Re: second draft of Charter for Foundation

Havoc Pennington wrote:

> How about in the charter we just say something like "GNOME includes
> only free software," then the board can make the final call on
> specific licenses as they arise, perhaps choosing to exclude software
> that's free but problematic.

Maciej makes a similar point.  Unless someone objects, I'm going to
incorporate Havoc's suggested change and say that "GNOME includes only Free
software, as determined by the board of directors."

> > In the past, being a part of the GNOME project has simply meant "I wrote
> > some code" or "I hang out on the mailing lists and build the thing from
> > CVS frenetically every three hours." There is no reason to change this.
> >
> I see some tension between this and the paragraphs about openness
> earlier in the document. On the one hand, we're saying anyone at all,
> on the other we're saying "no 500 noncontributors from Evil
> Corporation Foo."
> ...
> Still, I would like to merge these two paragraphs with the openness
> paragraphs, because that will make us be more clear.

I do think that Openness and Meritocracy are 2 distinct principles: anyone
can join (as long as you contribute *something*), but the power goes to the
people who contribute the most.  I don't think there's contradictory language
between the two sections, but a healthy tension.

> > It should be apparent that these two tasks (defining GNOME and doing
> > releases) are deeply interrelated: defining GNOME is just determining
> > which modules are a part of any given release. You can't coordinate a
> > release without knowing what you're releasing. The set of packages which
> > comprises GNOME is defined at every release. And so releasing GNOME and
> > defining GNOME are one and the same task.
> >
> This is not _quite_ true, to nitpick: releasing GNOME is actually
> defining a particular release of GNOME. We fell into this trap arguing
> over Evolution and GNOME 1.4, when we discussed whether Evolution
> counts as part of the desktop. Which wasn't really the issue; the
> issue was whether it was part of the 1.4 desktop, or the 2.0 desktop.
> And so we got on an irrelevant metaphysical tangent about "what is the
> desktop?"
> The point is, probably we want to be able to say (at least informally)
> that something is part of GNOME though it isn't known yet that it will
> be in a specific release. This probably shouldn't go in a charter -
> I'd say the official GNOME should be the GNOME releases - but we
> should certainly keep it in mind when we talk to each other.

Maciej makes the same point.  I don't think changing this paragraph has
operational implications.  Unless someone objects, I'm going to change this
paragraph to account for Havoc and Maciej's objection.

> > Election of a board members and slates will be executed just like voting
> > on a referendum.
> I don't think this works, because you have multiple slates, while a
> referendum is a yes/no question and 2/3 must vote yes. cf. previous
> discussion of voting systems.

You're right.

> > The board of directors shall have at least 7 members and no more than 15
> > members.
> >
> I would expect the membership to prefer larger slates to avoid voting
> against any people they like, so I'd expect to always end up with 15
> members, and 15 seems like too many to me still. I'd prefer a range of
> 7-11.

I think that's too narrow a range.  I would leave that as is.

> > The board of directors will be responsible for authorizing the release
> > of a new version of GNOME. The board will determine the set of modules
> > which will make up the release at least 60 days in advance of the
> > release date, subject to unanimous approval of the module maintainers.
> >
> Didn't someone already comment on this paragraph?

Yes.  I will fix this.

> > If a new module is being included in a release, all its contributors
> > have the option to become part of the membership.
> Probably best to just strike this sentence, and keep all stuff about
> membership qualifications in one place in the document.

Yes, I think you're right.

> > 1. Can the membership voting system actually be done? I think the
> > software is pretty trivial. But will it be used? Does democracy work?
> > Are we going to get gerrymandered?
> I think it will work fine.

Someone needs to start looking for voting software that will meet our needs.

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