Re: Membership dues [ was: Re: Advisory Board Letter ]

On Wed, 02 Aug 2000 18:14:27 Bart Decrem wrote:
> Hi Rusty,
> I don't think it'll be a problem in practice.  I think there'll be 7 to 10
> on the advisory board the first year, and maybe 1 or 2 will be in a special
case like
> that that can be easily managed by the board.
> The more interesting question, in my opinion, is whether we want the
foundation to
> have a staff person and a budget.  Havoc and Dave articulated some good
reasons not to
> have a budget or a staff.   Rob, at, and I have been spending a
lot of time
> helping to get this things off the ground, so I'm wondering how all of that
work will
> get done once we move on to different things.  


The work will probably get done just as it always had on a volunteer basis.  If
the work ever fails to get done a call would go out for a volunteer and one
would emerge from the proverbial woodwork.

> I think things like relations with
> media affairs, corporate partners, marketing Gnome, organizing conferences
etc. do
> become more and more important over time.  We have 40 or 50 full-time paid
> hackers now, and I think it'd be good to have at least 1 paid
> The question is whether that person should be on staff with the foundation or
on the
> payroll of one of the companies (right now, I'm doing this work on Eazel's
dime).  I'm
> not 100% convinced either way.

I don't really have the answer to this since different companies have different
interests.  For instance my employer (Zoot Enterprises) is mostly interested in
a stable, full-featured and useful application development platform and does
not care right now about corporate partners, media affairs or conferences since
what we are doing with GNOME does not hinge on those aspects (yet).  But other
companies such as Eazel probably is centered on different aspects then we are.  To
expect the foundation to cater perfectly to all of the expectations of the
membership is a pipe dream.

With the board being a reasonable cross section of the GNOME community at large
(hopefully) the interests of the majority of the community will be represented
and focused on.  But to mandate that the foundation pay at least one full-time
employee to focus on the aspects you listed would be unreasonable unless it was
determined by the board that someone should do that.

The foundation should determine whether or not a person(s) to fill those roles
are needed, or can the foundation appoint sub-committees to handle each aspect? 
I don't really see why the foundation needs to bankroll any one to work on
these aspects except in extreame cases where there are no volunteers and the board
has determined that the issue should be addressed.  Now appointing sub-committees
to do this work has the drawback that the people actually doing the work such
as media affairs may be infulenced by their employer in the work that they
produce, so these sub-committees should be kept under the close eye of the board.

So in my opinion the need to initially bankroll someone under the auspices of
the foundation is not needed until the role is determined not able to be filled
by volunteers.  I don't know how this will effect the need for membership fees.

Rusty Conover        | 
Systems Programmer   | 406-586-5050 x226
Zoot Enterprises     |

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