Board Minutes :: Kristiansand, Norway - 26/6/04

Apologies for not sending these out sooner - much thanks to Owen who
took much of the burden of writing the minutes during the all day


GNOME Foundation Board Meeting - 26th June 2004, Kristiansand, Norway.
Jonathan Blandford
Dave Camp [minutes]
Glynn Foster [minutes]
Nat Friedman
Jody Goldberg [+4:00 by conference call]
Tim Ney
Owen Taylor [minutes]
Luis Villa
Jeff Waugh
Bill Haneman
Leslie Proctor
Malcolm Tredinnick

        o Tim to work with Jody to prepare some graphical presentations comparing this year's
          budget to last years
        o Dave to write a summary of the trademark and logo license agreement and send to the
          board list
        o Jonathan to budget a laptop for Tim, and work on improving backup infrastructure for him
        o Jeff to write the GNOME Foundation Grant scheme webpage, taking Linux Australia's page
          as a base
        o Tim to check what money we can allocate to the Grant scheme from this year's budget
        o Tim to check the bylaws if it's possible to move the elections
        o Luis to write up a draft proposal for cutting the numbers on the board to 7 people
        o Glynn to write up a mail to foundation-list on why we believe anonymous voting is a
          good idea
        o Owen to write up a draft of some feedback forms for GUADEC
        o Tim to set up talk with Stuttgart, to discuss the implications of fine tuning next
          years conference
        o Dave to prepare some slides for a roadmap presentation at the Advisory Board meeting
        o Glynn and Jonathan to prepare an agenda for the GNOME Foundation Members meeting
        o Nat to prepare an agenda for the GNOME Advisory Board meeting
        [Procedural Items]
        o Minutes
                - It was decided that the board would take turns at taking the minutes during the
                  day, although thanks to Owen for taking the majority share!
        o Review of Agenda
                - The board reviewed the agenda, and added a few more items
        o Decision of Stuttgart for GUADEC 2005
                - The board agreed to hold GUADEC 2005 in Germany. Stuttgart has submitted a proposal
                  which was provisionally accepted pending clarification of venue cost and conditions.
        o Conference Introduction
                - It was decided that Nat would do the conference introduction from the GNOME Foundation Board,
                  co-hosting with Tim and the GUADEC organizing committee.
        o Executive Director's Financial Report
                - Tim presented GNOME Foundation's Revenue and Expenses Oct 03 through May 04 to compare
                  with the foundation's Annual Budget FY04 and the accountant's financial statements for prior
                  fiscal years.
                - Nat proposed using a graphical display of financial information to display variances from year
                  to year.
                - Nat noted that Friends of GNOME donations were stable from last year. Tim commented that
                  there were spikes whenever a year end fundraising campaign was featured on Slashdot. We should
                  find other sites where "Friends of GNOME" can be featured.
                - Nat noted that we were down on Advisory Board fees, although we're in a better financial
                  situation than before with GUADEC sponsorship. The feeling was that we should set up a
                  cash reserve with any surplus funds from GUADEC.
        o Trademark and Licensing
                - The board discussed at length the goals of and use cases
                        - Using the logo on personal/commercial websites
                        - Using the logo in applications
                        - Use of the 'GNOME' in the product name, commercial and non-commercial
                        - Permission for merchandise
                - Would it be easier to come up with a blacklist or whitelist of use cases that we could
                  send to the lawyers?
                - Jeff pointed out the Debian logo usage policy. All agreed we didn't want to go down the
                  path of having 2 logos
                - All agreed we needed a time limit on whatever license agreement we go with, so that we can
                  change it later.
                - The board discussed having an open agreement, allowing all appropriate parties to use our
                  logo and name. Dave to write a summary of the proposed agreement.
        o System Infrastructure / Hardware
                - Currently getting stuff done is proving to be hard
                - Jonathan wondered if we needed a full time sys admin, with mixed opinions on the matter
                - The board discussed what hours it might include, and whether that had to be a full time,
                  part time or long term contractor.
                - Nat mentioned that he missed LXR/Bonsai, and we should try and get that online soon
                - Board discussed Tim's infrastructure and the need for backup. Tim mentioned he didn't have a
                  laptop. Jonathan to help budget for a laptop, and work on improving infrastructure for Tim.
        o Foundation
                - The board talked about a proposal to move the elections closer to GUADEC, to make it easier
                  for the board. Would we need to ammend the bylaws. Tim to check. Glynn commented that we should
                  have a 2nd in-person meeting instead. Jonathan wondered if we could afford that. Luis proposed
                  that we should reduce the board size - more sense of accountability, less silly elections, lower
                  cost to do face-to-face meetings and increase the gravitas if it's hard to get in. Glynn to add
                  the board suggestion to drop the numbers to the Foundation members meeting. We would need to
                  ammend the max number of participants from a company in the bylaws. Would it be harder or easier
                  for outsiders to get onto the board? Would we be driving out good people? Luis to write up a draft
                  proposal to send to board-list in preparation for the meeting.
                - The membership committee are preparing to vote for a change to anonymous voting. Glynn to write up
                  a mail on why the board believes that anonymous voting is a good idea.
                - Nat gave a summary of the current situation with the Bounties. We've reached the 1st round and so far
                  give out $7460 for 10 bounties. It's currently stalled because of an Evolution code freeze - will launch
                  again soon with a new deadline. The Bounties are proving to be effective in attracting new Evolution
                  developers. Nat asked if it would be useful to have a general mechanism where anybody could put money
                  against a bug item? Owen asked if it was more interesting maintaining a TODO list. Luis worried
                  that making the TODO list the Bountie list was dangerous, because people might end up doing only
