Re: GNOME leadership [was Re: So what do people *except* me want from the foundation?]

On Mon, 2009-06-08 at 14:47 +0100, Lucas Rocha wrote:
> Hi,
> 2009/6/8 Luis Villa <luis tieguy org>:
> > 2009/6/5 Luis Villa <luis villa gmail com>:
> >> At any rate, I agree completely that we need some strong leaders to develop in GNOME. But the Foundation is not the place for it. I think the right question is 'why have leaders not come from other sources? what can the Foundation do, if anything, to help other leaders emerge and get the support they need to do their work?' I have no easy answers to either of these, though.
> >
> > Or to put it more bluntly, now that I think of it: why don't we have a
> > BDFL? Why have we chewed up and spit out all the potential candidates
> > for the title?
> Another important question is: leader of what? BDFL of what? I
> honestly don't see how only one leader could alone set the direction
> for desktop, platform, mobile, web, marketing, release management,
> etc. We're just too big today. I've commented before[1] that we should
> definitely consider having more clear/official leadership on specific
> domains of the project.

I agree with this.

I think it would be best if foundation members would elect a small board
and then the different teams would produce a ambassador themselves.

The board would then delegates tasks to this ambassador, who if he knows
somebody more competent at the task, could again delegate it (although I
think the ambassador should remain the responsible wrt the board).

The question how the ambassador would be chosen per team is something
that I would leave up to the teams to choose.

The procedure to choose an ambassador per team might not always be the
same as having a meeting together at GUADEC, noticing nobody wants to do
it, in the evening making somebody drunk enough to accept this task,
giving him more drinks to congratulate and thank him, etc..

Like how we'd probably end up doing it for mobile, platform and desktop.

I would also give certain leadership capabilities to said ambassador.
Like for example conflict resolution between members of the same team.
Moderation. Architectural decision making. Talking with the release team
about those architectural decisions, etc (we can adjust this list
whenever we notice it needs adjustment).

I'm not usually pro hierarchical systems like this. But as long as it's
two or three levels deep, provided everyone understands the necessity of
it, I think it's fine.

Just don't create three overlapping governments with on top a federal
one. I can tell you how bad that is. Bad.

Philip Van Hoof, freelance software developer
home: me at pvanhoof dot be 
gnome: pvanhoof at gnome dot org

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