Re: GNOME Foundation Elections 2007. Let's start the debate!

On Nov 19, 2007 5:39 AM, Bruno Boaventura <brunoboaventura gmail com> wrote:

Note: I have a very unusual/atypical candidacy statement.

I've sent one clarification in response to questions in IRC. If anyone
has more questions, please *please* send them- don't sit on them. I'm
eager to answer them, since what I'm doing is so unusual.

> [1] How much impact would being a member of the GNOME Foundation Board
> have on your current contributions to GNOME ?

It would be purely positive. Currently I am able to do very little for
GNOME; with more time (as I move into the second half of my course at
school) and with better communication (as I work very closely with the
board) I hope to be able to do much more.

[Some of you may remember that I predicted at GUADEC '06 that I
wouldn't be back until 2010; that changed in part because I decided
not to take a fourth year at school; in part because my second year
has proved less time-consuming than I thought it would; and in part
because I see a unique opportunity to apply my skills right now. On
the down side, as I'm now more aware of what I'll be doing after
graduation, I expect that I'll disappear again for a while after
graduation- they don't make it easy for first years at large law firms

> [2] Online Desktop and Services are being talked about as the next
> large step in GNOME - what is your vision for Online Desktop and
> Services and how would you measure them ?

Two things:

(1) I think the board's role in technical/strategic issues like OD and
Services should be fairly minimal, generally. The vision needs to come
from the people designing and implementing the code; the board then
needs to understand that vision and help grease the way for it- for
example, by getting corporate partners on board.

(2) I think it is inevitable that GNOME, or GNOME partners, will be
offering web-backed services to GNOME users. My personal vision for
that is to dot the i's and cross the t's on the legal parts- to make
sure that as we sail into uncharted waters, the rights of GNOME users
and contributors are being protected.

> [3] What are the SMART goals that you desire to set for yourself
> should you be elected to the Board ?

I assume by SMART you mean:

I prefer the related GTD, myself. ;) [Goal: beg someone to write a
kick-ass GNOME-based GTD app. :)

I'll repeat what I said in my candidacy statement: my goal is to be
the legal facilitator for the board for 18 months, and create bridges
between our legal partners (Wilson Sonsini and Software Freedom Law
Center) and ourselves. These issues are basically 'unmaintained' in
hacker-speak. Since they are unmaintained, there is a lot of
low-hanging fruit that I can pick once I'm elected. (If someone really
wants to see them all listed, I can do that, but I'd prefer you just
trust me on this one- I only have so many hours in the day ;)

> [4] If you were part of the GNOME Board last year and a candidate
> again, what would you like to put as your achievements as a Board
> member ?

This seems like the better question for me to answer, since I've been
on the board before. Some of my primary goals in my last term were:

* marketing: I put together a liveCD, and wrote some of the press
releases. Could have done better on creating an infrastructure around
this, though once I left the board I helped encourage the current
liveCD work (thanks, rpath/foresight!)

* employee/fund management: I pushed hard to make Tim's role more
transparent, I think successfully, and some of our first published
financial data came out during that time.

* road map: with Dave Camp's help, I put together the first draft of
the road map, and maintained it for a while.

* GUADEC: I promised to get more involved in this, but did not, for a
variety of reasons.

> [5] Do you think it is important to mentor and coach potential leaders
> in the GNOME community ? If yes, what do you think the role of the
> Board be in this task ? If no, what are your thoughts on this ?

Actually pushing the work to non-board members is the best way to
bring new leaders into the fold, so I think the best thing the board
can do is aggressively delegate outside the board and work with those
folks to get them the skills, resources and contacts they need to
complete the tasks.

> [6] Some of the tasks of a Board Member are mundane administrative
> tasks, are you comfortable taking on such tasks as opposed to being
> always involved in strategic and visionary thinking ?

I've already volunteered to do the most mundane task of all-
secretary. So I think 'yes' :)

> [7] What or which according to you, is the one "tipping point" move
> for GNOME in the coming year ?

For better or for worse, much of the world's most interesting software
development is now being done on the web. This is a trend which shows
no signs of slowing or reversing. This tipping point has already
happened; the key question for us is how we respond.

This is not my question to answer, though- my goal, as I already said,
is to make the board responsive so that the legal and organizational
needs of those who are answering the question (o-d? pyro? something
else?) are met.

> [8] What do you think is the most important item on the Board's agenda
> right now ? What will you do more or better than the previous boards
> in that aspect ?

The most important item that *I* will tackle is getting our legal
infrastructure in place. I'm sure there are other important issues,
but my role in them will be limited to the occasional comment of
common sense and nagging people about delegation.

> [9] What is your positioning with respect to the issue of OOXML?

I think that regardless of whether or not OOXML is a good standard that:

(1) it is something we (or at least various related Free Software
projects) are going to have to implement, because our users will need
(2) it is a fairly transparent move by Microsoft to corner and control
document standards so that they can continue to lock in their users.

This leads me to think that:

(A) it needs to suck as little as possible
(B) it needs to not be an ISO standard.

I admit that I don't yet fully understand where we fit in terms of (B)
there- is Jody's presence helping it become a standard? Or is his
presence, at this point, neutral in that respect but positive with
regards to (A)? If his presence does help it become a standard, then
we probably need to re-evaluate our position. If he's merely helping
it suck less so that we can implement it better, then I'm fine with

> [10] Why do you think we need a GNOME Foundation ?

So that we can continue to take care of the details like financing,
licensing, and coordination between the Big Players. Small, and less
critical than design, code, documentation, translation, QA, etc., but
still critical.


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