Re: Current status

> Can you give an example of abandoning the community's best interests?
> Also, we have at least Dan, James, and Kjartaan who are not employed
> by the companies, and John wasn't originally, though I guess he is
> now, I'm not sure.

That's a little stronger than I meant, but the release schedule for 1.4 is
an example, and whether or not to include certain packages.

> Dropping the issue of companies (i.e. pretend for a minute all modules
> are maintained by volunteers), it seems to me that _yes_ whoever
> contributes the most code should have the most decision-making power.

Yes, I agree wholeheartedly.

> If I understand you right, I don't think this is practical, because
> almost all the key GNOME people are employed, or if not could become
> employed at any time.  We can't remove all the key players from the
> board because they work at companies; then the board just won't
> matter, because the key players won't be on it.

Right, and I didn't mean to give that impression. I don't want to remove
key players. I just want to ensure that (a) GNOME policy isn't
dictated solely by a bunch of corporations and that (b) there is fair
representation amongst all the companies and contributors.

> One point: if you try to artificially move the decision-making power
> away from those who are writing the code, then it just won't work
> anyway, because if you can't follow through on decisions with code,
> the decisions are irrelevant. Tying leadership to contributions is a
> long-standing free software tradition, and for good reason, because it
> works.

Agreed. Removing the developers is a moot point, because they'll just go
off and decide their own policies and schedules.

> Another way to address your concerns is to have a relatively large
> membership, rather than a relatively restricted one. I guess I'd say
> though that the larger the membership, the more powerful I think the
> board should be, generally speaking. This is after all a software
> project, not a government; and some central power is worthwhile to get
> vision and direction, IMO. (In my experience looking at Debian, people
> apply government analogies far too often to this kind of thing; it's
> not a government, it's an organization designed to get something
> done.)

I would prefer a larger membership that approves decisions by the board in
certain cases, like release engineering. I think in most cases the
majority of the community wouldn't oppose the decisions of the board for
that sort of thing, and if they did then there is probably a pretty good
reason for it.

> Also, with Debian there's no good way to speak only to a restricted
> group like the steering committee; which means companies have to talk
> either to the project leader only (Wichert), or they have to talk to
> debian-private, which is 400 or so people. Wichert can't give them any
> real answers or feedback since he's only one guy, and the whole
> membership is just too large and public to talk to.

In such cases they should probably talk only to the board.


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