You are right about the first points, we promised we would do it and we didn’t. But it is a fair bit if boring, legal work, with no direct benefit, and I honestly have 100 things to do that have more positive, immediate benefits for Nextcloud than this that I don’t have time for, same goes for pretty much everyone else here. And, as it is about handing over our trademark to an independent organization, it can’t exactly be done by an outsider.
The noise there was was simply - what I said. We wanted to avoid a similar situation as we had with ownCloud. A foundation could prevent that. But that’s it. And the urgency is largely gone, as we’re very stable and healthy, business-wise - we are not going anywhere other than, well grow.
With regards to point 4 - that entirely depends on the setup of the foundation. And that setup would be so that it has zero control over development. If you want something merged in Nextcloud, develop it. As far as I know, we never had a situation where something was not merged because ‘the company’ didn’t want it, and I doubt that that will happen. Decisions are made on technical grounds, so the foundation shouldn’t make any difference anyhow.
You’re certainly right that the things ‘we’ do for the community happen in secret. That is largely done for marketing reasons (we really don’t like announcing things before there is at least a tech preview, and we can’t announce something that’s been out there for months either). But a foundation wouldn’t change that either, as the foundation would not tell us what to work on in any case. How would that work? A community board deciding what Nextcloud engineers work on? No foundation around an open source project works that what from what I know, and I can’t imagine it would work for anyone.
Foundations, even very active and well funded ones like the Linux Foundation, typically have no say in the development itself - they might organize events or handle some legal stuff. But if you want something to happen, code-wise, you have to do the work or pay somebody to do that. A foundation doesn’t change that.
Right now, we do the legal and event stuff for the Nextcloud community. We COULD hand those tasks to a foundation, but generally that just means more bureaucracy and slower work, so we wouldn’t. A foundation, if one is created by us, would hold the trademark, meet once every year to all agree again there is nothing to discuss, and that’s it. It would do nothing until Nextcloud GmbH gets sold or goes bankrupt.
If other people in the community want to create a foundation to do, well, something else - ehm, ok, go ahead. But generally, a foundation TAKES work, it doesn’t DO work. And it sure can’t tell other people what to do. So if there is something you want to change in Nextcloud, CHANGE IT. Once there’s a team of people doing something, perhaps a foundation is needed somehow. But I find it hard to imagine what that would look like.