Re: Questions for the candidates

Hi Jorge,

Jorge O. Castro wrote:
I've never served on a board or any kind of governing body before, so
my first answer would be "what would people want the goals to be?"

Do you think that your experience with Ubuntu has given you some insight onto what you will be able to achieve as a board member?

What I expect is that the board will be transparent enough so that it
is obvious to people when I am being effective at my job; as such when
I make a mistake I expect to know it relatively quickly so I can fix

Do you have any suggestions about how to increase transparency without increasing workload?

 4. Do you have any experience on management teams or boards at
non-profits? If so, can you give an example of a change you affected
in that role? If not, what makes you think that you will be a good
board member? What single change do you want to affect during your

I've not been involved in a non-profit before.

Perhaps you can find an example from your role in the Ubuntu community? A time when you had to affect change, how you went about it, and what was the outcome?

I would like to see the Foundation be more aggressive with GNOME
consumers like distros and other organizations for participation and
funds. I would like more aggressive campaigning to ISVs, ODMs, OSVs,
etc. on why they want to be part of GNOME and why they want to build
on our platform. I have strong opinions on GNOME as a platform (see

What change in approach would you suggest to get us to improve in this area? I know, having done some of this in the past, that getting commitments of time & money from ISDs is not straightforward. Even trying to get complaints which they might have isn't easy. How do you think this fits with the typical time commitments of a board member (10 to 20 hours per week, I'd guess)?

Whatever issues we have with the platform we need find it and fix it,
I would start by asking non-GNOME developers why they don't choose to
develop on our platform, and then fix those problems. We hear
third-party developers complaining[1] about problems all the time (and
they have so for years), but are we really making an effort to fix

Do you need to be on the board to help with this or drive this agenda? It sounds like the kind of thing we have wanted to do with GNOME Mobile for quite a while.

The difficulty as I've said is getting people who actually use the platform to figure out what needs doing/changing/fixing, and there's another issue - developers of commercial applications go where there's a market. There's an iPhone market for apps. There's a market for windows applications. There's a thriving market for Mac applications. There's a market for enterprise web and server applications on Linux. There's no market for graphical Linux applications.

So you need to identify:
 - Large group of users of Linux/GNOME based platforms
- Common set of APIs that developers can use to develop complete applications across that range of platforms

Our problems are:
- Many GNOME based platforms, but no communication to users or developers that the platforms in common
 - No information on size of user base
 - No easy way to deliver software across all the platforms
- No complete set of APIs that are shared by all which allow a developer to write an application that'll work everywhere.

The nearest thing a mobile developer has to that is Java. Android is trying to address that issue. And iPhone has ignored the "many platforms" problem to create one kick-ass product that lots of people want.

 * Transparency. Enough said about this, it's a requirement.
 * Governance. I don't mean in a boring rulebook kind of way, but are
GNOME communities set up to handle things like conflict resolution,
resource handling, etc.
 * Marketing. The word needs to be out there.
 * Culture. I like it how when I meet a new GNOME person I've never
met that we already share many values by default. It should always be
like this.
 * Barrier-breaking. There are people out there wanting to be involved
in GNOME but don't know how or they are shy or they think their ideas
will be ridiculed, etc. etc. The onus is on us to ensure that people
have the opportunity to work on something they care about and be

Aside from transparency and maybe governance, which of those needs you to be on the board to start working on it?


Dave Neary
GNOME Foundation member
dneary gnome org

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