Re: Draft of Proposal for the GNOME Foundation.

On Fri, Jul 14, 2000 at 12:16:00PM -0700, Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
> > I agree whole heartly.
> This assumes that one minor patch is equivalent to a demonstrated
> commitment over time. I don't think it is. I think setting the bar
> this low devalues the effort put forth by people who contribute
> consistently for some time. 

But you are drawing an arbitrary line.  It will be harder for people to start
with gnome if there is some arbitrary limit they have to reach before they
are recognized.

Also I think the whole fear of getting too many uninformed people to vote is
overrated.  Even if they do vote for an "evil" board.  That board will just
not have respect of the real developers who will merrily continue doing what
they did before, no matter what the board says.  Not to mention that such a
scenario is highly unlikely, even if we do allow all people that submitted a
5 line patch to become a developer.

> Similarly, if you want to become a US citizen, you can't do that by
> living here one day. Many people live here and contribute to our
> country without getting a vote. But they all get the opportunity over
> time. (I'm a naturalized US citizen by the way, and I think this
> aspect of the system works well).

Or you can take the easy way out and be born here.  (Ok, this would get off
topic if I wanted to do a rant on this)

Anyway, I think the problem here is that we want as many people as possible
to become "GNOME citizens" and develop for gnome, unlike the US.

Also to ruin your analogy further.  Do you think the US policy has made the
elections any more informed and the politians less corrupt and more
responsive?  (Hmm another possible rant on politics)

> > What would be the main purpose of referendums, implementing a new
> > splash screen?  I don't think they would be all that useful.
> Yeah, and you know, I thought about it more, and if recall is the only
> referendum you can have, and the board makes a decision so unpopular
> that there is a serious chance of a recall vote, I think it's likely
> they'd reverse the decision or find some compromise. I think this is
> better than random decisions of theirs possibly being reversed.

One should also look at california local politics to see how referenda over
issues just don't work.  In one of my classes the teacher had several funny
stories on this.

Basically, we must assume that the "voting public" is ill informed and
doesn't vote rationally.  Elected democracy works somewhat OK in those
situations.  I think a recall should only be an option when the elected board
starts doing stupid decisions that nobody is following and thus they are
doing absolutely nothing.

> If you elect it as a slate, we can trust the people who come up with
> slates to try to create balanced, representative ones. I personally
> think 15 is a size at which it starts to get difficult to make
> progress.

I think more then 9 is too much.  Remember it doesn't have to represent all
maintainers.  That's because the board is just a forum to make decisions
based on everyone's input.  However those decisions have to be approved of by
all the major contributors or maintainers otherwise the decisions won't
really work.  Thus the board is just there doing some administrative stuff,
even though things still have to get decided by rough consensus.  Even if it
would be one person it would still work I think.  However having several
people means a greater chance of the board more able to create consensus or
the major contributors/maintainers.


George <>
   A conference is a gathering of important people who singly can do 
   nothing but together can decide that nothing can be done.
                       -- Fred Allen

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