovan
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Fri, Apr 21, 2017 at 6:18 PM, Andrew Starks <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> I think that you're making a great case for the need for an
>> organizational structure and then concluding the opposite.
>
> Blame it on stream-of-consciousness thinking ;) Dirk's difficulties
> were much in my mind - too many choices, and hard to make those
> choices. Documentation remains a problem.
>
>> Also, such an organizing body doBues not need to exclude any modules. It
>> could for example say, "These modules are tested and built by the
>> organization, conform to its highest standard, do not overlap each
>> other, work well together, reasonably follow a specific style and are
>> thus a part of a core set.
>
> That's pretty much how Lua for Windows worked, and it did work well.
> Just didn't age well, and for largely technical reasons (my favourite
> reasons.)
>
> But, an opinionated bunch of people could do this tomorrow. The concern here is,
> "how representative are these people?".  "Are they Blessed?". But it
> is not LabLua's mission to bless community initiatives.  I did
> appreciate Etiene's contribution because she focused on initiatives
> that only a foundation could do - organize events, maybe raise
> funding, fly the flag.
>
>> Also, I believe that LuaRocks and LuaDist are a part of the solution.
>
> Of course. Very important work, and in an ideal world Hisham and Peter
> should get a grant ;)

I do volunteer work for other organizations and in the end the most
important aspect of an organizational body is to ensure consistency in
the practice of the foundations goals. This is best done through
rotation of duties and documentation of expectations. Otherwise, there
is only ever one person doing certain aspects and that can cause
resentment and ultimately that thing stops being maintained (being
stuck in a volunteer position that you no longer want to be performing
can really suck). This seems to be a large reason for some of the
shortfall of the Lua community.


Cheers,

Russ

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