Re: 11 Questions to answer

On Wed, 6 Nov 2002, Ghee Seng Teo wrote:

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

GNOME has done a great job in bringing an elgant and easy-to-use desktop 
and application development framework to Unix. While there are many little 
things that be improved and tweaked with this software, it appears to me 
that the next phase of the development of GNOME should be a collection of 
sophisticated, large scale applications that solve Real Users needs. 

I would like to see the GNOME board *attempt* to focus the attention of
developers on developing these applications. (I understand that this is a 
dificult thing to achieve but we should at least try.)

The 5th Toe program of collecting together these applications is a great 
idea. I would like to see the Board support such efforts and encourage new 
developers to join in these efforts. As a core member of the AbiWord team 
I've been successful in helping new developers find their way through a 
large codebase and to find useful ways to contibute and to feel valued 
within the collaboration.

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

Yes. In my Real Job I'm Associate Professor of Physics at a major 
Australian University. My research is in the field of Experimental 
Particle Physics. In this job I routinely collaborate with hundreds of 
other Physicists in highly technical discussions. The atmosphere is rather 
similar to the GNOME collaboration. At both my University and my research 
I spend a large fraction of my day sitting in committees, making 
decisions, and communicating with others.

> 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 follow gnome-devel, gnome-hacker, the nautilus list, evolution list, 
gnome clipboard manager, gnome-components, gtkmathview and of course 
abiword. I try not to pontificate and only comment when I feel I have a 
unique perspective to add to the discussion.

 > 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?

This is almost a job description of what I do in my research. I'm
constantly looking for ways to collaborate with others to our mutual
shared benefit.

> 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 think the organization basically works although from reading the gnome 
board minutes, it appears that one or two issues keep recurring week after 
week. In these cases perhaps a new approach is called for.

> 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?

Once again, this is quite like what I do in my real Job.

> 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.

I would like to help in guiding new hackers to useful projects where they 
can make a contribution.
> 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?

Yes. My Real Job requires this. 

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

Well my family and friends at work comes first, which means my Real Job
requires some attention. Other the hand, apart from time constraints I see
no reason why there should be conflicts of interest between GNOME and
other things I do.

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

To be honest I think it is the best interests of GNOME that my free time 
is mostly spent hacking on AbiWord and other GNOME projects. I 
would only take on additional tasks that were closely aligned with these.

> 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 ]

Clearly we need more hackers in GNOME. To help this I would encourage new
developers to work on GNOME projects. I would like to help find ways for
new hackers to feel welcomed, valued and make genuine contributions to

Best regards,

Martin Sevior

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