Re: Money spending, questions for the candidates


On 11/30/07, Philip Van Hoof <pvanhoof gnome org> wrote:
> Hi there,
> The questions:
> o. Given that the Foundation of GNOME has plenty of money, will you if
>    elected vote to spend this money on important projects?
>    Being mostly interested in mobile targets and GNOME Mobile, I could
>    certainly come up with some projects that might both increase
>    deployment of our GNOME technologies on mobile devices and increase
>    the amount of contributors.
>    Both reasons are, I think, part of the reason why our Foundation
>    exists.

Yes, it's important to support initiatives and innovation, the
Foundation is there to bust the stuff that gets on the way of the
hackers as it has already been said.

>     - Development on language bindings, like a binding generator for
>       for example Android and other mobile targets (plenty of our
>       components don't require Gtk+ yet could run on this target)
>     - Funding development on development tools (like the new Anjuta)
>     - Development on a WinCE port of Gtk+
>     - Development on a P.I.P.S. (Symbian with POSIX) port of Gtk+
>     - Improve the existing Win32 target of Gtk+
>     - Employ a maintainer and/or additional developers for Gtk+'s
>       development

This are nice ideas, or more precisely a good list of things we could
improve in GNOME as a project. I think that putting money in the way
I'm understanding you propose would be too similar to the failed
bounties project, Luis has a nice post about that iirc.

>     - Pay people to travel to schools and universities to educate
>       students about GNOME (serious educating, not just doing cheap
>       presentations)

This is already done if I understand correctly, if school X want you
to go there and teach them about how cool GNOME is, you can ask for
funding for the trip.

>     - ... (for making these decisions we need people who'll make real
>       and hard decisions)
> o. What is your opinion on an examination that could carry the title:
>    "GNOME Mobile certified software developer exam"

If the examination is offered by a third party, then I would say they
are violating the trademark guidelines :).
But if you suggest that GNOME via the Foundation could offer a
certification, I wouldn't like to see that, sadly certifications tend
to mean nothing with time due to people taking them "just to pass the
test". I think it would be more healthy to have easier ways for
contributors to show their work and prove how much they have given to
the project, hence showing their possible employer that they surely

> o. How are you planning to help the GNOME community overcome the fact
>    that we have relatively few technical leadership?

I don't know if we should consider that a bad thing... having lot of
different minds thinking their own way but keeping the communication
to integrate their different ideas is the way it's working now, at
least that's what I see.

>    - By waiting for the integration our softwares to turn into
>      something that looks a lot like that O.S. called CHA-OS?

Haha :).

>    - By letting companies like Nokia, Novell, ... set our goals?
>      I think this is what's happening right now. Might be fine imo.

I don't think they have set a direction, I don't feel like "working
for Nokia/Novell/someone's goals" or something like that. I feel I'm
helping GNOME.

The fact that there is a good number of hackers employed by Red Hat,
Novell, Nokia, etc can't be avoided, that's something we will always
We can't avoid people getting hired by companies to work on features
or stuff the companies are interested in. The only way would be to
hire all GNOME hackers and monopolize them :).

I don't see this as a problem, I think part of the way hackers see
life is that they do what they really want to do no matter what. If
they hack boring projects during the day, then they will hack until
midnight whatever they feel deserves their time.

>      Note that, however, our users sometimes get confused by this:
>        o. People thinking that Miguel De Icaza, Novell and GNOME are one
>           entity. (I love your work Miguel, don't get me wrong. A lot of
>           GNOME people do)

I agree with this one, I hear this daily...
We can only keep clearing people's doubts about this issues. There
will always be people ready to smash GNOME or any other project for
whatever reason they find.

>        o. Too late announcing of GNOME developers joining the OOXML
>           discussions (I think it's great that we are among the people
>           defining this, don't get me wrong. But our "technical
>           leadership", the one that we lack, should have made our
>           position clear to the audience (our users) before getting
>           Slashdotted by the religious ones in the land of freesoftware.

I don't think it was a responsibility of "technical leadership", I
think it has already been said that the delay was just a mistake.

>     I think that we are having quite a handicap by this, and that we
>     should do something about it. This year.
>     How will you do that? What is your strategy?

Again, I don't think we lack a technical leadership, I prefer the lots
of minds leading their own ideas but integrating them constantly
scenario. I don't see a situation where we would be happy to act like
an army of hackers, following a group of leaders telling us what to
hack and what not to hack.
As I already said, I don't think that's part of the way we think.

I don't think it's the Foundation's job to steer GNOME's technical
direction, it's the hackers that are gonna steer the direction.
Foundation should be there to give hackers good engines and good tires
so they can make others bite the dust. :)

> Notes on my mind:
>  o. Technical leadership != one person dictatorship, we can work with
>     committees too. Let's be open minded in stead of the "I'm against
>     everything" point of view.

It would still be a situation of many following a few.

>     If the right people are in that committee, nobody will be against
>     anything.
>  o. I'm still hoping for GMAE/GNOME Mobile to be(come) that committee
>     for mobile related components. Why not do ...
>       o. one for the Desktop
>       o. one for the translators and documentation writers
>       o. one for that futuristic Online Desktop
>       o. one for the language bindings and development tools
>  o. On importance level: I think that without such technical leadership,
>     GNOME will fragment into a huge amount of unconnected projects.
>     I think this will eventually render most our components irrelevant.

It hasn't happened yet, and I think we are seeing the opposite daily.
It's part of the ideas we all share about simplicity, integration, etc
that we worry about having stuff like telepathy play well with other
technology. For example, voip over jabber wouldn't be possible if
telepathy and empathy people (and of course gstreamer, farsight, etc)
wouldn't have played together.

I don't share your pov.

> I don't want to end with panic-speech but I just did. I'll continue my
> philosophic text  with ... passion
> We are a bunch of passionate people. I've met a lot of the other
> developers at conferences and my conclusion is that our average level of
> passion is high.
> With our combined passion, I think we can compete with any big player on
> this planet. I believe it has always been passion that made the final
> difference in technology
> It would be a waste to steer ourselves to irrelevance. I think we can be
> both passionate and successful. And if not, let's die trying.
> (now that's a good conclusion, no?)

Yes, nice words :). We won't steer to irrelevance, don't worry. At
least now, I don't see us as irrelevant or going to be forgotten

thanks for reading and for asking,


[Date Prev][Date Next]   [Thread Prev][Thread Next]   [Thread Index] [Date Index] [Author Index]