Re: Low voter registration and candidate bias


I have exactly the opposite impression; we already have probably half
or more of the 350 members with a reasonably low level of
contribution, some alarmingly so ("I submitted a bug report once");
while we purposely set the bar low after some controversy advocating
higher eligibility requirements, I don't think someone who hasn't read
the general GNOME mailing lists or read Gnotices in the last couple
months is a voter we really want determinining our future anyhow
(voter registration has been publicized that long and in numerous
GNOME-related forums, including multiple links from general Linux
sites such as LWN).

I'm very happy that anyone who follows GNOME closely and contributes
significantly has had a chance to register. Note that pure users are
_not_ eligible for foundation membership, and many of the people you
mention on the mailing lists are users.

As for corporate bias, well under half the people in membership.txt
work at a GNOME-related company; I think there are 45 or so GNOME
hackers at Helix, 6 or so at Red Hat, and around 15 (guessing here) at
Eazel. Adding up everyone else at companies that employ 1-3 hackers
and maybe you have 15 more. Almost no one from Sun is in
membership.txt yet. So that gives maybe 80 of the 350 voters at
companies, and split among lots of different companies with competing
interests, plus the max of 4 people elected from a single company. I
don't see a danger there. 270/350 non-corporate is a solid majority
for independent voters.

(And note that the 80 employed hackers were often the exceptionally
dedicated volunteers that caught employer's eyes, people who cared
about free software enough to destroy their evenings/weekends over
long periods of time.)

On your point 3), short notice on nominating yourself, the 75-word
summary announce was not the notice for nominating yourself, the
actual notice was well before that. We have tons of candidates
representing a wide range of interests. Maybe a couple people who
wanted to run didn't get to, but this is sort of inevitable if you
have any deadline at all.

> 1)  The voting solicitation is reworked so that more realistic examples of
> who should register or participate in the election is made.

As I said, I'm confident that all core contributors who want to join
have done so, and that a solid couple hundred of non-core people have
also joined. IMHO that's more than enough; further recruiting will
just swell the membership with clueless Slashdot kiddies and we'll end
up with the top 11 most recognizable names in the list of candidates
getting elected. Already I think the top names are too likely to get
elected vs. the people who would be best for this job. Though I hope
I'll be wrong and voters will be following this list and making an
informed judgment.

When it comes right down to it, we have to draw the line somewhere
someday. We need to get stuff done; there are already several
important issues with time constraints I know of that are queued for
the board to sort out. If we don't have a board soon, then some random
people are going to make up answers to these issues as we've always
done in the past.

One step we've already taken to address this issue in the future: the
foundation-announce mailing list has been and will continue to receive
announcements of ALL deadlines, minutes from board meetings, etc. -
the idea being, if you want to know what's up, subscribe here; if you
don't, no whining later. ;-)

Well, maybe this mail is over-long. We've set out a process for doing
the elections this time though, and I think we should stick to the
rules we established. Hopefully I've addressed some of the fears you
have. Next year people will have a year of warning, so there should be
no problem at all long-term. 


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