Re: Special GNOME event in California next week

On 4/13/07, Behdad Esfahbod <behdad behdad org> wrote:
On Fri, 2007-04-13 at 13:42 -0400, Dan Winship wrote:
> Seriously though, this "surprise announcement" stuff is exactly the sort
> of behavior that the community despises when Novell[1] and Red Hat[2] do
> it, and now we're doing it to ourselves???

What's wrong with building up some hype?   Maybe you can wait until the
announcement is out and then decide if you can blame anybody for it?

Whether or not we like the announcement or not is, I think, completely
beside the point.  The point is the openness of the board, which has a
mandate to be open and responsive to members.  Dan posted this
particularly relevant bit of the charter in his email:

"The foundation should not be exclusionary or elitist. Every GNOME
contributor, however small his or her contribution, must have the
opportunity to participate in determining the direction and actions of
the project. "

The nature of this announcement implies that it will be a fairly large
announcement that could affect the direction of the project.  This
part of the charter Dan quoted explicitly stated that *every* GNOME
contributor should be able to *participate* in determining the
direction of the project.  Wait-and-see is not participation, and "a
subset" is not every contributor.

On a related note, I was a little bit disappointed by the response to
the questions that Adrian Custer brought up with respect to board
secrecy of board meeting minutes recently (maybe the redacted meeting
minutes were regarding the same issue as this announcement, I don't
know).  There may  be legitimate reasons for some degree of secrecy,
but there is no information for us as foundation members to judge for
ourselves whether that secrecy is warranted.  It essentially all boils
down to: "trust us, we're good people".  That may very well be true
(In fact, I voted for a good number of those currently on the board,
so I obviously think they're good people), but it is completely
irrelevant.  A board is only as good as its charter, and the GNOME
foundation charter lists as its number one principle being 'open and

Note that I'm really looking forward to the announcement and I expect
I'll like what I hear.  But I still think that Dan has a valid point.

At a minimum, after things like this become public, I hope the board
will consider preparing a summary for foundation members detailing
exactly why it was considered necessary to keep things secret from the
membership.  This will at least allow us to make up our own mind about
whether the secrecy was justified or not after the fact  (i.e. were
there legal concerns, trade secrets, personal issues, etc).


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