Re: Two Questions for the Board Candidates

On Thu, 2011-05-26 at 10:38 -0700, Lefty wrote:
> First: Since the issue of "divisive attitude[s] such as Richard
> sometimes seems to [promote?] when he talks about 'GNU/Linux'" came
> up, I'd be interested to know what, if anything, candidates for the
> Board propose to do to address the ongoing waste of time and energy in
> the community over trivia like "Linux" versus "GNU/Linux", "free"
> versus "open source", and the like. This extends to things like
> "litmus tests" on mailing lists derailing discussions into
> observations about which email clients or operating systems
> participants might be using at the time they post, for example.
> Attempts to divide the community and delegitimize individuals and
> their viewpoints are common, and becoming increasingly so in the past
> few years. Bad feelings have driven many away from the level of
> involvement in the community they've previously had. Do candidates see
> this as a problem? Do they have any proposals for addressing it?

In spite of assuming people mean well, communication problem happens. In
my experience, the board of directors has acted as mediator in the past.
This usually had not happened in public because the main purpose is to
fix the communication problem, not to blame people publicly.

I think keeping a healthy communication channel is a task of our whole
community, respecting and reminding the Code of Conduct. For instance,
Olav and André have taken a very active role on this.

Nevertheless, board members who start a discussion, should follow it up
to avoid the discussion goes out of control.

> Second: Do candidates have any view as to how the disastrous attempts
> at engagement by GNOME with the mobile space might be improved on? The
> "GNOME Mobile and Embedded Initiative" went nowhere, and arguably
> handed the mobile device space to Google and Android by forfeit. Since
> that time, there have been various attempts to get community-based,
> mainstream open source onto mobile devices, all of which have pretty
> much died. The sole remaining effort seems to be MeeGo, and GNOME has
> no apparent direct involvement there.

IMVHO, never was a consensus and/or vision in what it was supposed to
be. At least there were two divergent opinions:
     1. Be just a convergence point on different interested parties on
        using part of the stack on building mobile products.
     2. Build/define a set of libraries (or minimalistic) version of
        GNOME stack ready to be used to build applications/products on
        top of that (aka SDK to download and relatively easy to get
        something done).

In the absence of definition, the lowest common denominator prevails. I
would expect more involvement in upstream from all the interested
parties, not a couple (more than telling us "you should do this or

> Do candidates have any thoughts on the future of GNOME with respect to
> the mobile space? It's the fastest-growing portion of the general
> computing device market, and the main platform choices are proprietary
> or as good as. One of the issues raised by Canonical with respect to
> the GNOME 3 shell for Ubuntu was that it wasn't felt to be as
> appropriate for tablets and the like as Unity...

I do think different with this last statement.  I do think GNOME Shell
might fit very well with a tablet experience, we are not that far (no
more than Unity, at least) and there is some work on that.

Germán Póo-Caamaño

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