Minutes of the Board meeting, 2006/Jun/25 (GUADEC face-to-face meeting)
- From: Federico Mena Quintero <federico ximian com>
- To: foundation-list gnome org, foundation-announce gnome org
- Subject: Minutes of the Board meeting, 2006/Jun/25 (GUADEC face-to-face meeting)
- Date: Tue, 01 Aug 2006 11:28:44 -0500
Here is your secretary sending out minutes, late as always!
GNOME Foundation Board Meeting, 2006/06/25 (GUADEC)
Dave (Chairing, Minutes)
Jeff (the man with the packs of Tim Tam chocolate-covered cookies)
* Executive director and administrator hire
* SWOT analysis of foundation
* GUADEC 2007 (sans Vincent and Dave)
* Interview representatives from candidates
* Get report(s) from GUADEC sub-committee and choose candidate
* Trademarks & legal - setting them free to the community without losing them
* We should get Luis to follow up (since he started the process) on the state of the trademarks
* Let's nail down, starting with how much we have, what we want to
spend money on for the remainder of the year, and how much we want
to carry over to next year's board
* Business development
* Online store
* ISV initiatives - certification?
* Foundation elections
* Shifting elections to May
* Increasing terms?
* Elected executive positions?
* Any other business - the rest of the time
* Luis to find out which lawyer we worked with on the contract
revisions last year - NOT DONE (dropped)
* Get quotes for back-office services (jrb to ask owen) - NOT DONE
* Federico to send a draft job announcement to board-list for the
executive director and the administrator. DONE (mostly)
* JRB to mail board-list about invoicing Intel (hard disk crash). NO
NEED - INVOICE GONE
* JRB to send an update on what hardware has been bought for the event
box. DONE? (Can I have the list)
* Federico to send minutes of advisory board meeting - DONE
* Federico to send minutes of last 3 board meetings - DONE
* Jeff to write a proposal on subcommittees / technical working groups
- NOT DONE
* Jeff to ensure all board members are on board-only and
marketing-private - DONE
* Dave to send draft agendas for GUADEC - Foundation AGM, board
meeting and advisory board meeting - DONE
* Executive director hire
- We'll announce the open position right after GUADEC.
- We already agreed on the requirements for this person; they
are on the wiki.
- If the ED goes to advertise GNOME to a potential deployment,
we don't want a situation where the Advisory Board members
fight with each other about whom will serve the deployment.
"Which distro do they pick?"
- Increase revenues
- Manage relationships
- Advisory board
- Co-ordinator/community manager
- Third-party developer programme
- Experience in computer industry (ICT: Information and
Computer Technology) in business development
- Quick learner
- Willing to do some travel
- Goals (Performance measurement):
- Increase revenues - $1M budget for 2007
- Contact all large GNOME deployments we know about, and visit at least 3 in person
- Start online merchandising sales in 2007
- There is a danger of upsetting either the advisory board
("you're competing with us") or the community with this
role. Need to be careful how it is communicated.
- Hiring process:
- Get candidates through personal relationships (Advisory
board - Simon Phipps, Bdale Garbee, Greg Kelleher, Mike
Jennings at Intel)
- Pre-interview by email (same as Joanna's)
- From short-list, do phone interviews (Euro team +
US/Pacific team, perhaps? Which makes 2 interviews, with
3/4 people at a time)
- Timescale: roughly 3 months
* Zana as our part-time administrator:
- She was the only applicant.
- She did a great job when she was our temporary admin a few
- Jonathan did not take part in the decision, and consciously
stayed out of all discussion.
- Let's announce this during the Foundation Annual General
- Anne: We need a very good public explanation on why decided
to hire Zana again for the administrative position. Is this
a conflict of interest with JRB on the board? Jeff: "She's
done a great job, she's highly qualified, Jonathan didn't
participate in the decision to hire her, and she was the
- Part-time admin, 20 hours per week, USD 22,500 per year,
work from home.
* Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats (SWOT):
Community engagement (i.e. compared to OSDL)
Platform (and license)
Community growth / scaling
"Nobody ships stock GNOME"
No direct relationship with users
Lack of diversity: women, race, geography, groupthink
Consensus gridlock / governance (board + community)
Lack of clear leadership / structure / process
Roadmap + map of roads
Lack of transparency / communication
Roles on board -> buddies / wingmen
Board member time
Replying to contacts
Relationship with users
Users -> advocates
Platform of choice for freedom
Major deployments (new, existing)
International involvement (GNOME, LUGs, etc.)
Roles on board
Small GNOME companies
Expand coverage (what does this mean?)
Competition within free world
Losing community while growing commercially
- Related discussion:
- Have a section for Decisions in the minutes, so that it is
easier for people to see what we came to.
- When the board is unable to come to a decision, it has to
ask the community for advice.
- Vincent has been kicking ass with respect to going through
old, unanswered mails on the board mailing list, and
has been replying to them.
- We need one and only one person to reply incoming mail to
board-list. That person should reply immediately, and CC
the board member whom should actually deal with the
- In a second meeting, we evaluated both proposals
(Birmingham and Lyon), and picked Birmingham. Both
proposals were great! We think the UK needs a bigger push
to consolidate their local GNOME community, and organizing
GUADEC will be a good way to help with this.
* Other business:
- Eben Moglen and the Software Freedom Law Center (SLFC) will
be our legal counsel.
-> we need a press release!
- Collaboration with KDE on patents, standardization, women in
- Anne: conference on heads of free software in European
governments. Public sector in Europe has to go through a
big bureaucratic process to use non-free software. If they
use free software, the process is automatic.
- Backlog in the Foundation's membership committee:
- ACTION: Vincent to figure out a governance model for the
- ACTION: Vincent to change the template for the
notifications that happen upon getting a CVS
account: "By the way, now that you have CVS account
you may want to become a Foundation member!"
- Theory: the Board isn't really effective from January until
around May, when it has its first face-to-face meeting at
- Proposal: shift the end of the election period to the end of
May, so that the newly-formed Board can meet at GUADEC
pretty much immediately. Downside: the Foundation's by-laws
say that the Board can not be in office for more than twelve
months, and this would stretch the duration of one Board to
- Proposal: have specific positions for president,
vice-president, secretary, and treasurer. People would send
their candidacy for a specific position, instead of just "I
want to be a Board member".
We did not agree on this model.
Advantages: gives a mandate to board roles, allows community
to elect a leader, makes board elections less of a
popularity contest, may get better candidates for particular
Disadvantages: complicates elections, doesn't add anything,
may make elections even more of a popularity contest
("everyone wants to be president")
- We cannot ask for referenda every time something like this
- We weren't able to make a decision on how to change the
model for the Board elections.
- DECISION: have a "retreat" for the new Board members in
January, so that they can have a face-to-face meeting right
after the election is over. They would go to some city and
meet in person. We need to figure out the budget for this.
- Not discussed due to lack of time.
* Dave to contact Zana to offer her the administrator job.
* Vincent to figure out a governance model for the membership
committee, so that we don't have a backlog of new foundation members
* Vincent to change the template for the notifications that happen
upon getting a CVS account: "By the way, now that you have CVS
account you may want to become a Foundation member!"
* Jeff to write a press release for the GTK+ / Foundation announcement.
* Have a section for "Decisions" in the minutes, so that it is easier
for people to see what we decided. [Secretary's note: this is a
* The next GUADEC will be in Birmingham in the UK.
* Have a "retreat" for the new Board members in January, so that they
can have a face-to-face meeting right after the election is over.
They would go to some city and meet in person. We need to figure out
the budget for this.
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