Re: 10 Questions for All Candidates

<quote who="Dan Mueth">

> I ask that each candidate please answer the following questions and reply
> to foundation-list gnome org to help the Membership know the candidate
> better and make well-informed decisions at the ballot.

This is a really cool idea, thanks Dan.

> 10 Questions for all candidates:
> 1) Why are you running for Board of Directors?

Because I love GNOME (you may all go "awww" now), I am disheartened by the
occasional political or personal unhappiness that can happen (and believe I
can help mend those), I have various skills that I think will help broaden
GNOME's reach, and feel that I can do heaps in this role as a volunteer.

I also want to go to GUADEC. Ahem. :)

> 2) Do you have leadership and committee experience? If so, please explain.

Yes. My involvement in Free Software related organisational things was
summarised in my long candidacy statement. I also have experience in other
groups not related to Free Software. [ The phrase 'herding cats' can also be
applied - equally if not moreso - to actors and musicians. ;) ]

> 3) How familiar are you with the day-to-day happenings of GNOME?  How much
> do you follow and participate in the main GNOME mailing lists?

Very familiar. I am on, and involved in, too many GNOME lists, and am fairly
regularly logged in to #gnome and other channels. I even read the cvs
commits list.

I do lots of support for GNOME; on IRC, locally with my LUG (as a resident
GNOME "dude") and friends using GNOME, etc. I'm also on the 2.0 release
team. Both of these require a fairly sweeping knowledge of GNOME and related
projects to do well.

> 4) One of the primary tasks of the Board of Directors is to act as a
> liason between the GNOME Foundation and other organizations and companies
> to find out how the two groups can work together to their mutual benefit.
> Do you feel you would be good at understanding other people and companies
> and finding ways that GNOME can collaborate with other companies and
> organizations to benefit both groups and their users?

I work at a local Free Software support and 'solutions' provider. Whilst we
haven't yet found our way to installing and supporting GNOME desktops, I
think this kind of work is great preparation for handling these Foundation
tasks. I think I've found a good balance of the pragmatism and idealism
required to promote and share Free Software - especially where it hasn't
found a place before.

> 5) One of the responsibilities and powers of the Board of Directors is to
> identify organizational weaknesses and needs of GNOME and to create
> committees, appoint coordinators of these committess, and act as liasons
> with them.  What do you believe are the current weak points of GNOME as an
> organization, and if you were able to, how would you change the GNOME
> organization?

Heh. How about... GNOME has too many committees...? ;)

I mentioned a couple of these points in my long summary. The first is
infrastructural stuff; our resources are not always readily available or
well documented, such as "How do I get a CVS account?" and "Why can't I get
to". [ I've chosen a couple here that have had some attention
recently. ]

They're not very "let's hack GNOME!" related, but they can improve how
developers are able to get involved, how accessible our software and
documentation are, and how these functions can be made so simple that we
have more time to concentrate on the cool stuff (*making* all the software
and docs!).

I'd like to be able to wave a magic wand and have everyone say warm and
encouraging things about each other and their software, too. It sounds a bit
trite, but I think it matters a lot to how the project feels at the moment.

> 6) The board meets for one hour every two weeks to discuss a handful of
> issues.  Thus, it is very important that the board can very quickly and
> concisely discuss each topic and come to concensus on each item for
> discussion. Are you good at working with others, who sometimes have very
> differing opinions than you do, to reach concensus and agree on actions?

I guess if it was something I felt very strongly about, I'd prefer to defer
things to lengthier email discussions.

The Foundation has the responsibility to do "what's good for GNOME"; if an
argument was about anything else, it ought to be resolved quickly. I don't
have the very strong personal roots in GNOME that some of our long-time
hackers do; that might be a good point for 'diplomacy' things.

> 7) Often Directors have to draft policies, form committees, find
> weaknesses or approaching problems of GNOME and work on solutions, and act
> as liason with various groups (both within and outside GNOME) and
> companies.  Please name three or more areas which you feel are important
> for the Board to address over the next year and which you would enjoy
> contributing some of your time to help get things started and possibly act
> as a liason between the Board and any other committees, groups, or
> companies if relevant.

[ An election... with policies? I thought this would be democratic! ;) ]

- Stuff we can do to make GNOME (the project) more accessible. This means
  documentation, websites, support, know-how, news, how to contribute, all
  the stuff I've mentioned above and in the long summary. It's a lot of

- Working with companies (both large and small) to see how GNOME can fit in
  with what they're doing. This would probably be a regional thing.

- Considering the requirements for large-scale administration of GNOME, so
  we can promote it as an excellent system for big rollouts. Involving
  various groups/organisations in this process.

- Cloning George.

- Finding a common ground of what we want GNOME to be. I love the anarchy of
  Free Software development, but with a big project and loftier ideas for
  GNOME, we could use an ideal (I don't want to say "direction").

  Sure, there's a lot of reasons why that's a hard thing to do, but even a
  simple, "GNOME wants to be the best passion-pop flavoured desktop ever"
  kind of thing would be a common goal we could share.

  Currently, according to the website, GNOME wants to be "computing made
  easy". Which sounds a bit assy. :)

> 8) Do you consider yourself diplomatic?  Would you make a good
> representative for the GNOME Foundation to the Membership, media, public,
> and organizations and corporations the GNOME Foundation works with?

I've done a fair bit of media relations. Just recently I've done some
national radio stuff for my LUG, but I wasn't all that pleased with it. ;)
However, far from cringing at this kind of stuff; I would prefer to be doing
more and more. I am good at public speaking and presentation.

I believe I can and do present GNOME and Free Software in a non-scary,
user-oriented manner (phrases such as "you will all go to firey hell!" and
"i will 0wnz0r j00" do not factor into my advocacy of Free Software for the

> 9) Will you represent the interests of GNOME and the GNOME Foundation over
> all other personal or corporate interests you may represent?

Yes. I've already been accused of communist tendencies in the past.

> 10) Will you be willing and have the available time to take on and
> complete various tasks that the Board needs accomplished?

Yes. My work has been flexible about this in the past, and I hope will
continue to be in the future.

Now I want to read everyone else's!

- Jeff

    "Stay away from my house, you freak! Can't you see that everyone is     
             buying station wagons?" - Neal Stephenson, ITBWTCL             

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