Re: The role of LWE San Jose

Hi Maciej,

Thanks for summarizing the two models so crisply.   My current sense is that
model 1 is the right way to go, but let's take another day or so to hear back
from more people.  Meanwhile, Rob and I will work with the folks at
to put together our proposal for how to proceed by the end of the week.


Maciej Stachowiak wrote:

> Robert Humphreys <> writes:
> > Hi Martin, yes, the current plan is to have a press conference @ LWE
> > where we will formally announce the formation of the Gnome Foundation.
> > Bart and I had also planned on setting up a meeting prior to the press
> > conference for all the folks on this list to discuss all the issues that
> > we need to gain consensus on, etc.
> >
> I think if we want to announce the actual formation at LWE, we need to
> get consensus on key issues _before_ LWE and go through some sort of
> ratification process (pick initial membership and have them vote to
> ratify for instance). Otherwise, at best we could announce a vague
> intention to form the foundation.
> This is a very aggressive schedule, so I think we need to get some
> straw man proposals on the table really soon so we can decide which
> one to flesh out. There have been a couple of significantly different
> models proposed.
> I think the two leading models right now are:
> Model #1
> * GNOME Foundation incorporated in the US
> * Board of the GNOME Foundation is a group of primarily hackers,
>   elected as a slate by the membership, and provides the same kind of
>   technical oversight as the current steering committee.
> * A corporate advisory board allows corporations to be represented and
>   have their say.
> * Other regional foundations are associated with the main foundation.
> Model #2
> * GNOME Foundation US incorporated in the US
> * Board of the GNOME Foundation US is a mix of hackers and corporate
>   representatives and possibly other sorts of people, and essentially
>   appoints itself.
> * The Steering Committee is elected, and makes technical decisions,
>   but has no real legal existance.
> * Other regional fundations have a mostly independent existence.
> Though I personally favor model 1, both have their advantages and
> disadvantages. Maybe we could see these better with a rough sketch for
> how things could work under each model.
> It's interesting to note that both models have two different
> committees/boards, one technical, and one at least partly corporate in
> composition. The key difference is which one is nominally legally in
> charge of running the foundation. Personally, although there are many
> potential flaws with this, I like having the technical people
> officially hierarchically in charge better.
> The reason I favor this is best explained with an analogy. Consider a
> software development group that has both a technical lead and a
> manager who are not the same person (the manager is in charge of
> people management/project management/etc). Although both are in some
> sense in charge, to people outside the group, it makes a very big
> difference whose name is in the top box on the org chart - that's the
> person they will think gives the orders and speaks with an
> authoritative voice. So if we want GNOME to appear to the outside
> world as though the hackers are ultimately in charge, it must be
> officially structured that way. I think only model 1 provides this.
> If anyone has a reason to favor model 2 despite this, I'd love to hear
> it. Note that to some this could be seen as an advantage, not a
> drawback - the technical people are kept doing technical stuff and
> making technical decisions, and the more management-type tasks are
> done by, well, management types.
>  - Maciej
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