Re: What do you think of the foundation?

On Thu, 2009-05-28 at 18:25 +0200, Dave Neary wrote:
> Hi all,
> So - this is perhaps not the best time to start this discussion, but 
> then again maybe it's absolutely the best time. This is a call to 
> foundation members who are happy, unhappy or disaffected to say what 
> they think the foundation should be doing that it isn't, shouldn't be 
> doing that it is, and generally what you've been unhappy & happy with 
> over the past number of years.

Indeed, and perhaps we could try doing this again next year, but a
couple of weeks earlier than election time so the attention span doesn't
get divided with this and questions for the candidates thread.

> Me first!
> I think that the foundation should be more involved in conflict 
> resolution and policing the tone of the community. I have talked to too 
> many people who don't read pgo, or have turned off individual blogs, 
> don't use IRC any more, or avoid certain mailing lists, because they are 
> unhappy with the tone & content of discussions & posts. If someone is 
> behaving in a way which is negatively affecting a significant portion of 
> the GNOME community, the board should be the place to go where you can 
> complain, and have your complaint publicly recorded (in the minutes of a 
> board meeting, for example) with anonymity, investigated and evaluated, 
> and if necessary, have the guilty party censured and/or punished. 
> Currently, this social policing role has been completely ignored by the 
> foundation and its leaders.

I agree with others' opinions so far, our community is usually auto
regulated, I think we are old enough to behave properly in public and to
coexist, we shouldn't create a 'you better behave or...' feeling.
And you can always complain to the Board if you are facing a problem
that you feel affects the whole project like an unauthorized use of the
trademark by a chocolate bar company (we could sue them for chocolate!)
or someone saying that the code you hacked for Epiphany is stolen from
them, that's the kind of stuff social-wise that Board should take care
of imo.

> I think that the foundation should be more frugal, and I expect the 
> board to transmit the frugal values to the membership. I was a supporter 
> of being much firmer in asking people to pay part of their travel when 
> being funded by the foundation, or to seek other funding elsewhere (from 
> conference organisers, for example). I don't think that being funded by 
> the foundation should be a due or a reward, foundation funds are an enabler.

I don't think people feel it's a due. From my personal experience, when
I was first sponsored for GUADEC in Birmingham I felt embraced and
supported since I had no remote chance to pay for my trip not even a 5%.
I actually had a hard time getting money for the visa and surviving in
Birmingham, my food was mostly tesco bought bread and ham together with
a bunch of other good guys. I felt I was being encouraged to keep doing
what I was doing (contributing) and to get even more involved now that I
had the chance to know the people in real life. My feelings weren't
"it's a due" or "i'm being rewarded for that single big patch", instead
it was a more motivating thing, a way to enable me to achieve bigger
goals inside the project. I would set a difference between reward/due
and encouraging or motivating, the first one is the end of a process and
the second one is the trigger of something else.

The Travel Committee form has a field for "how much do you think you
could pay?", also they have focused in getting confirmations out quickly
to save in airfares getting expensive with time. I don't think that we
waste money funding travel. Obviously common sense must be (and so far
has been) used.
It's investing in attaching new contributors to the project, and if you
ask me it's worth the money.

> I want to see seven board members actively communicating, and I want to 
> see the board be more reactive when a board member is inactive for long 
> periods. There is no procedure for temporarily replacing an inactive 
> board member, or if there is, it's never been activated.

I agree that we need better communication, the minutes are part of that
and indeed we could have done better. Let's keep this in mind for this
coming period everyone.

> The KDE eV solution to this is to make the foundation members list 
> members-only (private archives) - should we consider doing the same 
> thing, if that would allow more board business to be conducted on this list?

In my opinion, we should try to do better with those little things
related to communication like the minutes and commenting to others what
is happening. Like the notice of action idea. I think this is the right
solution for this perceived problem.

Thanks for the thread!

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