Board Meeting Minutes :: 15th February 2007


Below are the latest minutes from the GNOME Foundation Board. The next board
meeting is scheduled for Thursday 1st March. If you would like an agenda item
discussed, please mail board-list.



Board Meeting :: 15th February 2007

Present: Anne, Behdad, Dave, Glynn, Jeff, Quim, Zana
Absent:  Vincent

   Behdad had to leave after 60 minutes.

1) Review of Last Meeting Actions

   ACTION: Glynn to add press interaction as an agenda item for next
           meeting (DONE)
   ACTION: Quim to make a on marketing proposal on board-list (DISCUSSED ON
   ACTION: Anne to sign SFLC retainer, and forward to Luis for signing (NOT
   ACTION: Dave to contact applicant to see if they are still interested (DONE).
   ACTION: Dave to form hiring sub-committee with the people involved in
           the interviews last year, for continuity (DONE).
   ACTION: Zana to find out where our donations are coming from (DONE).
   ACTION: Anne to ask lawyers if there are any problems with hiring an
           employee outside the US (DONE, MEETING SET UP).
   ACTION: All board members to send Zana their addresses for delivery
           of a copy (DONE).
   ACTION: Dave to send Advisory Board contacts to Zana (DONE).
   ACTION: Dave to prepare preliminary budget for February 10th (DONE).
   ACTION: Dave to poke the GUADEC team about the sponsorship timeline (DONE).
   ACTION: Quim to prepare a preliminary draft agenda for discussion on
           adboard the list (NOT DONE).
   ACTION: Quim to contact the advisory board list and say hello (DONE AFTER
   ACTION: Vincent to contact the membership committee to make sure
           mails are sent when renewal is needed (DONE).

2) Press interaction

   marketing-private is already being used to some extents for press contacts
   in GNOME. Last year a few press releases fell through the cracks, and some
   requests were dropped.

   Jeff believed there were a number of separate issues. He is keen to see
   marketing-list evolve and take over writing of press releases, however
   there has been limited progress made on skill level for this task.

   Quim felt that there should also be a single voice on some of the requests,
   though we should share responsibility across a wider team of those that
   are listed as being press contacts on

   Anne felt that the roles and responsibilities were a natural way to sort
   this out. If the first person doesn't reply after day 1, then the second
   person can pick it up.

   ACTION: All to continue to discuss on board-list about possible resolution.

3) Roles of the Board

   Quim sent around a list of names assigned to board roles and
   responsibilities. Tried to get the most sensible person in each position
   though the roles aren't set in stone.

     - Development: primarly it's a contact with the Release Team.
       Also facilitation and help on request connecting either internal
       GNOME teams/people and external develoment collaboration projects
       like, desktop architects and so on.
          1. Vincent, 2. Behdad

     - Events: contact with GUADEC, Boston Summit and any event with
       GNOME participation. Also answering requests for funding
       actions / people in conferences.
          1. Behdad, 2. Dave

     - Infrastructure: contact with the Sysadmin/Infrastructure Team,
       servers ownership and anything related to hardware and hosting.
          1. Glynn, 2. Vincent

     - Legal: contact with the Legal Team, copyrights and licensing.
       Anything where a lawyer may help.
          1. Anne, 2. Glynn

     - Marketing: contact with the Marketing Team, budget for
       merchandising, campaigns.
          1. Quim, 2. Anne

     - Media: contact with the current marketing-private "team" (to be
       promoted perhaps as Press Team but that's another story) and Press
          1. Jeff, 2. Quim

     - Relations: contact with the GNOME ecosystem of free software
       organizations, companies, public sector, university... Something like
       a Foreign Affairs Ministry.
          1. Dave, 2. Jeff

   Everyone should be encouraged to continue using board-list as a way to
   contact these people in the event that they are on vacation, business or

   ACTION: Glynn to include assigned roles in meeting minutes and put them
           in the board wiki.
   ACTION: All to list their contact phone details on the board wiki.

4) Business Development Officer

   Dave received a reply from current candidate for role, and is still
   interested in the position. Dave has gotten in contact with the hiring
   committee and pushing to have an interview with the candidate early
   next month.

   There is no movement on a new list of possible candidates for the role.
   Dave has talked to a few people about whether they would be interested,
   but all currently occupied. All agreed that we should not block on
   finishing the process with the current candidate, and should proceed with
   organizing next round of candidates.

   It is still ideal for it to be a full time position, but would prefer
   part-time to nobody. Dave believes if that works out, then we will need
   to hire another soon after.

