Foundation (English version)
At any given time, the latest version of the Gekko foundation should be available on the Gekko Project homepage. This section states the foundation in its latest version (as of mid-2009).
Gekko is open source software, specifically suited for time series calculations and solving econometric models. Open source means being subject to the software license GNU General Public License (GNU GPL), entailing that the source code should be available in the public domain, free to download, use and refine (as long as the resulting source code is still provided as open source). The development of Gekko is organized by a steering committee (possibly supplemented by a reference group), consisting of one or more editors and individuals interested in contributing substantially to the development of Gekko, either financially, with softeware development, or e.g. documentation or testing. The organization around Gekko should be of a certain size to ensure a resonable speed of development. Anyone is free to contribute changes to the source code, for example by implementing new components. In order to ensure the quality of the Gekko software, an editor is needed. The editor decides upon incoming proposals, implements these in Gekko (or rejects/moderates them), or may him- or herself initiate development of new source code.
There are two ways in which new Gekko source code can be made available. It can be sent unsolicited and fully developed to the editor from an external contributor, in order to be evaluated, tested and put into Gekko. This contribution can be from anyone, individuals as well as professionals, who have gotten to know the project from e.g. the Gekko website and want to contribute (without payment). Alternatively, the editor, the Gekko steering committee, or other Gekko users can acquire a given component from a software company which develops the source code (for a fee). In the latter case, the code must still be approved by the editor before implementation, but typically such a contribution has been agreed upon in advance. The resulting code must – like all Gekko source code – be open source.
In the case of disagreements on the Gekko project development, anyone is free to take the source code and modify it in an alterative direction (a “branch”), as long as the new source is still retained in the public domain as open source. In that sense, no one has a monopoly status regarding Gekko and its source code, but the editor’s role includes taking into account the interested parties’ different needs and interests, in such a way that all users are content and feel satisfied, so that the project progresses in one direction. The latter is important in order to ensure that there are enough resources to develop Gekko at a sufficient pace.
The steering committee decides on (at least) one annual meeting which tasks should be prioritized, and how that work should be coordinated. The steering committee can organize itself freely as it wishes, including setting up user- or reference groups, or appoint one or more editors for a given period. When joining the Gekko steering committee, it is assumed that the present foundation is accepted. The steering group is the owner of the present foundation, which only the steering committee has the power to change, and the latest version of the foundation must always be available on the Gekko website.
Decisions in the steering group will take place by simple voting. In the event of a tie, the editor makes the decision regarding the concerned matter.