Re: Special GNOME event in California next week

On 4/13/07, Jeff Waugh <jdub perkypants org> wrote:
<quote who="Jonathon Jongsma">

> 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".

I thought I provided some pretty good information for you to judge whether
secrecy is warranted, particularly the examples related to employment and
commercial-in-confidence issues. To me, they obviously require sensitivity,
which provides clear rationale for some forms of secrecy.

Yes, you did give some of these examples, and I agree that there are
situations within these broad categories that would require some level
of secrecy.  But the fact that we don't know any of the details means
that there is still not enough information for me to judge whether the
secrecy is warranted.  That's why I proposed making the specific
details public after the fact, so that when we see the full details we
can judge for ourselves whether we think the board's choice was the
correct one.

Havoc mentioned that the 'accountability' here comes down to board
elections.  And I guess that's true, but currently if the board
decides to keep something secret from the membership and doesn't
provide a detailed summary of why they made this decision, all we can
do is take their word for it that it was necessary.   For the record,
I do trust that the current board is probably making the correct
decisions, but I'd just like some way to independently verify that.
That's why I suggested that the board provide a sufficiently detailed
explanation after-the-fact whenever a decision is made to keep
something secret from the foundation members.  That would allow the
board to exploit some degree of surprise when necessary (like this
announcement next week), but still give the membership enough
information to hold the board accountable if we feel that ability is
being misused.

And again, let me stress that this has nothing to do with whether I
trust any specific board members or whether I think the board is doing
a good job.  I just think that maintaining an open culture where
everybody feels that they can have an impact on the future of GNOME is
critical to the success of the project.

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