Re: Questions for the candidate

> 1. Judging from the comments posted here ( comments
> area), it seems as though most people are confused about the purpose of
> the GNOME Foundation and its board. How will you, as a member of the
> board, try to clear up confusion and outline a clear direction and
> purpose for the Foundation?

While publishing minutes is a good thing, I believe the Board needs to
have a clear list of "current activities" and status - for its own 
benefit as well as for the reasons stated above.  A short Board
Newsletter published every couple of months would be a reasonable goal,
if the process of writing and approving it didn't distract from other
Board activities.

> 2. What do you see as the most important thing that the board
> accomplishes, and what do you think is the area of the board's activity
> where you could improve things?

The Board's most important role, in my opinion, is doing the things
which it alone can do - i.e. being an 'official' face of GNOME in some
public forums, approving press releases, and dealing directly with the
GNOME name and logos, etc.   The soul of GNOME, and the engine for
development and change, lies outside of the Board in its intersecting
communities, so most of the day-to-day work of GNOME happens with or
without the Board.  I agree that the Board ought to try and delegate a
bit more, in areas where it can, so that it interacts occasionally with
GUADEC, marketing, and other "committees" which can consist of people
willing and able to help.

> 3. What is the number one priority for the GNOME project now, in your
> opinion? What do you think you can do as a board member to work towards
> that goal?

I think that continuing to grow and deploy free desktop software is the
number one priority for GNOME.  In saying that, I include things like
marketing and outreach, establishing good ties with local GNOME
communities, and taking on board feedback from new GNOME user
communities and partners - partners being linux distros, corporate
deployers, new developer communities, and new user communities.  In
order to grow GNOME we also need to be forward looking and proactive
where threats and opportunities for Free Software arise.  

> 4. What do you think is the most important market for GNOME over the
> next year or two, and what do you feel you can do to help get GNOME
> better penetrated into that market?

In the next year I think that several new major "commercial" large-scale
releases of GNOME will be released, so for the first time there may be
big "enterprise"/business market exposure.  We need to be responsive to
feedback from Advisory Board members about the strengths and weaknesses
that are identified, in order to keep momentum going.  I think that the
Board's role in this would be at most to facilitate communication
between the AB and the developer communities.  I also think that the
international market and government markets will continue to see the
biggest GNOME deployments in the next two years - I think the Board's
role is limited here, but putting local GNOME communities in touch with
local markets will help both local governments/schools and the local
developer communities.

> 5. What unique aspect will you bring to the job?

Continuity (having been on the Board for two years) and a combination of
GNOME development and GNOME outreach are my main strengths I believe.  I
also work full-time on GNOME, which helps keep my focus on the project. 
I have some knowledge of trademark, copyright, and patent issues.

> 6. How would you feel about moving to a system of Preferential Voting?

I like it in general, whatever you choose to call it.  

> 7. How do you think you could motivate the rest of the board, if and
> when the other directors have other time pressures? 

I think that taking actions without waiting for 'action items' would
help in general.  This is an area where I think I could improve my
contribution over what I achieved this past year, and I commit to doing

> 8. What one problem could you hope to solve this year?

I hope to help get the 'logo use policy' and branding questions solved
and written up in clear, simple language.  The lack of a simple use
policy has created confusion and, it would seem, unnecessary work.  At
the moment there is no way to know exactly what the logo use policy is,
or even how to go about requesting permission to use the GNOME name and
logo; this is a problem for local GNOME groups, developers, and even
folks who would like to help promote GNOME.

> 9. What would you do to increase community participation in the GNOME
> community and GNOME elections?

I'd like the Board's role to become more transparent at the same time 
that it delegates more; the newsletter, Board-activities page, and
"subcommittee" ideas would help.

> 10. Should Gnome be marketed as a separate component ? Or should it be
> actively promoted as a part of the offerings in a commercial software
> stack ?
> (Separate component in the sense *a DE in its own way and with its own
> ecosystem*)

I don't really understand this question; I think that GNOME should have
its own identity as a component, but I think that we should work
actively to get it deployed with more commercial software stacks.  

If we do a good job of promoting the GNOME name and logo, and a good job
of responding innovatively to the needs of users of many different
software platforms, the commercial software stacks will see value in
advertising the fact that their stack includes GNOME.  

GNOME is more than just a DE, but I think there is such a thing as the GNOME 
Desktop Environment.  I think there is a GNOME Developer Environment
too, and this is an area where I think some outreach is needed.  However
I think the high-level-language issue will not go away, and so far I
don't think the 'right solution' has been proposed.  Meanwhile, there's
plenty to be done to promote and improve the developer environment and
language bindings/docs that we *do* have.  However, that discussion
belongs on other mailing lists IMO :-)


- Bill

> ===============================================================================
> Let the debate begin...
> -thanks-
> Sayamindu
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-list mailing list
> foundation-list gnome org

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