Re: 10 Questions for All Candidates

On Tue, 2001-11-13 at 04:26, Dan Mueth wrote:
> 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.

Oh man, this feels worse than having to do my performance review....but
yeah, I agree also, a great idea...

> 1) Why are you running for Board of Directors?

The simple truth, and this might seem a little corny, is that I believe
in GNOME and I believe in its future. More importantly I believe that it
has a place in that future as a mainstream desktop, widely used by
colleges, schools and corporate environments. I want to have a small
part in that future and I think that I have some of the qualifications
it takes to be a good Board member.

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

I'm guessing that people don't particularly care if I was captain of the
school Hockey team, captain/secretary/treasurer of the college Climbing
Club and vice president of the Knitting League..ahem..Right..of course
not...I've actually been involved on the GNOME Foundation Membership &
Elections Committee since October this year. This mainly involves
processing membership applications, updating web pages and organizing
elections like this one. I am also very fortunate to be a part of the
Sun GNOME team which gives a lot of responsibility and in part,
leadership, to each individual for getting work done and getting
involved in the community.

> 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?

This is one of my strongest qualifications for being a board member. I
am subscribed to a large range of mailing lists [1] and sit on a large
range of IRC channels [2]. Just reading these is enough, but I also
participate when I have something to say for myself. I think this is an
important part of being a Board member - knowing what is happening
across many of the GNOME projects and communicating this information
when necessary. I also think it is important to be available as a Board
member so that the board becomes an easily approachable body.

> 4) One of the primary tasks of the Board of Directors is to act as a
> liaison 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 am fortunate to be in the position of being paid to work on GNOME for
Sun Microsystems and I have a good understanding at what is required by
them to make a release possible. This understanding is quite important 
since although GNOME is a Free Software project, maintained mostly be a
large group of volunteer coders, translators and release engineers, it
is also vitally important that such organizations and companies are
involved.By backing GNOME as a viable desktop for educational and
corporate environments [which organizations and companies help toward],
GNOME starts getting some of the publicity that, in my opinion, it
thoroughly deserves.

> 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 committees, and act as liaisons
> 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?

I personally would like to see more events, or at least more
opportunities for the people directly involved to get together [be it in
a padded cell, or in the pub over a beer and a pizza] and hash out
conflicts, new ideas or just socially. I think this would help to avoid
some tension that has been evident in the past, create a better sense of
community spirit and encourage new development in GNOME.

I also think there is a lack of a centralized direction in GNOME to some
extent with questions like 'Is GNOME a platform or a desktop?'. It would
be good to identify missing parts from each and encourage development in
these areas so that GNOME can become a competitive desktop.

What perhaps is a bigger problem, is the lack of documentation [or in 
some cases inadequate documentation] for the GNOME API's. Without this
we are increasing the barrier that new GNOME developers have to start at
if they want to become a part of the project. We can have all these new
technologies but if we have no one using them, then there is very little
point in having them. This must be a priority and whether it is a case 
of setting up a 'bug' script [like the one Elliot did for bugzilla] or 
establishing a committee to organize this effort is not important, so
long as it gets done. GNOME is for life, not just for Christmas.

> 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 consensus on each item for
> discussion. Are you good at working with others, who sometimes have very
> differing opinions than you do, to reach consensus and agree on actions?

I think it's very important to compromise when a deadlock is reached so
that time is not wasted. I want what is best for GNOME, but I also
realize that all the other members want this too. Whilst I prefer to
think through differing opinions taking a non-biased view, I am also 
capable of making immediate ones based on their level of importance.

> 7) Often Directors have to draft policies, form committees, find
> weaknesses or approaching problems of GNOME and work on solutions, and act
> as liaison 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 liaison between the Board and any other committees, groups, or
> companies if relevant.

[in no particular order]

- API Documentation Improved
The plain and simple fact is that if it isn't, then the project is
screwed if some of the main hackers lose interest. We have all this cool
new technology, let's get people using it.

- Developer tutorials, whitepapers updated on
This is probably quite a hard thing to achieve. Ideally it would be best
for the developers who created this technology to write up these docs,
but it would also be excellent if other developers volunteered to write
on something they know nothing about and have to learn the technology.

- New website happen 
It can't take as long as it's taking and I see a role of active
encouragement here.

- API/ABI Compatibility/Stability discussions
Again while primarily important to many of the companies involved, I
think this is critical for long term adoption of GNOME by ISV's and to
some extent free software developers

- GUADEC & associated events 
Ensuring more events happen each year [including hacker gatherings]

- GNOME 129382.X
The future [ensure there is more time for BOF's at GUADEC] is really
important and if we don't plan for it enough, we're going to shoot
ourselves in the foot.

- Accessibility 
It's the new 'buzz' word, but it's important to make sure there is
better awareness of issues involved so we don't make mistakes and suffer
from them later.

> 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 would like to think so. My Irishness is the key to my reasonably 
casual and outgoing nature....or maybe, that is the drink speaking ;) 
It's very important to be friendly and easily approachable, two things I
strive in being. I'm quite happy to talk to the media, public,
organizations and the pub :) 

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

For sure. Sun recognizes individuality and trust in its employees. I
intend to bring this individuality and trust to the board and will
*always* represent the interests of GNOME. Of course, many companies and
organizations are as much a part of GNOME as anyone else and I intend to
take a completely non-biased  stance and work on the Board, helping to
create a better GNOME for all involved.
> 10) Will you be willing and have the available time to take on and
> complete various tasks that the Board needs accomplished?

Well, I've already taken the time to fill out this questionnaire haven't
I? With anything that I have believed in in the past, I have always put
energy and enthusiasm into it. I see no difference with GNOME. I will
put as much time into GNOME as I do with Guinness...which is a lot :)

				Okay, enough already!

						Glynn ;)

[1] - The full list is as follows [don't ask me how or why]
cvs-commits-list, eufoundation-list, foundation-announce
foundation-list, gconf-list, gnome-2-0-list, gnome-accessibility-list,
gnome-announce-list, gnome-components-list, gnome-devel-list,
gnome-doc-list, gnome-gui-list, gnome-i18n-list, gnome-kde-list,
gnome-libs-devel, gnome-list, gnome-love, gnome-office-list,
gnome-pilot-list, gnomecc-list, gtk-app-devel, gtk-devel-list,
gtk-doc-list, gtk-list, hig, orbit-list, usability, xml,
gnome-hackers, evolution, evolution-hackers, gnome-vfs,
gnome-print, gtkhtml

[2] - The full list is as follows [yeah, I need medical help]
#evolution, #gnome, #nautilus, #docs, #sun, #gimps, #usability, 
#interface, #xst, #gtk+

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