Re: Questions for the candidate
- From: Sriram Ramkrishna <sri aracnet com>
- To: Miguel de Icaza <miguel ximian com>
- Cc: Sayamindu Dasgupta <sayamindu clai net>, foundation-list gnome org, Alan Cox <alan lxorguk ukuu org uk>, veillard redhat com
- Subject: Re: Questions for the candidate
- Date: Mon, 29 Nov 2004 15:55:19 -0800
This overall makes sense. However, you need a good trust metric
for the person to make the decisions. Most of us here (not me)
are skeptical of centralized decision making or perhaps do not
trust people with company affiliations. How does one win trust
in non-technical related matters? Most of you are known for your
technical skills not your political saavy or financial wizardry
or whatever qualities that might apply.
The decisions that the board makes are all based mostly around the
GNOME brand and it's marketability and influence. It might work
quite well to put someone in charge who will protect and shepard
the GNOME brand without having to have a debate about it everytime.
Decisions cannot be done by committee and it's demotivating to
committee members when you have to do them. It's why there has been
little done the past couple of years. The fun stuff is trying to
figure out where to take this project.
One anecdote I will put forward is in the early days of the marketing
team list I had asked for permission to use the GNOME trademark
for some related GNOME activity that I can't remember right now.
I of course needed the board's permission for this. It took a very
long time to get permission (actually I'm not sure if I ever got it)
This ends up being very slow. Asking the president would have been
a lot easier in this particular case since there is really no need
to debate this issue. If a member is in a good standing they should
be able to use the GNOME trademark for a GNOME event/promotion.
So, yes I support a president of some type in order to make day
to day or month to month and let the board do strategy/long range
financial decisions/legal/conference planning/coordination of events
or whatever it is. The one exception is that legal and financial
commitments should be done by consensus both on the board and at
least some kind of transparency for foundation members to be able
to comment if the issue is of some relevance to them.
One side note. I'm not for infrequent meetings. Regular meetings
are good. However, board meetings need not be full board meetings.
One could have working group board meetings instead for particular
issues. But you still need at least one meeting every two months
with all members attending so that you can communicate whats been
done. The rest can be done by email. Meetings are only effective
if you have a good solid agenda.
You guys should play with what works for any particular set of
board members. Do what you need to do to make the board
effective and don't be stuck on rules. This is FOSS not some
top 500 company we're allowed to experiment. :-)
On Mon, Nov 29, 2004 at 05:56:38PM -0500, Miguel de Icaza wrote:
> > If you think your time is scarce for going though those thing,
> > what do you expect to do instead ?
> > I can't believe that you think giving one hour of your time every too
> > week is too much for the good standing of the project. And clearly, not
> > doing so - as this year board has shown - reflect badly on the project
> > organization !
> You are clearly not interested in understanding the problem, you are
> interested in a flame war, because you clearly do not want to understand
> the point am trying to make, and instead you are choosing to vilify and
> twist my words.
> If you were actually paying attention instead of trying to start a
> fight, you might have realized that this year, I was not on the board.
> So maybe this reflects badly on you. I do not know.
> That being said, and back to the topic from your gratuitous attempt at a
> My proposal to have a president is to better utilize the time of the
> members of the board. Does the whole board need to be involved in every
> decision? No.
> That is why boards elect presidents in real life, and that is why every
> other organization (profit and non-profit) has these kinds of
> structures: to be more efficient.
> The every-two-weeks meeting is a drag to most people: only a couple
> really participate in a discussion, because the topics are not of the
> interest to everyone.
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