Re: 10 Questions for All Candidates

On Mon, Nov 12, 2001 at 10:26:11PM -0600, Dan Mueth wrote:
> Having been on the Board for the last year, I feel I have a good idea what
> the Board has to do and some of the skills needed by board members. Using
> this experience, I have come up with a list of questions which I feel will
> help us learn more about each candidate and what sort of a board member
> they would be.
> 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.

  Okay, let's play the democracy game :-)

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

  Because I think I can help the project moving forward and possibly avoid
some pitfall. I would not be as cheerful as "World Domination, fast" but
I expect Gnome-2 to be a quantum gap in acceptance both on the desktop
and as a platform and environment reused by ISV and free software developpers.

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

  I have been working on W3C standardization group, being co-chair of
the XML Linking working group there (and that wasn't a quiet one !),
co-founded the first french linux user group, and served on the Gnome
board for the last year (where I think I helped to shape the process of
that group).

> 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?

  gnome-list, gnome-doc list, i18n list, gnome-2 release list, board list
foundation, foundation-announce and also maintainer of xml gnome org,
xslt gnome org, comaintainer of board  and foundation-announce.
  I may have forgotten a couple ...

> 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?

  Mutual understanding starts with good communication. I focused on getting
minutes out promptly, reliably and try to open our work/goal/process as
much as possible. Since I became a Red Hat employee in last January, I think
I learnt a fair bit about the challenges faced by companies using Gnome.
I can sometimes exibit rough edges when I disagree with something though ...

> 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?

  We are still processing in ad-hoc mode for a lot of things, this include
releases, communications, etc ... But it's getting better each time. Clearly
one of the challenges of such a large and relatively unstructured group
is to keep going smoothly and build on experience. For me the key example
is to keep track of the mistakes made when releasing version N so that we
won't do them in version N + 1, keeping the process improving in the face
of relatively large change in the people involved is a challenge.
  Another big challenge is to avoid fragmentation in the community, this
is mostly a communication problem but it beats us regulary, though this
seems to have smoothen in the last 6 months ...
  And last but not least keep working on Gnome fun as we refine the process,
if Gnome hacking ain't fun, then new coders won't join the project, and by
loosing fresh blood we would stagnate. For me a key example of an unplanned
project success is galeon, there was no company behind it, they found
something missing and decided to add this to the project. And now I have
a good Gnome web browser on my desktop, kudos ! 

> 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 think for the last year all (except maybe a couple) decision at the
board level have been made by consensus. I was part of that group (you
too, you can confirm or deny !) and I don't think I was a troublemaker :-)

> 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.

 - Red Hat, by affiliation
 - the Documentation project
 - the release group(s), I have been helping to kickstart the 2.0 work,
   and expect to continue to keep an eye to check the process works
 - keep doing the Board minutes, which is a very broad liaison work actually

> 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 can be diplomatic but I don't always follow that approach. Depending
who/why/when a good kick in the ... is sometime more efficient.

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

  Sure. At least within the Gnome project, I already do. Candidacy
and representation at the Board level are *individual* contribution.

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

  I think I already do,


Daniel Veillard      | Red Hat Network
veillard redhat com  | libxml Gnome XML XSLT toolkit | Rpmfind RPM search engine

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