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

On 11/19/07, Bruno Boaventura <brunoboaventura gmail com> wrote:
> With the final list of candidates announced, it's time to submit
> questions about the GNOME Foundation and GNOME Project to this years
> prospective Board of Directors.
> The list, a summary of each candidate's statement and a link to each
> candidate's candidacy can be found at:
> Here we'll go:
> [1] How much impact would being a member of the GNOME Foundation Board
> have on your current contributions to GNOME ?

It won't have a big impact, right now my main activity is minor bug
fixing and a good bunch of bug triaging.
As I said on my candidacy statement, I'm planning on devoting a bigger
part of my GNOME time to Board activities, but given that my GNOME
work is anyway not really time consuming or absorving I don't think my
usual GNOME contributions will be hurt, I'm not a rockstar and I'm not
planning on becoming one for the next 18 months.

> [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 ?

I think OD is really a cool project, I have heard lots of opinions
saying it's great and others saying it's just an Active Desktop copy
(hah!). There are other not directly related projects that make me
dream of great innovation in the short term, for example Telepathy and
"tubes". Having that kind of integration between communication and
collaboration is going to make us rock.

OD is a great opportunity to innovate freely and go a step further,
the vision behind it is quite realistic for our time: "stuff is
happening online, let's integrate with it". After all, one of our
killer features is being an integrated desktop :).

I'm sure OnlineDesktop will produce some interesting new ideas and
applications. Talking about the role of the Foundation with this
project, I'd say that it's important to support this and other
initiatives with the resources they need -as long as it's realistic
and reasonable-.

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

- Support initiatives in Latin America for getting people involved as
users and developers. Concretely, I would like to "deploy" 2 or 3 of
our rockstars next year to a LA-tour, as seen on marketing-list[0] and
later gugmasters[1] the idea has had a positive response. I would like
to serve as a direct link to this initiative and hopefully other
similar ones.

- Help on showing the Board as a more transparent group, it's not that
today it's not transparent, but I would like to make it as crystal
clear as possible so people does know what happens in the Board and
how the work is done (of course, as long as it doesn't disrupt the
privacy of the matters discussed, common sense implied).
I think this can have a positive impact on the number of people
approaching with ideas and initiatives, also at the end of the term I
would like to see a good number of candidates given that the doubt
about what would it take to be on the board would be then a lot
smaller, if not gone.

- Putting attention to details, I confess I'm a perfectionist and I'm
not planning on stop being one on the next 18 months :).

- I would also be glad to be a channel for people to communicate with
the Board, I feel that given my age and friendly attitude people won't
feel inhibited from talking to me.

> [4] If you are a candidate for the first time, what are the areas that
> you think you can do better ?

I think that my context is quite different to other people already
working on the Board, not that it's better but it's just different.

I'm quite young (20), I'm peruvian, and silly as this sounds I think
that gives me a totally different set of ideas and ways of thinking
that can complement perfectly with the other members of the Board.

Some of the things I see room for improvement are the ones on question (3).

As for skills to offer, I feel that my work over the last year and a
half with my local LUG organizing conferences and workshops have given
me a good knowledge of how to work with people and have made me immune
to the boredom of administrative tasks. I also enjoy doing public
relations and marketing.

> [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 ?

This is really important, I think one of the key factors to the
success of a group is producing new leaders and developing their
Leadership is not limited only to being on top of a committee or being
a Board member, leadership should be present on every single aspect of
an organization through its people. We should think of everyone as
possible leaders and encourage them to not be afraid of taking the
first step into something.
Leadership is one of the factors of innovation.

I think we all agree in the Board's role here: delegate. We should
keep an eye on enthusiastic people willing to take a responsibility.
I would be happy to help with this, I like working with people on this topic.

> [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'm immune to the mundanity of mundane administrative tasks :). I
don't mind doing them.

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

I would say integration between the exciting new technology we have
now and the revamped old technology, for example Telepathy seems to me
like the next big step into desktop wide integration.
OnlineDesktop is gonna be really interesting also, maybe not as
"Online Desktop" but as the infraestructure that the project will and
has produced.

I also think that promotion of GNOME is gonna have some major changes
over the next year with things like the planned Asia conference, the
LA "tour" and -hopefully- other events. All this new set of ideas,
activities and contributors/users is gonna inject a good ammount of
new ideas and interest into GNOME.

> [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 ?

Well, I'm interpreting right-now as what would the new board should
tackle first.
I agree with Jeff that the first thing to do is get everyone
comfortable and aware of what the Board is gonna do and what it's not
gonna do so work can be done following some set of goals or timeline.
I also agree with the idea of collecting input from users and
contributors about what /they/ expect.

Besides that, I'm interested in working on promotion via events all
around the world, like the Asia initiative or the LA one. I think
that's gonna contribute to other aspects of GNOME like new users, new
contributors and promotion. So I would like to keep this on the agenda

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

I agree with Luis:

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

Making it suck as little as possible for enabling ourselves to
implement it and hence not have our users isolated on an island of
freedom, but still on an island.

My opinion about the ISO standard is a bit more sentimental and less
rational: I just don't think a Microsoft pushed standard could be good

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

Somebody gotta do it. There are things that just need to be done
through a formal institution like donations, buying domain names,
managing the trademarks, etc.
I feel that the GNOME Foundation also gives GNOME a good "serious
project" look. Most people tend to think that Free Software is just a
hippie thing,  I like it when their expression changes to amazement
when I mention things like all the companies supporting "the hippies".

It's also important for companies and individuals to have someone to
talk to, someone to act as a proxy to the whole project. Sending an
email to desktop-devel-list won't be the same as sending a mail to the
board list :).

>From a more trivial point of view, I think that the feeling of "being
a member of" is quite gratifying for contributors. I felt quite
special when I got accepted in the Foundation and I'm always proud to
say I'm a member of something so big that goes beyond frontiers and
cultures and companies and a big etc.

> We hope a very good debate!

Thanks for reading :)


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