                  the things people pay for. Have we already started down this slop already with company involvement?
                - We discussed the introduction of the GNOME Mini-grant project, where by people could apply for
                  grants ie. hardware, travel but we didn't want to get heavily involved in software related
                  grants. We made an executive decision to announce something at GUADEC on Monday. Jeff suggested
                  that we take the Linux Australia policy as a good start, and edit it to our needs. Jeff to do
                  this in preparation for Monday's announcement. General agreement that application process should be
                  private and only accepted applications (or non-funded accepted applications) should be published. Tim
                  to see what money we could organize for the announcement out of this years budget.
                - Jeff brought up the topic of having international funds, where local representatives in Australia,
                  Germany, ... would be able to accept / disburse money. Owen commented it should either be simple fiscal
                  custodianship (an account), or entirely separate organization. Tim mentioned that the lawyers have
                  advised against co-mingling of funds from associated groups. We should get the people to
                  discuss what they are doing at the local organization BOF.
                - Jeff commented on Advisory Board membership relevance. Tim commented that people want access to
                  GNOME - no decision making governance, and to support GNOME. Advisory members generally like advocacy
                  we've been doing in emerging markets. Also when fundraising particuarly for GUADEC idea of brain trust
                  of GNOME developers, with addition of government, industry, etc representatives.
        o GNOME Marketing and Events
                - The board discussed the purpose of various GNOME events - from GUADEC, to the GNOME Summit. Nat felt that
                  the purpose should be for nuturing new developers, and that the current tracks at GUADEC were too
                  one-way and that most of them should be a BOF. Is GUADEC the right place to do this? Could it be better
                  to fly core hackers around the world for advocacy, tutorials, etc, rather than having a single big
                  conference. all decided that it would be good to keep GUADEC as a 'mothership' conference for all attendees
                  and that we should work on focused local events for tutorials/advocacy.
                - Potential GUADEC attendees include -
                        - Administrators
                        - Core contributors
                        - Proto-contributors
                        - Power Users
                        - Evangelists/Enthusiasts
                        - Press
                        - Local Government
                        - Researchers / academics
                        - ISV Developers
                        - Students?
                        - End users (local?)
                        - Deployment decision makers
                        - GNOME Vendor product managers
                - Board discussed how we could fine tune GUADEC
                        - Not enough BOFS
                        - Not freeform enough
                        - Formal talk and paper inappropriate for a non-research conference?
                        - Have free tutorials for transfer of knowledge
                        - Eliminate papers entirely?
                        - Divide into tracks about themes [based on roadmap?]
                        - Have posters / lightning talks
                        - Are keynotes talking to the right audience?
                        - We need feedback forms [we can do this at this year's conference - Owen to write up]
                  Tim to set up a meeting with GNOME Germany and a Stuttgart representative to discuss the
                  implications of fine tuning next years GUADEC conference.
        o GNOME Roadmap
                - Now we have a nice, non-controversial roadmap that largely reflects community consensus, when
                  are we going to hammer on the tough ones?
                        - Epiphany / Firefox [Owen didn't believe it was important enough in the community]
                        - Mono
                - Nat commented that any agressive roadmap would be controversial. Should the roadmap say no
                  to certain technologies we're not advocating? eg. bonobo. We're not supposed to be
                  providing leadership, but capturing consensus.
                - We need to work on a mission statement on what's important to us - desktop, platform, applications,
                  administration tools, ..
                - Should we have a spin off document with technical details. Should large scale applications fall
                  under the roadmap?
                - We need to get a shorter version of the roadmap - one page slides for GNOME 2.8, 2.9, ...
                - Does it make sense to have vendor-oriented directions on there? All decided that vendors should
                  speak for themselves, and that we should encourage them to do so.
                - Dave to prepare a roadmap presentation for the Advisory Board.
        o How will GNOME continue to be relevant?
                - All decided not to minute this part of the discussion. We did talk at length about potential
                  topics that we 'worry' about in the future -
                        - 'de-facto' platform forks harming GNOME's centralised approach and coherent community
                        - How can the GNOME community be involved in the development of and migration to a new
                          developer platform?
                        - Does the community have any investment, interest, ownership or trust in the future of
                          GNOME? In developing an agenda for GNOME?
                        - Can we expect contributing companies to participate in the community as well as they
                          have done since 2.0? Do we need to reinvigorate this co-operation?
                        - What is the Foundation's role in all of this?
                - Lack of developer documentation is a problem, and we should organize a BOF for the discussion.
                  We need mechanism for encouraging 3rd party open-source apps written to our platform and
                  standards.  Could we have a low barrier to entry "release set"? Possibly introduce app of the
                  week/month highlighting on to encourage new developers?
        o Agenda for Foundation Members meeting
                - Glynn and Jonathan to work on preparing an agenda for the meeting.
        o Agenda for Advisory Board meeting
                - Nat to work on preparing an agenda for the meeting.

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