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

Hello there,

Had a pretty long day at the office and didn't get a chance to work on
this all day... so here it goes.

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

Up until now all of my contributions have been in the form of
translations to Brazilian Portuguese and bringing more contributors to
the Brazilian translation team. Because of my involvement with
Foresight Linux and the fact that it is very GNOME-y-centric, I have
also been involved with bug reports and in a way advocating for its
simplicity of use and (yet) powerful features. However, I have always
wanted to reach a broader audience and not only be confined within the
Brazilian or translation arena. I believe that my ideas and plans,
should I be elected as a member of the Board of Directors, will allow
us to get our (GNOME) foot on the door of many new and exciting
opportunities and promote GNOME as a great desktop environment,
development platform, and a symbol of technological innovation.

[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 ?

As many of the other candidates mentioned here, the Online Desktop
could be the one thing that will tip the scale when users choose their
desktop environment. I've had the opportunity to see a few demos and
was fairly impressed with its potential. I believe that it is not up
to the Board to decide on the implementation or even which
tools/languages to use, but serve as a facilitator and guiding light
to make sure that the project stays on track and focused... GNOME
users have become used to expect innovation and great software in
every release, so the Online Desktop could definitely provide that
extra buzz!

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

a) Promote, Promote, Promote! Everybody now! :)  I feel that there
isn't enough marketing going on for quite some time now. I feel that
every single achievement and milestone deserves to be shout out in
every single venue! Major releases? Minor releases? New developers
joined in? A new school started using GNOME as their preffered desktop
environment? Everything should be promoted, no matter how small some
people may deem it. It is all about making people recognize the GNOME
name and product!;

b) Pay extra attention to making sure current and previous
collaborators are properly credited and acknowledged for their
contributions. Every little bit counts! And because GNOME is about
people, I'd like to see us grow as a strong community.

c) Bring the GNOME Fun Wagon to newer places! Fund smaller, localized
events so that people get to experience the GNOME goodness! Big events
like GUADEC are cool (I assume since I haven't been to one yet) and we
should definitely market it a bit more, but smaller events are
probably the best bang for your buck as far as attracting new users
and collaborators.

d) Expand our collaborative relationships to encompass other projects
and distros, to help promote better communication channels and ensure
that our partners and distributors have a place to get what they need,
as well as provide us with usefull information and feedback on ways to
improve. Often patches and improvements seem to travel on a one-way
street, and we could improve our chances of making it a two-way road
by opening newer communication channels.

e) Revisit our build methodology and work new ways to automate and
validate the tedious building process for our releases.

f) Have I said that GNOME is people yet? :)  Let us  tickle that GNOME
foot and make the whole user experience fun and rewarding!

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

I feel that I can help improve marketing and exposure. I also feel
that I can bring in my community building experience to solidify what
we currently have and make sure we can bring in more people and bridge
gaps with other projects. Finally, make sure everyone has fun too!

[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 ?

Absolutely! It is my opinion that any type of governance body has as
its utmost responsibility the education of those you serve. I have
always believed that a manager is not only the person that gets a team
to deliver a product, but also someone who will guide you and help you
grow as a professional. Sadly, you don't see that happening everyday
and most people forget their own issues and turmoils once they've
reached some type of managerial position. As the leader for the Ubuntu
Brazilian Translation team, I took upon myself to coach and guide
several individuals (who were genuinely committed to our project) on
how to make sure the project worked smoothly and that new comers were
always helped and received proper attention and support. This
philosophy was also promoted in the documentation team, and once the
"road was paved", it was very easy for me to pass the baton to the
next leader. The role of the board is to make sure that people get
involved and tasks are wisely delegated, always keeping a guiding
light so that no ship gets ever lost (or if lost, can find their way
safely back home), and the roadmap is kept on track.

[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 ?

Having lead the Brazilian translations teams for Ubuntu and XFCE, and
having spent the last 18 months working directly with the GNOME team,
I was exposed to my share of administrative tasks... so I'm ready. :)

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

Consolidation of all of our technologies into a final product that
just works! By keeping our distributors close by and up to date on our
plans (and also learning about their own), we can strive to make sure
that our product works well with their layer and that the GNOME
"brand" becomes synonym of quality, and technological advances!

[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 ?

Marketing, People, Innovation!

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

If it ends up becoming something our users need, we should support it. Period.

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

To make sure there is a group of people who are working hard to keep
the project on track and honest! To serve as a guiding light to all
members and collaborators; To serve as a buffer to absorb anything we
don't want our users exposed to, and deal with financial and legal
matters in a honest and transparent manner.

I want to thank all of you who made it to the end of these questions
and answers. I am very serious about the topics I mentioned above and
would be honored to have a chance to represent the GNOME Foundation.
Og B. Maciel

omaciel foresightlinux org
ogmaciel gnome org
ogmaciel ubuntu com

GPG Keys: D5CFC202 (en_US) (pt_BR)

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