Re: A question for the candidates

I'm going to reply here, because I really don't know how to answer
the original email.

On Fri, 2012-05-25 at 18:33 +0100, Allan Day wrote:
> Bastien Nocera <hadess hadess net> wrote:
> ...
> >> Sometimes it can feel like the Board of Directors is a bit divorced
> >> from the rest of the GNOME project.
> >
> > I don't quite understand the question. The Board is not where technical
> > decisions are made, it's not where applications or new dependencies are
> > made.
> Yet it is still a governance body, and it is the only democratic one
> within GNOME. Only the Board can actually claim to represent the GNOME
> community.

As the only democratic governance body in GNOME, I absolutely agree
that, if push comes to shove, it's the board's responsibility to
make the final decisions. But the board intentionally does not want
to have to involve itself in most decisions.

The board empowers other groups like the release team to work with
the community and make decisions. If there is a serious dispute,
then the board needs to act. But we should strive to have a working
community where the board doesn't need to act.

> > What were your expectations of the Board doing, and that they don't
> > deliver on?
> My question was not guided by personal expectations. I'm interested in
> how the Board can enhance our community.

I suppose I don't see the problem on this end, and if you don't have
any personal expectations, it's hard for me to know what to address.
I think the board members are largely active in the community in one
way or another.

I do think we could do better at being seen *outside* our community.
We need to work better with partner organizations and vendors. We
really ought to have good working relationships with companies that
can put GNOME devices into users' hands.

> > Why do you think the Board of Directors is "divorced" from
> > the project?
> I personally don't hear or see very much of what the board gets up to,
> and I don't feel like Foundation membership provides me with much in
> the way of additional influence. As a member of the board, you might
> be in a position to change that.
> If membership of the GNOME Foundation starts and ends with an annual
> vote, then it doesn't mean very much. If it is synonymous with
> membership of our community, and if it enables me to have a
> relationship with GNOME that I couldn't otherwise have, then it means
> a great deal. Is that something you care about?

I tried for a while to continue the regular Foundation meetings. You
were one of the very few people that regularly attended. Unless we
had an interesting agenda item (e.g. future of the Desktop Summit),
people didn't attend. I assume it's because they didn't have anything
pressing to say. That's OK. I didn't have anything pressing to say

In terms of what membership gets you, we've been trying to tie more
privileges to Foundation membership, in part because it means we have
more consistent rules for who can get what. I don't like looking at
Foundation membership as something distinct from community membership.
The Foundation is the community. We're just required to have a formal
membership process for voting to abide by the laws that let us keep
our non-profit status.


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