Re: Reducing the board size

I'm also in favour of reducing the board size to 7. It recognizes the
reality of how we work. That way of working is very good for lots of
other parts of GNOME, but the board is fundamentally meant to be

I'd usually think that this would just reduce the number of man-hours
available to us, but I've become convinced that it's the best option
1. The board is delayed by decision making more than by a lack of people
getting things done. Decisions get punted repeatedly to the next meeting
and eventually forgotten about for a few months, so we miss
opportunities. In comparison, tasks are usually not much more than "send
an email" or "write a wiki page" - we delegate large task to groups such
as release-team and marketing.
2. Theoretically, time-limited discussion followed by votes within the
board, would make decision possible. However, as a community we have a
strong urge to reach consensus so any single person can veto a decision.
I do not believe that we can change that, so we must reduce the number
of vetos.
3. One or two people have suggested the alternative of having a
president with the ability to make decisions without consultation. This
is going too far, and has usually been suggested as a way to make
(usually technical) decisions which are not the board's responsibility.
Even the suggestion of conflict of interest would be huge and
4. The stuff that we disagree on is usually important, but there is
rarely a great difference between the available options. Any one of them
would probably be good enough, so there isn't a great risk in making it
more possible to choose one.

The fact that we are considering a referendum for this, even though it's
not strictly necessary, proves that we have difficulty reaching
consensus on stuff that can move us forward.

Murray Cumming
murrayc murrayc com

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