Re: Questions for the board election candidates

On Tue, 2012-05-22 at 09:58 +0200, Robert Nordan wrote:
> Hi all, I have a few questions for the candidates in the upcoming
> election to the board. They are obviously shaped by my interests, but I
> believe that other Foundation members may be interested in the answers
> as well.
> 1) "Open Source" or "Free Software"?
> This is about personal philosophy: Do you prefer the pragmatism of the
> Open Source Initiative or the political idealism of the Free Software
> Foundation? (Some of the candidates have already flagged a stance on
> this.)

I agree with Dave's concerns over how this question is worded. But
people do contribute for different reasons, some for moral reasons,
others because they think it's just a better way to produce quality
software. I think it's fair to ask candidates their motivations.

I believe free software makes the world a better place, not just by
making better software, but by empowering people to tinker and learn
and build off the ideas of others. I believe people ought to be in
control of the devices that are increasingly integral to the way we
live. I view software as an applied science, and science works best
when we share knowledge and ideas.

That said, I often use the term "open source". I pick my battles.

> 2) Overhaul of GNOME's git infrastructure
> I personally believe that the way the GNOME git system is set up is a
> bit antiquated and doesn't use git to its full potential. It's fine for
> developers with commit access, but  contributors without have to create
> individual patches and attach them to bug trackers or convince the
> maintainers to look up their personal branch hosted somewhere else and
> merge in. In a time when GitHub is setting the standard for ease of use
> when it comes to forking, merging and development, GNOME is lagging
> behind.
> I have heard chatter among GNOME people about setting up a GNOME
> instance of Gitorious to gain that kind of functionality, but nothing
> has really happened. Do any of the candidates want to make a juicy
> campaign promise on this issue?

We got Git in the first place because some hackers decided to set
things up and do a trial conversion. It wasn't the board. It was
people getting stuff done. If people want a Gitorious instance,
it should happen the same way. But, if the board can provide any
resources to help that, I'd vote in favor.

> 3) GNOME and Ubuntu
> In the recent years there has been a public perception of a schism
> between GNOME and Ubuntu resulting in double work and wasted resources
> on both sides. Do you think that perception is unfounded or not, and how
> do you plan to handle it?

There is a schism between GNOME and Ubuntu. The GNOME community,
by and large, wants to create a finished product. Ubuntu wants to
do the same thing, and they want to do it differently. They are
two different products made by two increasingly different groups
of people.

We do share technology, and I think we should work together as
much as possible on that technology. I fully support things like
cross-project summits and hackfests. I don't have a problem with
multiple projects existing, though we ought to collaborate where
possible. But at the end of the day, the GNOME Foundations exists
to support GNOME, so that has to be our first priority.

> 4) Stance on GNOME forks
> Similarly, GNOME 3 has met with some opposing developments like Cinnamon
> and MATE. It is of course the right of dissatisfied users to do what
> they want and fork if they like, but should GNOME ignore them or try to
> find ways to work together with them?

It's clear there are people who want to continue having something
like GNOME 2. And it's clear there are people who are willing to
step up and do the work. That's great. I fully support it. And I
think we should work with them, provided they want to work with
us and provided we have the resources. Honestly, I wouldn't mind
at all continuing to have a "GNOME 2" product line, as long as
there are people willing to make it happen.


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