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


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

It impacted when I joined the board last year.  I was spending a good
part of my work and non-work time on GNOME hacking.  Now I spend part of
that time on board work.  I don't expect that to change this coming

> [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 don't have visions ;), if I had, I would have left board and jumped up
to them.  Seriously, I don't think that's relevant to the board.  I just
leave that to the GOD and Gimmie developers and others who have visions
and are doing the work already.

As for my personal opinion about GOD, I think the vision that GOD team
has is the future, but I'm not a huge fan of current prototypes.

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

I want to focus on events.

For the first six months I want to help with GUADEC organization as the
board representative.  At the same time I also want to pursue the idea
of having GUADEC and aKademy at the same time and location for 2009, so
if that goes well, there's a lot more to do for that GUADEC and I sure
want to be helping there too.

Then there's Boston Summit, brand new Asia Summit, and Latin American
conferences that I want to help coordinate on the board side.  At the
same time I like to help organize small targeted miniconfs and summits,
like a Gtk+ Summit, another a11y summit, possibly a documentation
summit, text layout summit, etc.

The other item I want to work on is the Business Developer director
hiring.  See Q 8.

> [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 was my first time on the board, or any other board of this kind for
that matter.  My biggest achievement was learning how this whole thing
works.  Other than that, I facilitated the java-gnome hackfest and a11y
summit at Boston Summit, and oh, I got free Beer for Boston Summit from

> [5] Do you think it is important to mentor and coach potential leaders
> in the GNOME community ?

Yes, it is important.

> If yes, what do you think the role of the
> Board be in this task ? If no, what are your thoughts on this ?

The board can speed that up by being more open and pro-active to
delegating project-wide responsibilities to lesser-known contributors.
But honestly I think GNOME as a project is already very welcoming to new
leadership.  I'm not exactly the GNOME historian but as far as I know,
many, if not most, of us started as a student interested in the project
and willing to dedicate time to it.  The rest was always just history.

> [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 getting comfortable to it.  There's not much strategic and visionary
thinking to board work by the way.

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

One tipping point for GNOME would be when the membership/community stops
thinking of board as visionaries who set the direction and happenings of
project and starts seeing that it's just set of trusted people who
volunteered to do the boring and frustrating tasks (take my word for
that) that are so essential to the project but no-one else is doing.  At
that point I hope questions like this will not arise ;-).

Oh, your question, OLPC should be very exciting this year.

> [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 ?

Hiring a Business Development director.  Many of the tasks on the
board's plate are simply blocked by that (and get delayed and
frustrating for board members and membership alike) and there's a lot
more we can get if we had a pro-active business developer.  It's a very
hard job though.  The current board has been very fortunate to have a
very qualified hiring committee but was missing candidates for the

Both Dave and Jeff have talked about how to go forward next year.  While
I don't have the communication skills or links like they do, but this is
another area I want to work on, based on my experience on the board this

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

Let me tell you where I'm coming from.  Most of my hacking these days is
on HarfBuzz, an implementation of parts of the OpenType standard.  I
can't imagine what would have happened in our text rendering stack if
the OpenType standard was not open.  And I wish one day I get the chance
to request for as much clarification as I want about OpenType and have
Microsoft be obligated to provide a full and complete answer.  Now the
OpenType standard is hardly a hundred pages.

That's why I believe what Jody has been doing is great for GNOME and for
our users, the same way that having a great OpenType text rendering
stack is great for our (very diverse) community and users.

As for the issue of single standards, I hate it when people use
standardization as a tool to take advantage over their competitors.  "I
got here first, so you can't" is exactly what's broken about the patent
system right now.  Think about it.

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

Because a bunch of hackers, more often than not, each leave to something
else when they are satisfied with their current cool hack.  GNOME
Foundation is the collective wisdom of all the great hackers that have
contributed to GNOME at some point in time.


"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little
 Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
        -- Benjamin Franklin, 1759

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