Re: gnome foundation: some key issues to discuss.

> The only intermediate groupings that would make sense to me are 
> basically the ones we already have- gnome-utils, gnome-core, 
> gnome-applets.... A package on its own release schedule is another 
> way of looking at basically the same thing.

In addition to the gnome-* packages, I would include other core desktop
components like Nautilus and Evolution in here.

> But what's less clear to me (and possibly this is something which 
> *is* clear to those who were in the original discussions) but what 
> are we considering using projects/modules for, organizationally?  If 
> it's just to make the statement that each project retains its 
> autonomy of release schedule/design, do we need a formal definition?  

I think the reasoning behind it is to dictate a release schedule for the
major releases of GNOME. What is included in GNOME? That's what the board
will decide. For example, what is GNOME 1.4? Is it gnome-libs
1.4? gnome-libs and gnome-core? All of the gnome-* packages? All of the
gnome-* packages, Evolution and Nautilus? All of the above plus gnumeric,
X-chat, gnutella, gdm, et cetera?

> Or are people thinking of something akin to Debian, where (at least 
> as I understand it as an outsider) voting is at least in some way 
> associated with maintaining a "project."?

I think this would be fairly reasonable as long as it isn't restricted
solely to project maintainers. The people who do translations,
documentation, art, and so on deserve as much say as the hackers, so
giving one vote to the doc project or the icon project or the translation
project isn't going to cut it.

> If the latter, what do we do about dying/superseded projects?  For 
> example, I have maintained gnome-pim for the last few months 
> (although I must confess to not having done any signficant GNOME work 
> at all since the 1.2 release, due to time pressures).  Gnome-pim is, 
> by all accounts, going to be superseded in the near future by 
> Evolution.  Should it retain its "project" status (and my 
> "maintainer" status, if that means anything) indefinitely?  As long 
> as the maintainers want to keep releasing it?  Or just until 
> Evolution reaches the point that it can replace gnome-pim in the full 
> GNOME "releases"?

Well, I wouldn't be for taking your voting rights away, as long as you
stayed active in the community in one way or another, and as a result I
don't think that having a vote means that you have to represent your
project directly. I think it should be more of a personal vote, while
taking into account responsibilities to projects.

That said, however, I think it would be up to the board to vote on whether
or not to drop gnome-pim as an official GNOME component, and with
Evolution coming around, I would think they would. That doesn't
necessarily mean that the project is dead, but that when they say "GNOME
1.4 is out" that gnome-pim 1.4 (or whatever) won't be a part of it.

> I think a combination of elections and a "designed" board might work. 
>  As a rough idea (i.e. thought out as I type, not in advance), say 
> the board must be composed of:
> * m members representing corporate partners
> * n members representing/who are independent developers
> * r members representing the documentation project
> * s members representing the translation project
> * t members "at-large"
> Let each of those subgroups select/nominate appropriate members, and 
> then have the whole membership vote on the slate (or individually, I 
> guess).

This seems fine to me.

> (2) Letting each region elect its own leadership, and then having a 
> "coordinating committee" of some kind, to which each board would send 
> one representative to handle high-level coordination.  To avoid legal 
> troubles, the coordinating committee doesn't need to have money, or 
> even legal status (I don't think- I am *not* a lawyer)- it would be 
> analagous to the current SteerCom, in that it would just make 
> recommendations of coordinated actions.

I'm not really sure I understand this very well. I presume you mean
geographical region? What would the point of this be?

> This seems to imply a restrictive "membership," unless the vote 
> becomes pro forma.  Why couldn't membership be handled similarly to 
> the way gnome-hackers is now?  I.e. anyone who is a bona fide 
> contributor (defined in some way to exclude pure users, although that 
> doesn't even need to be a requirement, IMHO) can make request 
> membership, and as long as there's not some hint of irregularity, 
> just let them in?  Obviously, that would need to be formalized, but 
> the point is that it could be a self-declaration of one's 
> contributing status, subject only to disapproval by the 
> board/membership (but generally *not* requiring an affirmative vote).

I generally support this idea. Overly restrict membership sucks, but as
long as no newbie can waltz in and vote (ie. recognized GNOME people
only), I don't mind.


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