Re: 11 Questions to answer

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

  To help with the process aspects of running the Board. Boring stuff like
making sure the Minutes are done (usually) on-time and accurate, keeping
track of who promised to do what so it don't get dropped, applying back 
principles I have learnt in other fora when it comes to consensus building,
logging disagreements with decisions when they arose, etc...
  I specifically do NOT run because I think it's something hip, or because I
want to drive the project one way or another, I don't have a strong agenda
anymore, but I care for the way we do things.

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

  I did my share to create and run the first French Linux user group, 
I used to work on the XML standardization groups, leads the libxml and 
libxslt projects, and have been on the GNOME board for the last 2 years.

> 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?

  I one of the maintainers for the board, advisory, foundation announce,
foundation lists (plus XML related ones), I'm subscribed to a good dozen
of them. I'm sitting on #gnome, #docs , I think I'm quite aware of what's
happening in GNOME, even if I don't follow closely the technical bits.

> 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.

  The advisory board was created specifcally for this. It's not a well
known feature of the Gnome organization.

> 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?

  Very practically, I always send board minutes to the advisory board list,
so all the representative get regular news from what's happening at the
board level. It's not communication at the developper level (which is esential
too but result from an initial policy decision from those companies), but
trying to keep the Pointy Haired Bosses aware. It's important to communicate
at that level too, it can generate major decisions which then open the field
for technical collaboration
  As a Red Hat employee, I can see the sometime conflicting goals between
the industry and open source projects but also how one can build a synergy
without dropping the ball on technical grounds or principles.

> 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?

  Hum, it's clear the weakest point is communication. Getting the various
comitees and the board to share information quickly while not ending up
eating all our free time in telconf is a serious challenge. Concerning
changing the GNOME organization, it's not the point, we instead need to 
make more formal/organized the way we operate, that means concentrating on
refining the existing processes which is just the opposite to reorganization.

> 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 I'm good at making the board converge with consensus to a decision,
I took an active part toward making those discussion effective by minuting
what's get discussed (so one doesn't renter a rat hole again every meeting),
make sure we don't get drifted into technical or off-topic discussions,
trying to get the chair to put agendas ahead of the meeting (ahemmm ...),
etc ... well simply applying the good old techniques I have learnt at W3C,
I think other existing board members won't disagree :-)
  Except for the very last decision on the membership criteria, I'm very proud
of the existing board, we always managed to make decision by consensus over
the last 2 years, that's very important to me.

> 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.

  Liaison with the community and the advisory board by making sure we have
regular, public minutes of all our meetings.
  For communication inside GNOME, for the guadec and communication
commitee, I relied on Tim, and on Telsa and Jody for the liaison with the
release comitee. In general I found most effective to have one of the board
member be on the commitees for liaison issues, depending on the composition
of the board next year I may or may not need to invest in those.
> 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'm diplomatic ... up to a point, usually when I'm really not happy, people
understand it...
I don't have troubles speaking to the public, I avoid somewhat speaking to the
press (others do it better), and in my 2 last year at the Board never had
communication problems (though Tim has to send spelling fixes to my minutes
usually :-)

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

  yes, as I did in the past (personal interest would be to avoid paying
for those international phone calls !). My Red Hat affiliation never
got in the way, everybody at the Board level so far has managed to clearly
separate their day to day job and their GNOME work, in my case I'm really
not tied to the GUI and GNOME work at Red Hat, there is little chance I ever
have my work and bord work interract.

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

  yes, otherwise I would not have candidated.

> 11) One of the ingredient for success in an Open Source project such as GNOME
> is committed and dedicated memberships. How would you propose to promote new 
> membership, and encourage commitment of existing membership to make the GNOME 
> desktop the desktop of choice? [ Hints: the number of Foundation members have 
> reduced from 460 in 2001 to approximately 300 in 2002 ]

  Hum, I would not go to promote membership as a final goal. The goal is
to get application developpers to use the GNOME platform. This means convincing
the businesses and the developpers that our building infrastructure is 
stable, well documented, properly designed, easy to use ; then once the
best apps are developped against our platform, then we will grow a large user
base (which then may appeal more developpers etc.)
  The fact that the foundation member number is shrinking doesn't mean that
GNOME is less successful, it may mean that membership looks less hip - which is
fine we are targetting other values - , the key point is that membership should
be really open, it's not a private club, people ought to think it's easy to
participate (at all levels), but the membership size is not the metric for
the success of the GNOME project, quality, stability, and the user base size
are far better ones (it's not an exhaustive list).


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

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