Re: Another question for candidates.

Martin Sevior <msevior mccubbin ph unimelb edu au> writes:

> HI everyone,
> 	Here's a question that I hope will address the issue of
> transperency which is another goal of the Gnome Foundation.
> Suppose a Foundation Board member works for (or holds shares in) a company
> that develops code for Gnome. Suppose also that another company hires this
> Gnome company to port a software package to the Gnome platform. This 
> package will compete directly with a current Gnome project which is making
> good progress.
> Is the Foundation Board member in a position of conflict of interest?

Well first off, Board members are supposed to represent the interests
of Gnome, not their company. So if we felt these actions were contrary
to the itnerests of Gnome, the right person to talk to would be the
company's advisory board representative (if any).

More generally, I don't think having two packages with similar
purposes is bad for Gnome in itself necessarily. However, attempting
to push out one package for the benefit of another may be.

> Do you think that others might perceive the Foundation Board member to be
> in a position of conflict of interest?

That's possible, if the board were pushed to make a decision about
which of the two packages is to be part of a Gnome release or part of
Gnome in the future.
> Are there actions you think the Foundation Board member should take when
> this situation arises?

I think a Foundation Board member with a real or perceived conflict of
interest on a particular issue ought to recuse himself from voting on
it, or from being in a group delegated to make decisions on the
topic. However, he should still be permitted to state a case. Advisory
Board members won't get to vote on anything, and explicitly represent
the interests of their company, so I don't think there is a relevant
action to take there.

I hope this answers your question.

As a side note, I can't help but feel this question might relate to
AbiWord and OpenOffice. It is my expectation that AbiWord will be part
of the Gnome 1.4 Extra Apps release (along with gnumeric, dia and the
like) and I would certainly be deeply surprised and suspicious if it

 - Maciej

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