Re: Questions to answer

On Mon, 21 Nov 2005 baris teamforce name tr wrote:

> 1) Why are you running for Board of Directors? What will you do more or
> better than previous years Boards have done?

Because I'm spending quite a lot of time on GNOME, and I think I
can help at the board.  I'm not sure how I can perform better
than previous boards, since I've never been in the board before,
but I think we all learn from past experiences of the board, as
long as the experiences are shared with us.

> 2) 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?

Very much.  I read Planet GNOME regulartly.  I'm on a bunch of
mailing lists, the foundation ones, GUADEC, marketing, Gtk+
lists, ddl, gnome-hackers, i18n, and a few more.  I'm on IRC for
hours every day, and have a lot of bugzilla activity.  I'm
maintaining Pango and gucharmap these days, and also help with
dasher.  I'm also on the new performance team.

> 3) What sources of funds do you as a candiate try do establish? And what
> will you spend it on? Not counting revenue from the shop and Friends of
> GNOME. Think more like the recent move by Mozilla or a subscription based
> bounty system.
> (olafura from

I will work towards getting more companies on the advisory board.
I also think the Friends of GNOME has more potential.  I like to
see it have an option for recurring donations, like FSF does.  I
also like the idea of a robust bounty system, more because of the
potential for ultra cool features that we can get through it,
rather than the funds.

> 4) Gnome is mostly a european and US based project, but seems to have
> some following in Latin America and India. How will you as a candidate
> grow the contribution base, especially in Asia, Africa and South America?
> (olafura from
> Or in general what would you do to increase community participation in the
> GNOME community and GNOME elections?

I have a vague remote hand in spreading GNOME in Iran, but other
than that, I'm also trying to get more voice for GNOME in Canada.
As for community size, I think the GNOME Love is in the right
direction, although they can use some funding.  About the
Foundation size and elections, I don't think getting a bigger
foundation is necessarily a good idea.  If with the current 350
members, only half of them vote for the referendum, I'm not sure
expanding to 700 makes 350 vote.  In other words, I believe the
foundation already has got most of the people that care about the
project, and that's enough.

Another issue is whether we want to expand the role of the
Foundation and the Board in turn.  That may be a good idea, to
make Foundation more verbose, more of a leader of the project,
instead of the current state.  So far the project has been mostly
run by individual teams and maintainers of packages, and a
light-weight release-team.  If we want to get really Big(TM), I
think a stronger more involved Foundation helps.  By that, I mean
converting all the "GNOME Project did ..." to "GNOME Foundation
did ..." in the news.  Making the foundation (and the board)
proactively monitor all areas of the project, identify problems,
and make a plan to fix the problem.  The recent moves to contract
a documentation writer and some of the previous bounty programs
have been in that direction already.  I like to see that

> 5) 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?
> How flexible is your time; can you dedicate extra time one week and
> less the next?

Yes I can.  I'm already spending a lot of time with GNOME.  It's
a matter of changing priorities.

> 6) 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?


Now I like this question.  If you are diplomatic and say Yes,
fine.  If you are not and say No, fine again.  If you are and say
No, you have just proved that you are not.  If you are not and
say Yes, you have just proved that you are. :)

> 7) What do you see as current threats to the future of a complete Free
> Software desktop? And what would you like the GNOME Foundation to be doing
> to address these issues?

The main threat I see is the software patents.  That's the way
Microsoft will come to the battle when we start to eat more of
their lunch.  I like to see the Foundation join efforts by other
Foundations and NGOs to work on this.  In particular, it should
have a firm stance on public matters, defending the obvious side,
instead of staying mute.

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

With the help of others, I hope to improve the website.
See answers to Q10.

> 9) Please rank your interests:
> 	a. GNOME evangelizing to government, enterprise, small
> 	   business, and individuals
> 	b. GNOME marketing and merchandising of branded items
> 	   nationally and internationally
> 	c. GNOME legal issues like copyright and patents
> 	d. GNOME finances and fund raising
> 	e. Alliance with other organizations.

b, d, c, a, e.  But it's really hard to rank these.  What is
easier to rank instead, is real proposals on how to move towards
each of these directions.  So I don't think the mere ranking of
these five items is any good indicator of what as a board member
I will push for.

> 10) One of the ingredient for success in Free Software 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 ]
> (this question is taken from questions of year 2002. I wanted to include
> this because our member count is around 350 today)

I almost addressed this question when answering Q4 above.  Other
than that, I think foundation membership is not advertised
enough.  As far as I've been seeing, no contributor joins the
foundation unless somebody knowing them suggests that they do.
That's not optimal.  We should have a more verbose system that
new contributors are automatically offered the benefits of
joining the foundation.  As another candidate suggested, letting
them know about the foundation when creating (any kind of)
accounts for them may be a good move in that direction.

Other than that, as I wrote in my candidacy statement, I like to
see the membership become more active.  I suggest we bring all
the local GNOME communities under the umbrella of the
domain.  Work more toward a uniform translated website, such that
when an Iranian (for example) interested in GNOME loads the, he has the option of going to the Persian pages and
discover the Iranian/Persian community around GNOME right then
and there.

> 11) (only to those who are running for reelection) Name one of your
> accomplishments. And we were told that the board in the last years had
> huge problems being pro-active. Any issue which was slightly contentious
> had an opposition in the board. As a consequence there was no resolution.
> How do you intend to behave differnetly this year to avoid a repetition of
> that problem.



"Commandment Three says Do Not Kill, Amendment Two says Blood Will Spill"
	-- Dan Bern, "New American Language"

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