What happens when a corporation tries to restructure (or even power grab) an open source project? Miro found out the hard way, when they tried to reorganize the development of Mambo. The case could prove to be a warning for all open source projects that have associated corporations.
The idea of using a nonprofit organization to direct Mambo, while keeping it separate from Miro International, started in April. In discussions, the idea sounded good to core developers Brian Teeman and Andrew Eddie. Reportedly, they decided something like the Mambo Foundation was very useful and could help keep CEO Peter Lamount involved with his project.
To create the structure of the foundation, Miro held a meeting for the MSC (Mambo Steering Committee) in Australia. Brian Teeman and Andrew Eddie flew themselves there so that they could contribute. The MSC formed an agreement that Miro would file a letter of intent to transfercopyrights and trademarksto the foundation. It was also understood that the foundation would do fund raising activities to help support Mambo. It was still undetermined if Miro would have any direction in governing Mambo's development, so the matter was left open ended.
Andrew Eddie backed the idea of Miro becoming more involved in Mambo. He described Mambo as rising steady in popularity, but it was reaching a plateau of users (mostly hobbyists and open source activists). He said in an interview:
To give Mambo credibility as a serious open source solution for government or education markets, it needed commercial support and training facilities. I think this is were Miro saw to the opportunity to be able to actively give back to the project for the betterment of Mambo. It's really a win-win situation for all involved. (source)
He also viewed the foundation as a very positive thing. In providing direction for the project, it would keep developers from changing things users wanted to remain and to provide better focus in the development, instead of constantly changing APIs and interface tweaks. He believed Miro was not trying to pull Mambo back “into the fold,” and he emphasized Mambo’s involvement:
It is a misconception that Miro actually “left the fold”…They have always been there but gave the project it's own free will to go as it please, for better or for worse…There is a misconception that Miro is taking over the project. This is simply not true. They are adding a layer to Mambo that is attractive to a particular area of the market. The code, the features, the release plans are still all in the Open Source camp. (source)
In short, the Core Development Team originally saw a lot of promise in Mambo Foundation. They had been fully involved in drafting the foundation documents. As Miro proceeded through the legal process to form the nonprofit, developers assumed that the foundation documents they agreed on remained unchanged.