I appreciate how hard Eric works for Open Source, but I feel he mis-represented my actions in his "understand my job, please" message. I was unable to respond to that until now because of a broken net connection.
I did contact the Open Source Initiative before writing my open letter. I also wrote an Apple executive who chose not to answer it. OSI's reply when I contacted them began with the uncivil "If you're so smart", and nobody from OSI who was online at the time appears to have known the name or address of the Apple contact. That knowledge was with Eric alone, and Eric is almost always unavailable due to travel. I had to find the name of the Apple contact by reading it in the press after the open letter was published. I contacted this person and a colleague, who received me politely and with encouragement and apologized that they had not provided a means for public feedback until after my open letter appeared.
I did not volunteer to write the APSL criticism on my own. I was requested by representatives of free software organizations, individuals in the free software community, and the editor of an online publication, all of whom felt a public discussion of the APSL was necessary. If you read all of my messages in this matter, you will find them to be extremely civil, and they have been received as such by the Apple executives I was finally able to contact. Civility should not mean that public debate must be shut off and we must simply accept the results of private negotiations. We must also be able to publicly question and criticize volunteers when they become private negotiators on our behalf, lest our concerns go unheard. Our code of conduct must not be a gag, and should facilitate democracy.
While it's always good for a corporation to release source code, the present situation is that the APSL falls somewhat short of what should be called "Open Source". Eric's private APSL negotiation ignored several critical aspects of the Open Source Definition, and should be discussed in public because of that. My criticisms of the APSL still stand and are being seriously evaluated by Apple: the termination clause is too broad and a critical term is not defined. The notification clause is a logistical problem for distributions and can not be severed without a court hearing that few of us could afford. And yes, there's an export law problem too. Clearly all of these objections are related to the needs of a deep-pockets defendant who might be prosecuted for an intellectual property or "munitions" export matter, rather than the needs of the free software community. It may be that the only fair way in which a large corporation is able to produce free software is to assign a non-exclusive copyright to a non-profit organization who will distribute the software and can shield it from liability issues.
I'm also concerned about Eric's lack of civility when it comes to Richard Stallman and the Free Software Foundation, whom he's publicly denegrated for an entire year. Open Source was intended to be a re-marketing of free software, not an opposing campaign.
Regarding whether or not even one person "in their right mind" would volunteer to take on 1/10 of Eric's load, yes, several have offered to do so, including one who has written a very large contribution to the free software community. We are already taking on several speaking engagements.
The needs of corporations are not necessarily those of the free software community, and it may even be the case that the twain will never meet. Open Source appears to be splitting into something I'd call "Corporate Source", semi-free programs with disclosed source but less than the full set of rights we are used to, and true Free Software as represented by the GPL, LGPL, X/BSD, and other licenses. Public discussion of this fact is essential. We may eventually have to accept that it will never be possible for corporate participation in the free software community to be as full as we would like. Contributions like the MacOS X source may end up being useless to the free software community as far as code reuse is concerned, but they may still be good documentation on the underlying hardware, and will be useful, with some caution, to authors of fully free software.