Re: Hackers, should we elect them ?

Hadess <hadess writeme com> writes:

> I just found out that there was a mailing-list to discuss the elections.
> I'd be interested to know why I should elect a hacker...
> To all the candidates who have contributed a certain amount of code to
> the Gnome project, why should I vote for you ? To get you away from your
> computer and you spend less time coding ? Would you move from the
> programming and hacking to do management, and take project decisions,
> like Linus does...

This is certainly a valid concern; I think that electing an all
hacker board, or electing somebody to the board solely because
they have made code contributions would be a mistake.

But, looking at the code (docs, translations, etc) contributions
that potential board members have made is valid, and the board
should have good fraction of people who are large-scale
contributors to GNOME.

 - The GNOME project was founded and has always been run by   
   hackers. The contributors define the goals of the project.
   For the board to work effectively, it needs a strong
   understanding of these goals and the motivations of the

 - While the board will not be making technical decisions,
   almost any decision that it does make will depend on being
   technically well informed. 

 - Hackers with large contributions to GNOME also have a 
   large vested interest in GNOME. While I might prefer
   to be programming than working on organizational issues,
   I know that in order for my efforts and the efforts
   of other hackers to have value in the long term, I
   have to be willing to spend time on the organizational

   I think it is a mistake to say "I'm not going to vote for
   person X because they'd be better off spending their time
   programming." By putting themselves up for nomination to 
   the board, that person has said, that _they_ think that
   being on the board is a worthwhile use of their time.

 - Most people in "senior hacker" roles in free software tend to
   spend a pretty good chunk of their time doing organizational
   stuff; answering email, coordinating release schedules,
   talking with journalists, writing about their projects, and 
   so forth. 

   Having an image of someone like Miguel or Maciej as
   someone who spends all day typing in code and debugging it
   would be a big mistake. Free software hacking is not
   a one-dimensional activity.
And it should be noted that the board is not supposed to 
be a huge commitment of time; maybe 5 hours a week, but
far from a full-time job. The effectiveness of the
board will largely be in its capability to delegate.

I think the right approach is to vote for the people you
think will do the best job, not to vote for the people 
who you think are most dispensible elsewhere.


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