   ACTION: Dave to set up interview dates as soon as possible.
   ACTION: Dave to further discuss with advisory board about the role.

5) GNOME Booth at EclipseCon

   We have a booth at the conference, and Ben Konrath is our current
   contact. Unsure whether we can get a grant from the Eclipse Foundation
   as last year, or whether it is just a free ticket to the conference.
   Dave has mailed Milinkovitch and Donald Smith from the Eclipse Foundation
   to enquire about a grant. We also need to sort out who can man the

   ACTION: Dave and Ben to coordinate who will man the booth, and mail
           foundation-list for volunteers.

6) Advisory Board meeting

   Quim didn't manage to send out a draft for the advisory board welcome. We
   need to figure out our message and what our goals are for the year. Jeff
   believes we need an agenda for the first meeting, so that advisory board
   members can add to it to make sure the meeting has value for them.

   Dave recommends a two step process - initially sending out an informal
   mail quickly with a reminder of who is on the list, and a welcome note
   from the chair; then following it up with a more detailed mail including
   details of the meeting, agenda items, budgets, etc..

   ACTION: Quim to send a mail to advisory board with an informal welcome.
   ACTION: All to discuss on list about possible agenda items for the
           first meeting, and decide on a fixed date.

7) Preliminary Budget

   Dave posted a preliminary budget as the basis for discussion during
   the week. He noted that the initial budget was in deficit, and that
   we should balance it before release. He also noted that it was a
   conservative budget, and didn't provide for a number of additional
   revenue sources eg. Summer of Code.

   Jeff believed it was usefully generous for the mini-confs, and thought
   that some of those could be co-hosted at events like the GNOME summit.
   Quim agreed with this, and said that there were better places in the
   budget to make cuts. If we need to focus on a few issues, we should
   provide for travel requests for people speaking at conferences, and the
   user groups.

   Jeff said that we need to encourage the local communities to find their
   own ways of funding based on their own initiatives, and provide
   sustainable activity - this is harder in some countries, obviously.

   Jeff suggested that we list a number of sponsors that groups should be
   discouraged to approach, but may be approached through the board. This
   would prevent a number of sponsorship requests to companies that were
   already sponsoring the project.

   Need to have some consideration for providing a float budget, so that
   people can asking for temporary assistance up front for t-shirt/printing

   Current budget includes an estimate for hiring an editor to organise
   GNOME developer docs. Glynn and Jeff felt that this was not necessarily
   a good use of our money, and that it really needed to be a community
   building effort. Dave suggested an editor role to oversee this would
   prove a worthwhile investment. Quim agrees with this, but we should
   start the year and see how our money goes before we commit.

   Anne noted that we need to focus in on buzzwords for funding for our
   sponsors. The accessibility summit didn't get much traction last year,
   and hope to do better this year. Perhaps we need to organize a documentation

   All agreed that budget should be made public when finalized. It would
   be a positive important statement to make. We need to be careful about
   what parts we make public, and our wording.

   ACTION: Dave to discuss with gnome-docs-list and advisory board about
           possible coordination of documentation and
   ACTION: Dave to send new draft to the board with improvements, and later
   ACTION: Dave to send draft of budget announcement to board-list.

8) Annual report

   The annual report has been printed, and put in envelopes. Zana hopes to
   be able to send them out tomorrow. Zana mentioned that she didn't get
   a reply from the current Debian representative. Dave to follow up in
   determining who the new representative will be.

   ACTION: Zana to send out annual report by post this week.
   ACTION: Dave to coordinate with Debian as to who will represent them at
           the Advisory Board level.

9) Other Board Business

   Sponsorship request from GNOME-Fr

   GNOME-Fr is looking for a budget to print 70 t-shirts for FOSDEM. Jeff
   believes it's not appropriate for the foundation to be buying t-shirts
   for people - we want to be able to facilitate local user groups, but
   be careful about costs like transferring money over and back. It may
   be possible to use a personal credit card to print them, providing due
   care has been made to organize those people that will buy them. If they
   look good, selling them all at FOSDEM will not be a risky proposition.
   We need to be able to allocate time for planning of these types of
   funding in advance so that we can use better our merchandising
   contacts. However, if a user group still needs help and it reasonable, we
   can provide it.

   ACTION: Dave to contact GNOME-Fr and decline their funding request
           explaining the situation.

   Membership Committee

   Baris had worked on renewals, but his laptop was recently stolen so he has
   to start again. There's a membership committee meeting next week where
   this will be discussed, along with other topics (like membership
   applications taking a long time to be processed, and new members for the
   committee). Vincent will again be the board representative for the
   membership commitee this year.

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