Elucidating why I'm leaving SPDX

Sebastian Crane

Dear all,

I have relished the intellectual company of the SPDX community. There has been
no other open source community that I have felt more welcomed in, nor one that
shows so much potential for the entire computer software industry. Regrettably,
though, I have observed a growing number of issues regarding the direction of
the project and the missed opportunities to improve the accountability of the
leadership. As a result, I'm writing to explain my decision to resign from my
role on the Steering Committee as SPDX Outreach Team Lead and to withdraw for
the time being from my involvement in the Legal Team, Tech Team and the related
Serialisation Focus Group and Canonicalisation Committee.

A number of people have been appointed to positions of responsibility within
SPDX, including most recently a Marketing Manager. This has been done without
the consultation, approval or notification of myself, my fellow Outreach Team
Leads or even the Steering Committee. Additional support in SPDX's Outreach
Team activities is always appreciated, and having had the pleasure of meeting
the new Marketing Manager earlier in the week, I have been left with no doubt as
to their ability to make a positive difference to the project. However, the
lack of communication preceding this recruitment leaves the Steering Committee
unable to strategically coordinate SPDX's growth, simply because it is unaware
of what's going on!

Many of you will be aware that one of the long-term projects that I have been
engaged with is to rebuild the SPDX website, designing it with the members of
the Outreach Team in order to allow the entire SPDX community to collaborate
directly on editing and improving the site. However, I have been made aware
that there is now a separate effort to start substantial development on SPDX's
web presence. It does not make sense for me to continue with the SPDX website
simply to duplicate the effort. Although I have offered to join forces and work
together on the website, this offer has been declined.

As a volunteer, the openness and transparency of SPDX has been a great
motivating factor for me. I would like to see the SPDX Steering Committee be
proactive, rather than merely reactive, and to actively form a coherent strategy
for the future. Fragmented discussions, inadequate records of consensus
decisions and their rationale and inconsistent adherence to process all inhibit
this goal.

SPDX is privileged to have the participation of dozens of experts and
consequently I feel privileged to have been a part of such a special community.
I hope that this email helps to elucidate my reasons for leaving, and that the
relevant parties may reflect on the points above to ensure SPDX stays a
welcoming, relevant and consensus-driven community.

Best wishes,

Sebastian Crane